The Rejection Generator Project
by Ariel Bogle
Prospective authors and hopeful manuscript submitters, take note. Prepare your sensitive souls for rejection from harsh editors by first sending yourself a few rejection letters.
“The Rejection Generator is designed for all writers. Emerging writers can utilize it to remember life before their first break. Writers well-established in their careers can use it for balance: no matter how successful a writer is, each year there are Pulitzers to lose, as well as National Book Awards, PENs, and Nobels to not be selected for; maintaining a sharp sense of rejection as award announcements approach is important. And, of course, beginning writers not used to or only barely used to the sheer weight of rejection that lies ahead can use the Generator to get ready for the future.”
Just in case I thought I had some short stories worthy of publication, The Generator reminded me to be ‘umble, saying
What a bunch of bunk! Complete rubbish! You flabbergast us not with your misguided ideas, but with your insistence on sharing them. When I was young, we were taught that children don’t have anything worth saying. Damn right. We learned to hold onto our ideas and let them ripen until, probably, late middle age, when it might–I say might–be worth cracking the peel to see if you have something worthwhile. You need at least another decade of development! Then maybe you’ll have something worth saying. Maybe.
Go get older. At least you can’t screw that up.”
And in case you aren’t sufficiently full of humility, have a look at this slideshow from The Observer of amazing covers—by the likes of Barry Blitt and Robert Crumb—that The New Yorker didn’t publish. Clearly, rejection is not always a reflection on quality.
Ariel Bogle is a publicist at Melville House.