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Write From Home
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com

Off the Page...

Dealing with Rejection Letters
by Tama Westman

As a writer, you know the feeling that comes when you see that envelope in the mailbox, the one with the publisher's address in the top corner. Excited, you rip open the envelope and search for those wonderful words of praise you have been waiting to read. You look for the sizable check payable to you. Instead, you find an impersonal photocopied note that states: "Dear Contributor, this material does not meet our current editorial needs."

We all receive rejection letters, and we are familiar with the sense of deflation and self-doubt that tags along with it. The rejection letter is an unavoidable constant in the life of a writer. But rejection from one editor does not mean that we have to wonder and worry about our writing abilities. So, what can we do?

Accept the emotional letdown.
A short pity party is well deserved. After all, a great deal of time and effort went into that manuscript and some dumb editor has refused to see its merits.

Realize that only the manuscript was rejected.
It is not personal. The editor doesn't think you are a bad person or a bad writer. The manuscript simply was not what she was looking for on that particular day. Besides, you are now free to submit the piece to another publication.

Share your rejection with a friend.
A friend who is also a fellow writer will identify and be able to understand. They can offer the support and encouragement needed to sharpen the pencil, warm up the keyboard and try again.

Fold it, file it and try again.
File those rejections in the back of the filing cabinet. (They will be fun reading when you become rich and famous.) Pull out a Writer's Market Guide and search for another potential market. Create a new pitch letter, and yell, batter up!

Remember, only ten years ago, two aspiring authors suffered 140 rejections of their book proposal. Now, with over 70 titles and 85 million copies in print in more than 37 languages, the Chicken Soup for the Soul series is a household name. Maybe you are the next Jack Canfield.

Success can be yours, with persistence. Keep writing, keep learning, keep trying and before you know it, those rejection letters will change into acceptance letters.

Tama Westman writes the Off the Page column for Write From Home. As a correspondent and columnist, she publishes news articles, feature stories and her column, Cuppa Thoughts, regularly with her local paper, the Chaska Herald. She has served as the editor of the award-winning literary magazine, Haute Dish. Her articles appear in several local newspapers and, nationally in The Gathering and Light & Life Magazine.

She teaches creative writing and poetry classes with the AHEAD program (Achieving Higher Education and Dreams) at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN, mentors high school journalism students, and teaches beginning and intermediate writers at conferences throughout the country. Married with two grown children, she keeps her balance with a cup of tea taken in the afternoon in her English garden. Further samples of her writing can be viewed on her Web site, http://www.tamawestman.com feel free to e-mail comments to tama@tamawestman.com









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