Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Continuation on Rejection Letters, by Hilary Wagner

These are my REAL rejection letters from 2009-2010.

Just last week, Kell Andrews did a great post on rejection letters. Below are some of the general responses she received. 

Thank you for your submission
Thank you for your patience
No reflection on your work
No reflection on you
I don't feel passionate
I don't feel connected
Not a fit at this time
Not a fit for my list
Sorry for the delay
Sorry for the news

As some of you have read in previous posts, I too was rejected so many times I'd be rich if they were counted in dollars. Here are a few of my rejections to add on to Kell's list. 

I don't believe in anthropomorphic animals.
Too many characters.
Too gritty.
I hate rats.

I think the funniest rejection letter was the one I received from an agency about 6 months after my first book was published and in stores. That one made me laugh out loud.... BEST. REJECTION. EVER! 

That said, along the way, I did get one very special rejection from an agent at a well-known children's agency. She rejected the manuscript after reading the whole thing, but gave me the most amazing insight and really pointed out some issues I couldn't see from where I sat in the author's chair. 

Every once in a while you get lucky with an agent who rejects you, but gives you valuable feedback. Her advice made me change some major items in the manuscript. Did this lead to it getting picked up by another agency? I think so. The thing that got me the most, was this agent, who owed me absolutely nothing and could have easily have given me one of those generic rejections, took the time to really help me. That's rare and it's special and even though you might receive 100 generic rejections, you're bound to receive one or two that are really helping hands, so take advantage. 

After I signed my contract, I emailed this agent to let her know and to thank her. She was very happy to hear about it and her exact words were, "I knew there was something there!" 

And yes, I did mail her a copy of the book! 




  1. I love this story about the kind agent. I had an agent read MAY B. who really liked it but asked for a change I couldn't agree to. When the book deal was announced she emailed me a congratulatory note. It really was an act of kindness and one I cherished.

    1. It makes such a difference and turns a negative into a positive. We ALL need a helping hand sometimes and it makes me feel good about humanity. :)

  2. I loved reading this~ it always amazed and delighted me when I got a rejection (ha! that sounds weird) with feedback. As you said, agents are incredibly busy and to think that some of them take the time to help us with a manuscript they're not acquiring makes me all warm and fuzzy inside :)

  3. Those agents, even if they don't represent us, are worth their weight in gold.


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!