an open letter to all of the editors who have ever rejected my work

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Dear Editors:

Please don’t wince. You may expect a briny, venom-drenched letter layered with defensive, caustic, cussy language. What I intend to do is thank you. Oh, sure, some of your letters made me full body hug the berber (the carpet, not the peoples of North Africa). And yes, Kleenex and Ghirardelli stock spikes in direct correspondence to your correspondence, but when I awake from my chocolate-induced coma, I am genuinely grateful for the work you do. Honest.

Thank you for telling me no when I sent you a manuscript that was greener than Kermit’s backside. I cross-my-heart thought it was perfect when I sent it to you. I was anxious and naïve.

Thank you for the times you took a few moments to offer feedback, an explanation or an invitation to submit again. I know you’re the definition of busy, so your extra effort meant a lot, especially when it probably caused you to shortchange your lunch break, or worse, your sleep.

Thank you for looking out for your readers. I know you have to be ultra selective. Children deserve the best. That’s what I want to give them, but if what I sent falls short, thanks for being honest instead of settling.

Thank you for upholding high standards and expecting writers like me to rise to them. You make us wrestle with our words, use our noodles, elongate our imaginations and demand more from ourselves.

Unflappably yours,


In the end, what makes a book valuable is not the paper it’s printed on, but the thousands of hours of work by dozens of people who are dedicated to creating the best possible reading experience for you. ~ John Green

8 responses »

  1. These are wise words. Recently, I looked back at a very old manuscript and wondered how I could have considered submitting it. Recently, I read a book that needed editing, and I complained. You’re absolutely right and your attitude will lead you to success.


Thank you for leaving a reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s