To all you writers out there---and you know who you are---here's a little trip down memory lane for all the submissions you have sent to magazines, journal, editors, agents, publishers and anyone else who is in the business of publishing what writers write. If you have your own stories of rejection and elation, I'd like to hear about them....
A Writer's Postal Excitement Scale
By Bill Kirk
(Published in Absolute Write, October 2007--http://www.absolutewrite.com/ )
1. No response from the publisher….
The editor must be still thinking about it. So it's been a year—some people are thorough.
2. Your original outgoing envelope, returned unopened—manuscript still inside, with no notes, no form letter or any other indication that anyone or anything besides a Pitney-Bowes mail sorter has touched it....
I wonder what that little pointy finger next to the “Return To Sender” stamp means?
3. A returned SASE with nothing inside….
Must have liked it so much they made copies and are still passing them around the office!
4. An SASE with a pre-printed, unsigned and unmarked form letter....
Ya gotta love the extra effort and attention! Hey! There’s still a chance, right?
5. A returned SASE with a SIGNED letter and a box checked—no, wait, six boxes checked—with the reasons for the rejection....
Now we're talking! I can feel the love. Someone actually read me!
6. A returned SASE with a SIGNED letter and an encouraging rejection note—like, "I read this twice before throwing it away." or “Next time, don’t waste your postage on a SASE”….
OMG, this must mean they’re going to pay the return postage next time. Quick! Send them something else—preferably before the postman drives away!
7. A returned SASE with a marked up manuscript—in color crayon—and three Cheerios inside....
Finally, some feedback! OK. So, the editor could have her 3-year old child on the payroll. Besides, some kids are prodigies.
8. A returned SASE with the manuscript inside, marked up with legible comments like, "This is truly beyond belief! In my 25 years as an editor, I've never seen anything quite like it...."
Be still, my heart! Finally, someone who really understands me.
9. A returned SASE with a form letter and a signed hand-written note asking to see more….
Time to start looking through the car ads for that Jaguar I've been wanting....
10. A returned SASE with a SIGNED letter and an anticipated date of publication... sometime within the next ten years....
OK. I’m adding this puppy under my name at the bottom of my email messages!
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL….