Friday, 27 July 2007

The ultimate rejection letter

Any unpublished author will be familiar with rejection letters. I came across this on the web. No attribution, so if it's yours, let me know.

Herbert A. Millington, Chair - Search Committee
412A Clarkson Hall,
Whitson University College Hill,
MA 34109

Dear Professor Millington,

Thank you for your letter of March 16. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me an assistant professor position in your department.

This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals. Despite Whitson's outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at this time.

Therefore, I will assume the position of assistant professor in your department this August. I look forward to seeing you then. Best of luck in rejecting future applicants.


Chris L. Jensen

While on this topic, have a look at: The Devil's Mailbox

27th August 2007 I've found the author! Still not entirely sure who he is, but see;


  1. I'm going to send me some of those...

  2. It just gets to the point where you either do something like that or you buy a high powered rifle and start taking pot shots at your neighbors' chimneys.

    I like Chris Jensen's choice.

  3. Hi Alan!

    We're all suffering from Plumboz deprivation. It's not fair.

    I like your latest wobbly drawing of the bath. I used to want a bath like that, then I realized you have to hoover under them.

    Can you twist your computer son's arm to enable comments on your blog? You don't know what you're missing. (Or perhaps you do...)

    New features not yet up on YWO. Some problem with UK versus USA date order. It's taking for ever.

  4. Lexi,

    I'll ask TJ next time I see him (awake, that is) if it is something he can do. He was worried about the security of the whole thing last time I asked him, especially as I am pretty much operating on my own instead on an established blog network. I did already have to change my e-mail address attached to the site because of thousands of spams I was getting every day.

    I'm not sure if I can in good conscious participate in YWO just as a message boarder. Although I am tempted to review a couple of pieces just to get this story by committee thing called The Cookenflagens that I am apparently taking the lead in in front of some readers other than my old high school chums. It's a ways away from being presentable. I'm taking about fifty pages of spread out and rather wide ranging contributions so far and trying to mold them into a coherent story that is still free wheeling and off the wall. What I have so far is on my website, but as far as I can tell nobody has looked at it yet.

    Keep bugging Ted about the POD. From what I hear it is going to be quite reasonable and since you have cover art already (good stuff, by the way), you don't have to worry about that part.

    See ya!

  5. Alan's bathtub drawing is AWOL (much like the Grrr... entry).

    BTW--I'm noting the missing sketch here because Sketches by Plumboz has no comment opportunities.

  6. I do hope it wasn't my reference to it as 'wobbly'.

    I think sketches should be wobbly. It's for photos to be non-wobbly.

    Alan, are you there? Can you bring it back by popular demand?

  7. One wobbly tub, as you wished. And popular demand be darned. I'm doing it for you two.

    TJ has told me he can "probably" put a comments section in for me, but as he has his next semester beginning soon I am not counting on anything.

    Is suppose I should put "Pink Belly" back on YWO just for curiosity sake. Folks may want to see a relic of times long past. But that means doing a review. Give me some time, okay?

    The prologue and opening chapter are on my website. Easily accessed from the home page. I put them there just in case any unsuspecting editors happened across my site. And yes, I do believe in miracles. I just think you need to be ready for them.

  8. Thanks, Alan.

    Let us know if our comments ever verge on harassment...

  9. Then we'll push them just a bit further. After all, what are friends for?

  10. Just keep being yourselves. Wish we could have a pint together, but I'll take this lovely internet connection for now.

    Hey, when are you two going to spruce up your blogs? Norm, you especially are being neglectful of your public platform.


    I am forty pages from finishing this blasted "He Who Lived" book. She does write a battle scene, but if Fang ends up dying I'm going to be peeved. Kill the entire calvary, but don't touch the dog. Methinks Ms. Rowling is at heart a rather bloodthirsty lady.

  11. Look, I've got two blogs to maintain! And a website! And I have to keep working on the rocking horse to have something to put on the blog about it.

    Then there's daily-breading, or the centre will not hold and confusion will possess it utterly, or whatever the quotation is.

    Anyway, I think this comments section is taking over the blog. It seems to have a sinister life of its own...

  12. Thus chastened, mayhaps I'll put in a little work on my website after the Willamette Writers Conference.

    Lexi, we can move the comments over to my blog but your hit counter may not like that.

  13. Norm, I am proud to have so many interesting comments on this post.

    You can't have them. I am hanging on to them.

    They are mine, all mine.

    My Precioussss...

  14. Here's something to cheer you up.

    See, everyone gets them!

  15. It's very wordy, HJ, that rejection. I strayed on to the how to submit a manuscript page, which is full of good sense.

    Is is # or *** between scenes? She says #, and I've just changed at angelscribe's bidding.

    Displacement activity. Do agents care?

  16. I use * * * centered between two whitespaces for larger breaks. Double white space for smaller ones. Am I right? I dunno. Close 'nuff probably.

  17. There is more happening here than on YWO right now.

    Does this mean I'll get a page rank?

  18. Your blog is the first thing up on a Google search of Lexi Revellian. However, it does ask if I meant Lexi Rebellion.

  19. This is the advantage of a made-up name. Mwa-ha-ha!

    In time, Google will come to learn that 'Revellian' is not a typing error.

    Or not. Got a rejection today, always a bit of a downer.

  20. Hey Lexi!

    I see "Comforted by Darkness" made Best Seller status. That is wonderful.

    I have gone through three selections on YWO trying to find something I can say nice things about (geez, that sounds awful, shame on me) and am not sure I can do it. Historical novels where the main character's main challenge is "coming to grips with his homosexuality" and ones about the "most evil classroom" in the world where we are told right of that only half of the kids are evil and the evil they possess is of a remarkably mundane variety are just not making me want to keep reading. Am I getting remarkably cranky or has the overall level of work appearing on YWO gone down in the past several months?

    I did a drawing of a music box carousel horse that I do believe qualifies as one of my wobbliest ever. I'm going to do a teapot next and decide which one to foist off on my unsuspecting public first.

    All the best and congrats once again. Good stuff does finally get rise to the top, don't it?


  21. Sorry about the rejection. I keep all of mine for some perverse reason. Between agents and publishers I think it numbers somewhere around eighty or so. Mostly form letters (or postcards), a few with inserts trying to sell me THEIR BOOK(s), fewer with encouraging notes ("great stuff, I particularly liked....but just don't think I'm the one to sell/publish it") They will all faintly remember their lapse of good sense sometime in the near future and shake their heads sadly over a cup of hemlock.


  22. Thanks Alan.

    I think the standard on YWO goes down with each new wave, but they leave quite soon on the whole. Dud (remember him?) has gone.

    Maybe you should grit your teeth and say nasty things where appropriate?

    You will be toughening the author up for the inevitable rejections heading his way. Of course, the writer will hate you forever and give you eight if he gets the chance...

  23. Sorry about the rejection.

    YWO is not like getting a rejection from a publisher or agent is it? So I have little to gripe about. Still, I got another review from a one day old newbie judging TGOT against literature.

    I feel tougher already! (Pulls kazoo out of back pocket and hums marching band song)

  24. I think it's #, Lexi.

    Now I want to know your real name...

    I think you're all right about the quality taking a dip every now and then on YWO. I know the whole ethos is to help each other out, but I do think writers should make sure they have soemthing that is at least readable before they post. Some of the stuff reads hasty first drafts.

    Or maybe I'm being mean?

  25. I meant 'something'! That'll teach me to slag people off!

  26. Lexi Dick is my real name. Not an asset to an author, I felt.

    Some of the newbies come across as bumptious, all too ready to dismiss others' efforts. After receiving a few reviews on their own work, they tend to become more realistic. So roll on the new rules!