Thursday, May 20, 2010

rejection rejection of the day

An editor friend got a letter in the mail. It was a rejection letter she had sent to an author, and was annotated thusly:

~~~

[Note, typed, from my friend to the author:]

Dear [REDACTED],

We have already* considered and turned down your submission. Unfortunately, I just don't think that your writing is a good fit for us. I wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely,
[MY FRIEND]


[Note, handwritten beneath it, from the author to my friend:]

Why didn't you guys tell me that you're a red bunch of communists! Who needs you here in the USA? I certainly don't! Go to Hell, the Red Hell!

Sincerely,
[REDACTED]

~~~

*The same manuscript was already considered and rejected three months earlier

Aww. So sweet.

35 comments:

Bookewyrme said...

I think I just got logic whiplash. I'm trying to figure out how "rejection notice" = "communist"?

~Lia

Katelyn (twaddleoranything) said...

Haha, oh man. People never fail to amaze/amuse, do they?

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Things like this really make me think - us writers are a weird, weird bunch. I mean, hopefully not all of us would be so horrid and rude as to reply to a rejection in that way... but really? Hand written accusation of Communism? It's the sort of thing that makes me think... only a writer.
*sigh*

Kerry said...

I've only ever written one "rejection of the rejection" letter.

It was because [redacted] sent me a rejection letter for a book I did not write.

I told them I would be happy to be rejected for work I had actually done, but just could not accept a rejection for something I hadn't. You've got to have *some* standards as a writer, right?

(I found the entire situation so, so funny, though. rejection rejections can be pretty entertaining.)

David said...

But wouldn't true commies want to share everything and therefore not reject any writer?

I'm so confused. I'm sure, though, that the author's reaction was not a wise career move.

Anonymous said...

Our acquisitions editor, when considering a submission, will engage the author in a series of emails, asking questions about marketing, motivation, etc. just to allow time for the freak show to come out. It often does, sad to say. We take unagented submissions so extra screening is necessary. There's more to consider than simply the writing.

~Jamie said...

It's nice to see my grandpa's finally trying to break into the publishing world...

M Clement Hall said...

Relatively mild response. If he'd been really put out he'd have called her a liberal.

Rachel said...

This is why we love authors. They give us wit and wisdom. Not only is the reply informative, disclosing that your friend and her colleagues are communists and there is a special hell that is RED, but how can you not laugh with so many exclamation marks and an outstanding question mark?!!

Miriam S. Forster said...

Is it wrong that I find this sort of thing intensely hilarious? Or that I now have a vision of little red cartoon devils hopping around a little red cartoon hell?

No? Okay good.

Kelly Bryson said...

Jamie- haha. I thought it was one of my uncles, but if you're sure it's your grandpa...

And it's obvious that communists are bent on destroying all that is good and decent in our society, so if an agent rejects something good (and it must be or the agent wouldn't be a communist) then the agent is of course suspect of communist leanings;)

Simon Hay Soul Healer said...

Jamie, your comment made me laugh. Everyone needs a Grandpa like that. Christmas dinners are so much better.

I wonder if that's a form rejection rejection. I want to go to red hell! I hear there's ten agents to one writer down there. They'd be pitching me.

Maria said...

Well, that's one way to handle it. Yikes.

I guess next time editors don't want submissions, they should just post, "We are communists (Red ones in Hell) so don't bother sending anything to us."

:>)

David said...

There's a part of me that would really like to read the submission that resulted in all of this. It could be fun.

Graham Bradley said...

No, David! That's the gimmick! They're trying to make you want to read it!

David said...

Graham, wait till they find out I'm a pinko.

Charles said...

David: I'm with you. I wonder if the book was an extremely right wing war drama or something, or if it had no political leaning at all...

neither would surprise me, I guess, and both would be amusing in their own way.

Wand what the hell is a pinko?

David said...

Do people no longer use "pinko"? It used to me synonymous with commie. Or maybe it was a watered-down commie -- i.e., not quite fully red. Sort of socialist, bleeding-heart, fuzzy-minded, com symp liberal.

Charles said...

yeah i'm 25 and i've never heard the word pinko...

but then again, i'm not very well versed in much of anything... damn this pinko educational system!

Ben-M said...

Makes me wonder if his book was titled A Capitalist Will Buy Anything.

Sarita Rucker said...

Ouch. Way to burn a bridge that might have been crossed later.

Nancy Coffelt said...

Ahhhh, the red Hell, full of strawberries and Santa hats and red velvet cake... Sounds lovely.

I think your friend took this wrong. A bad Hell would be something like puce Hell, avocado green Hell or maybe fish-belly white Hell.

And the Communists part was probably just a slip of the keys - could happen to anyone.

S.M.D. said...

Ironically enough, if your friend and her people were a red bunch of communists, they would have published it and he wouldn't have any ownership over the work--it would belong to everyone. But, hey, nothing like calling people names you don't even understand.

Charles said...

if they were communist, the government would have written the book for them....

and generally isn't hell thought to be pretty red anyway? i mean... satan is presumably a dark red. fire and blood are usually shades of red.....

Charles Gramlich said...

Someone who would resend a rejected submission is exactly the kind of person I could imagine sending that note.

Lale said...

Uh... that was certainly interesting.

WendyCinNYC said...

Awesome. A submission from the ghost of Joseph McCarthy. She should keep that.

Bernita said...

As an Anonymous said, "There's no crazy like publishing crazy."

Kate Sullivan said...

Methinks someone is confusing "red pen of justice" with "red politics of Communism"...

Lucy said...

That's ok. I once sent an agency a polite note to tell them that a requested proposal was off the market, due to circumstances beyond my control--and they sent me a rejection slip!

So I guess that was a rejection rejection. :D

Countrymouse said...

Oh my!

Miss Sharp said...

Red hell sounds RAAAACIST.

Jon Sprunk said...

Very classy. I foresee a long and lucrative career for this individual.

bettielee said...

I guess this should be filed under "I reject your reality and substitute my own - where in YOU are a COMMUNIST and I am a GENIUS!" :)

Ulysses said...

I'm told it takes all kinds to make a world.

But no-one can tell me WHY.