Thursday, March 18, 2010


In the last week I have received two rejection letters. One letter was a form rejection and the other a personalized form rejection. The difference?

The form rejection is just as it sounds, “Dear Author, blah, blah, blah”. I know they are a necessity do to the sheer volume of submissions art directors, publishers and agents must look through on a daily basis. I am sure there are thousands of people who think they can write and illustrate children’s stories. Yep, I am one of ‘em. Also, I am assuming that in tough economic times there are even more submissions than usual. How hard can it be to write and draw pictures for a children’s story for some extra money. Yep, me again! But let me get back to rejection letters. What gets me about some of these letters is that they can be so vague that you are left with the question “Did anybody even look at this submission?” While this is frustrating it does at least put closure on a submission.

So as unpleasant as a rejection letter seems it better than “Responds only if interested.” A submission here buys you six to eight weeks submission limbo. Then in eight weeks I guess it is time for me to move on. Probably the biggest reason I don’t like these is because no one has responded because they are interested. I like a little more closure then that.

The personalized form rejection letter is nearly the same as a form rejection letter except someone has taken the time to put your name on the letter, “Dear Curtis, blah, blah, blah”. This is a big step in my opinion because it is just one more thing that an art director, publisher or agent had to did that day. I take the time to respond to those rejections by thanking the person for taking the time out of very busy day to review my work and respond to my submission. I also use this response as a mini-re-submission. I include one more piece of art with the letter that is of a different style. Has that ever enticed a second bite? I can go as far as saying that it hasn’t, yet. However, I’ve already been rejected so what does it hurt?

These rejections really haven’t slowed me down. The first one did only because it is the first rejection in about ten years but even then it was only for the afternoon. The second one came during a creative blitz (this week) while I was outlining two new stories and started the character sketches for those stories. So I really haven’t had time to dwell on the second rejection which is good. Like my Momma says “Always have the next thing going to keep you busy.” Or something like that. Maybe she will correct me if I mis-quoted. BTW it works!


  1. No mis-quoting. I spent a long time, sending stuff out before I got even a nibble. The only things that kept me going (besides stubbornness) were the *other* submissions that were still floating around out there at all times. It's a mind-game, but mind-games work

  2. All good things will come in time. Listen to your mother. Mother knows best. Good luck. We will all be in line here at Leeds to buy your book when it is published or buy a magazine if your article is in it. Just keep on submitting and when you are accepted I bet we will hear you yelling here in the midwest. Best of luck!