Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tis the season for rejections!

The problem:
"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing be nothing." Elbert Hubbard.
In short, leave your shoes standing in the shadow of what you could be if only you have the courage to show up. This post is for those of you who know who have a bunch of poems, short stories or even a full manuscript ready for submission, but have been crippled by fear of the big R.

I read some where that you should keep the fleshy Self that breathes your heart into the words on your pages very separate for the Self that submits your work for publication. And I think this is excellent advise. I don't have skin like a rhinos butt. I know the sayings. Thick skin and water off a ducks back. But the truth is that rejection sucks. It hurts. It cries. It burns. ... And as far as I know, if you live a life, it will happen to you. AND...you will live through it. So maybe it's a matter of perspective? Maybe we just need to change up the rules of the Rejection Game and instead of cringing, celebrate the knock backs.

A Solution Perhaps:
Tis the season for rejections! Yep. You read that right. This month Wendy (from On Words and Upwards) and I are celebrating getting our work out there. The first to ten rejections for the month of December wins. Wendy's blog says there is no prize, but I am going to put one up. Being that is tis the season of giving and all.
I am going to send an Australian Children's Christmas picture book to the winner, or in the event that you don't have kids, a novel by an Australian author of my choice.

1. Open to residents of ANY country.
2. No sending out queries/submissions for the sole purpose of getting rejected. That's a no-fair. These should be serious submissions. The whole point is to get your stuff out there.

3. It can be for anything writing related, competitions, online competitions, novel queries, short stories, poetry submissions... anything writerly. For competitions, I guess if you don't place in the competition, then it can qualify as a rejection. You can also count submissions for which you don't hear back by the end of Dec as a rejection.

4.If you happen to get a couple of partial requests (
Wendy has, just sayin' cos it's exciting) or get accepted for something, that doesn't matter because it's the rejections we're counting here! You are still in the game.

5. Take the blog badge below and post it on your blog if you are playing with a link to this post or Wendy's post.

6. Thou shall be a follower of this blog and Wendy's blog to be eligible for the prize :)

7. When you get to ten post about your experience on your blog and then let me or Wendy know in the comment section of our blog or email tab@zaeya.com

8. Honor system is at work here :) We can't check out your submissions so no cheating. That would make Wendy and I cry. You don't want to make us cry right?

Blog Badge:

So, come on people. This is easy! Have fun. Think how many places you could send work to. And you can send the same piece to more then one place.


  1. Btw- the picture in the badge is actually Wendy's painting. Is that girl talented or what?

    Come and play with us? You can't let Wendy win! That would not be right. She needs some competition. :)

  2. How fun! I wish you all very well! And that in the midst of the rejections, somethign profound might happen!

  3. Thanks Katie. Yes, we are hoping for unexplained unexpected unpresidented profoundness. We will also settle for getting off our butts and submitting. YOu gotta be in it to see what happens hey.
    All the best with your edits. I know you are already reaping the rewards of submission and paitience :)

  4. OMGLOL!!11!!! Wendy cn do art like tht and she is riting?! Gd luck 2 u all

  5. oh my biggest fear :( i hate rejection !!
    the world will be just beautiful if people love each other for who they r !!
    gr8 i will play :D

  6. Love the photo at the top of the post. Very cool.

    Well, I don't know whether to say good luck or not. Hmm. I hope you win, but I also hope you get accepted by the top choices?

    Straight From Hel

  7. Yay Nahla! There's no better reason to do it than to beat your fear. Imagine if you start getting acceptances or positive feedback, it will help you over come your fears. What better reason for doing this could there be? good on you for joining!

    And thanks anon! And I write because writing is better than painting (for ME) :D

  8. I agree with Katie! My hope is that good news shines through the rejections! Good luck to you both and congrats on getting out there!

  9. A mention of Elbert Hubbard!! Now there's something you don't see every day. Growing up, I lived very close to the Elbert Hubbard's little Arts & Crafts era compound called The Roycroft. Lots a great memories around that place.

  10. Wow, I love this idea!!!!
    I'm not ready to submit anything, so I won't participate, but I had to say that this is such a good motivator to help people get over the fear.

  11. I think I'll just hang out there with my things that are out there being ignored...and write some more. No worries...January is a good month for rejections too! :)

  12. Go Tabitha and Wendy! What an excellent motivator- I;m just sad I don't have anything ready for submission!

    I pray good things for you both.

  13. Tabitha! That is such a great idea! I wish I had something to submit right now but I don't. I'm taking the slow/steady route on this MS and my WIP is only 2 chapters written. I shall cheer everyone on though--and hope you all lose by getting published!

  14. "I read some where that you should keep the fleshy Self that breathes your heart into the words on your pages very separate for the Self that submits your work for publication"

    I love this! Its so true. Hard but true!

    if anyone is looking for a quick rejection for your contest Nathan Bransford replies in like 5 min. (It really is true). He also has like 90% rejection rate according to Query Tracker.

  15. It's good that you're providing motivation for writings to get a move on. Kind of like NaNo does for so many. December is going to be busy for me and I don't have much to submit now, but I hope others have fun with this. And I hope they get acceptances rather than rejections!

  16. Great idea for a game. And a nice quote regarding the two different selves for writers. Thanks!

  17. Fun idea--if you're getting rejections, it means you really are submitting!

    I think it's so important to remember that rejections are nothing to take personally. Also, we can learn from the personalized ones.

  18. What a wonderful idea! If I can get those last 15 chapters edited, I may just jump in and play :)


  19. This is such an awesome idea Tab. Great things come from rejections (like acceptances and offers). I don't even have 10 novel submissions out now, but maybe I'll submit a short story just so I can participate!

  20. What a great photo!

    Sheesh, I wish I were querying right now. You've made rejections fun. :-)

  21. Great idea, and a lovely pic! If I weren't in the middle of revisions, I'd jump in!

  22. What a great idea, Tab. When I got my first rejections, after the disappointment waned a bit, I celebrated the fact that they meant I'm a real writer. If you were doing this next month I'd be here for sure. Best of luck. Looking forward to seeing how it works for you.

  23. What a cool idea! I love the idea of making rejection (which sucks) kind of fun!

  24. Thank for the comments.

    Sarah, join us?

    Deb, I will be playing this next year. Hop to see you join in then :)

    Jessica- thanks. all the best when you are ready to submit then.

    Natalie, please do. We would love to have you on board. Short stories are great for this game. I'll put you down as a maybe.

    Tere- all the best with revisions.

    Jen- well we hope you do. All the best with the edits.

    Dawn- join us? :)

    Paul- got anything to submit? We'd love to have you along.

    arlee- well all the best with the writing. :)

    Julie- yeah I have heard that too. Only he doesn't represent what I write so that would be cheating :)

  25. Kristen- thanks :)

    Tamika- thanks we can use the prayers! Wendy is close to something big right now :)

    Liza- we are playing again next year. :) Join us then?

    Megan- join us?

    Jason- wow really? That's cool.

    Heather- thank you

    Helen- thanks :)

    Nahla- Welcome. And we wish you all the very best with the submissions! Enjoy the process. Let us know how you go.

  26. Wow. I love that photo. So cool. Leave your shoes in the shadow of what you could be and move forward, move toward...it!

  27. very cool idea, Tabitha! I don't have anything to submit right now, but there were a few years where I accumulated enough rejection letters to wallpaper my bathroom. It was very good for the epidermal teflon :)

  28. Oh, dear. What about those markets with a 12 week response rate? Hmm...

    You have, good lady, inspired me to shoot for 10 rejections a month next year. Thanks for that! Don't know if I'll play this December, but come January, I'm hoping the rejections come thick and fast (hopefully with some acceptances too... :)

  29. Wine and words. come play with me? Come on!

    Margo- Love the idea of wallpapering a bathroom with them. Hmmm.. and we just bought a new house!

    Simon- why wait? Get a start this year. Come one man! Don't let us women beat you :P