What is a positive rejection letter?


Aye,aye,aye  – – –  Two rejection letters in one week.  It’s one of those times where you have to constantly wonder why am I even trying, you know?  Well, here is the first rejection letter from a literary magazine:

Dear Marla,

Thank you for your submission to ————- press. We are unable to place your work in our journal but wish you the best of luck.


—— ——–

Nonfiction Editor, ———— press

This is the obvious, “We are totally not interested in your work” letter.  It’s heartbreaking, but what can we do?  I’ve sent to this group before, and they weren’t interested.

Now, for rejection letter #2……

This rejection was for my manuscript, but I got a hint of optimism from it, but then again, maybe I am delusional?

I’ve always heard that there are things called “positive” rejection letters and “generic” ones.    However, I can’t tell, you know?  Am I just interpreting this as being positive because this is what I want to see, or is this a generic hum-drum rejection letter?

Dear Ms. Brady,

Thank you so much for your interest in —— ——–. After conferring with senior members of the agency, I’m sorry to say we are going to have to pass on this project. Of course, other agencies may feel differently. Query widely; you never know who will feel that “spark” for your book. We appreciate the opportunity to consider your work and wish you the best of luck finding representation.
——— ———-
What do you all think?  Generic? Positive?  Help!

One thought on “What is a positive rejection letter?

  1. Aw, sorry to hear about your rejection letters. And I hate to say it, but I’m going to be honest anyway, but the latter letter definitely feels generic. It’s almost word for word the twin of one I received a few years ago — I have a feeling agents and publishers just use one standard template and sign their own names.

    When I come across things like that, I take the view that it wasn’t meant to be because something *better* is going to come along, and one day you’ll look back at this and be glad that you got those rejections now. Keep your hope alive, because hope and creativity walk hand in hand. They’re also what keep you sane 😉

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