Monday, November 9, 2009

The Best Form Rejection I Ever Got

I've read so much bitching about form rejections - and I've done some of it myself. I thought I would post the best form rejection I ever received. It follows:

Dear Ms. X:
Thank you so much for sending this to me. I’m afraid it’s not right for me. I’m so sorry.
Best wishes,
Agent X

Seriously, it took me like, 3 seconds to read. So it's not right for her. *Not a problem.* Thank you Agent X for just letting me know. You let me know quickly, there was no sugar coating, and there was no false ass kissing to make me feel like a better person. I literally love this agent. I don't think she's right for me (and obviously she doesn't feel I'm right for her) but if I ever run into her in publishing circles, I'm going to have a wide smile on my face and a friendly wave for her.

Agents talk a lot about how busy they are, and how we need to make sure we don't waste their time. I once got a form rejection that was over 500 words long. It made me mad. Just say no. Two letters, problem solved. The agent who sent me the above email was about 1000 times classier than the gasbag with the over-inflated sense of her own importance in my life.

I guess that's the thing for me. Agents are busy, I get that. I'm busy too. I have two children. My oldest just turned 3. My youngest is 18 months. I'm married, and my husband likes my attention from time to time. I have two jobs. One is a flat 20 hours a week outside the home. The other is work from home, and it's supposed to be 20 hours a week, but it usually ends up being more like 30 or 35. I can't really complain. It's work from home, and it's legitimate. I have a 3000+ square foot house, which don't get me wrong, it's great, but it's a bitch to clean. I've always been the one who pays the bills, my husband, if left to his own devices, would forget all about it, so I have to keep track of that stuff. My youngest has weekly physical therapy for some developmental issues. I don't get to just play with my baby. Every opportunity for play is an opportunity for exercise and going through all the plans the physical therapist and I have devised for the week. My older daughter has to wear an eye patch for 2 hours a day, and believe me, that's not a fun task trying to keep that thing on. I have a critique group that I'm excited to be an active member of. They've helped me a lot. I hope I help them too. I have friends. I try to keep up with five of my best ones on a regular basis, but they forgive me when I can't. They're pretty damn great people. I also like to work on my own writing, and, when I have a chance, pursue agents.

I'm busy too. If you are not going to give me any valuable feedback, then form reject me. Form reject me in the classiest way possible, like the agent I quoted above. Don't waste my time either.

I didn't mean for this to sound as bitchy as it got towards the end. But that's what happened. I guess it's just my voice.


  1. I think I got that same rejection *smiles*. Oh, and you do help me, a lot.

  2. Hey, I came over from Tina Lynn's blog.

    Don't apologise for getting bitchy at the end there; I'm just happy when other people come out and say the things that I feel! I'm a mum to an active ten month old, I work, I write, I'm trying to get published and I run an interview blog that I've set up from scratch. I have a house to run. Occasionally My Hubby likes to see me. I get very annoyed by the implication that I'm not as "busy" as other people. So good on you for your comments, I agree whole heartedly!

  3. This is one of the few writer-POV things I've seen....everyone moans about form rejections, but you're absolutely right. We are busy too! Just quickly form reject us (if you are, in fact, rejecting us)!

    Great points.

  4. Absolutely. Who needs a sugar-coated layer of BS? Just say it ain't for and we all move on. I'm a "house-husband" and feel constantly whip-sawed back and forth with my kids' activities, keeping the house running and semi-clean, yadda yadda, so I know just what you mean.