Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Writing Prompt--Reject a Hit!

Writer’s Digest is one of the most useful magazine subscriptions a writer can have. Not only does it keep one up to date on the current trends in publishing, but it also offers excellent techniques for improving your writing. Need to know how to capture the young adult voice? Curious about what agents want in a query letter? Interested in learning more about small and independent presses? Then check out Writer’s Digest!

One of my favorite columns in the magazine is called Reject a Hit. As a multimillionaire in rejection, the idea of writing a fake rejection letter for a well known novel, appeals to me on more levels than I can count. A few months ago, the magazine published a rejection letter to Bram Stoker in regards to his classic novel, Dracula, saying that such vile creatures as vampires will never sell. This month, some brave writer wrote a letter to J.K. Rowling, passing on Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone with the reasoning that no child would want to read about a dorky tween’s experiences in the world of wizards and magic.

So of course, I have to put it out there…

Who among us is brave enough to select a hit and then write the all powerful, evil rejection letter? Me! Me! Me!

Of course, there is so much to choose from. Faulkner? Hemingway? King? Meyers? After some thought, I believe Charles Dickens will be in my line of rejection fire. I’ve never been a fan of A Christmas Carol. Bah humbug!

I’ll be posting my completed rejection letter next week, but I’d love to see some others. Feel free to post your letter in the comments section of this blog, or if you’re super brave, submit it to Writer’s Digest at wdsubmissions@fwmedia.com with “Reject a Hit” in the subject line.


  1. Hmmm...I'd consider ole Billy Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (thought I know that's really a play and not a book). Lemme think about it and get back to you. Maybe I can write something worthy of sending in. Thanks Mary Ann!

  2. I desperately need to work on my novel, so of course I'll work on a rejection letter instead. Thank you for providing an excuse to avoid what I should be doing. My own have been used so many times they're threadbare.

  3. Working on rejection is fun Kathy! It's so rare that we get to give it...

    Ernie, Shakespeare sounds like a great rejection in the making. I'd probably choose Hamlet. I love the prince of Denmark, but wow...talk about family issues.

  4. Mary Ann, it reminds me too much of my real job :P

    I think maybe I might reject Neil Gaiman because he is my favorite author and so it would be almost self-effacing in a way to reject him (which would be oddly therapeutic, just take my word for it). It doesn't seem fair to hit King, Bradbury, or any of the others who suffered hundreds of rejections before getting published.

  5. Just remember Shennandoah, it's all in good fun! Just enjoy rejecting a hit!

  6. I'll reject the novel I just tried to read by William Golding (of Lord of the Flies). It's called The Inheritors and won a Nobel Prize for Literature! It's really, really bad.

  7. Good for you Kaye. Take Golding by the horns! I loved Lord of the Flies though. It made me wish I was a boy. So did the movie Stand by Me.

  8. On closer inspection, the Nobel prize for Golding may have been for Lord of the Flies, not for The Inheritors. But there's a big gold seal on the book. Misleading, I think!