from the Korean Army to being published

the blog of an "ex-patriot" writer in Korea

Rejection #2: First Dose of the Day

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This morning, I logged on to my computer at work to find not one but two rejections in my inbox. I was planning to post on a different topic today but will hold off for later this week. Last week, I didn’t post any new entries due to issues with my own personal “North Korea,” but I hope that those of you who stop by this blog will be placated by a double dose of vicarious rejection.

I know that posting rejections is not the professional thing to do, but I have never maintained a pretense of professionalism. Besides, professionalism is a relative term. Here is the first of my two rejections:

Dear Writer:

Thanks for seeking representation with us.  I’m afraid I’m not able to offer you representation at this time. 

It should go without saying that there are many reasons besides merit that lead me to decline a project; it should also go without saying that there are successful books and VERY successful books that I would never have taken on. 

Writers seeking an agent are my frequent imagined audience on Twitter, [twitter account]; I often provide general feedback inspired by unsolicited queries there.

If you made a thorough review of my website before querying, thank you for your courtesy. I’m sorry it isn’t paying off directly with me right now but I hope the practice will ultimately serve you well. If you haven’t I hope you might find help in the advice I provide there. 

I wish you the very best of luck in your pursuit of representation.

[agent’s name]

I particularly liked how the agent chose to refer to me as “Writer” instead of my name. It adds a personal touch to the rejection. It’s like telling a girl how you feel and hearing, “Sorry, guy, but I don’t feel the same way about you.” On the other hand, the agent did refer to me as a writer without the “aspiring” that I usually attach to the title.


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