Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Writer's Postal Excitement Scale (Slightly Revised)

(Or the meaning of the top ten responses from editors and publishers)

By Bill Kirk

Dedicated to all writers everywhere--especially the new kids on the block--who are awaiting responses from the many submissions you have mailed out. Sometimes the anticipation is as good as it gets. But every once in a while, you might get lucky.... It could happen.

(NOTE: The order may vary depending on the size of the envelope, weight of the manuscript and the diameter of the coffee stain on the outside.)

#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! Besides, someone had to write the form letter, didn't they? So, I coulda been the first one they sent it to, right?

#5: A returned SASE with a SIGNED letter with one box checked.... Wait. All SIX rejection boxes are checked! Woo! Hoo!

Now we're talking! I can feel the love---every box is individually hand checked! 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, a perk! They're going to pay the return postage on my SASE 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....

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 how unique and creative I am.

#9: A returned SASE with a form letter and a signed hand-written note asking to see more….

YES!!! Hey, honey, where did you put the car ads? We gotta Jaguar in our future....

And the #10 response: A returned SASE with a SIGNED letter and an anticipated date of publication... sometime within the next ten years....

Finally! I'm adding this puppy under my name at the bottom of my email messages!



  1. Hilarious Bill!! If this didn't ring so true I would stop crying and laugh. . . .

    You nailed it, mate. This goes on my Facebook page!!!

    Margot’s books for Kids + Writing News

  2. That is too funny, Bill! Thanks for adding your humor to what can be a depressing subject.

  3. Thanks, Margot and Connie. Glad you enjoyed the chuckle. I appreciate your taking time to stop by.