Rejection Remedies

by Clare Langley-Hawthorne

An article in this Saturday’s Melbourne newspaper The Age on ‘the upside of being turned down‘ brought a smile to my face. It reminded me (as if I needed a reminder) of the universal truth in publishing that nothing is ever as dreadful (or as inevitable) as the ‘R’ word – Rejection. For authors it is a fact of life. What drew a smile was one of the ‘rejection remedies’ the article proposed, namely submission to the Journal of Universal Rejection, where your work is guaranteed to be rejected, thereby bringing some sanity to the whole crazy publishing process.

I looked up the Journal of Universal Rejection online ( and here are some of benefits of submitting to them:
  • You can send your manuscript there without suffering waves of anxiety regarding the eventual fate of your submission. You know with 100% certainty that it will not be accepted for publication.
  • There are no page fees.
  • You may claim to have submitted to the most prestigious journal (judged by acceptance rate)
  • The JofUR is a one-of-a-kind. Merely submitting work to it may be considered a badge of honor.
  • Decision are often (though not always) rendered within hours of submission.
The instructions for authors also made me chuckle. I particularly liked the statement that: “Rejection will follow as swiftly as a bird dropping from a great height after being struck by a stone. At other times rejection may languish like your email buried in the Editor-in-Chief’s inbox. But it will come, swift or slow, as surely as death. Rejection.

They also reprint some of their rejection letters on their blog🙂

For any writer, rejection is par for the course, but also the path to ultimate success. The only way to avoid rejection is take no risks and make no attempt to get published. But if you want to pursue your dream of being a published writer, rejection is inevitable (so why not enjoy submitting to a place where it is guaranteed!) What I liked was the fact that there are some out there willing to see an upside to rejection – who embrace it – and make us laugh.

So what remedies do you have for rejection?

14 thoughts on “Rejection Remedies

  1. Pretty amusing, Clare. I think. Sort of like signing up for a dating service that guarantees you won’t get asked to meet?

    I do like what Jacqueline Briskin once said. “Let rejection hurt for an hour, no more. Then get back to your typewriter.”

  2. Wonderful reminder that some people can even turn rejection into a cause for laughter.
    By the way, the link to their blog has an extra “http” in it.

  3. I try to look at all those authors whose book became a smashing success after numerous rejections —

    just read Kathryn Stockett (The Help) was rejected 60 times —

    the movie comes out this August 🙂

  4. This is great. I love that it takes away the anxiety of waiting for a decision.

    How do I handle rejection? Chocolate, of course.

  5. This is great. I love that it takes away the anxiety of waiting for a decision.

    How do I handle rejection? Chocolate, of course.

  6. Get started on the next book right away, and send that rejected manuscript off to another editor. If you keep it around long enough, editors play musical chairs and you can resubmit it to another editor at the same house.

  7. I used to have a rejection ritual of reading them and shredding them to expunge the negativity from my house.

    After I sold, I had an opportunity to send out my own rejection letters to say my books were off the table on outstanding proposals. Don’t you know that even after I sent out those letters, I STILL got rejections from some of those companies.


  8. I usually start with a “no way!”, then move on to, “Oh, no!” I frown for a while, call a writer friend or two to commiserate, then decide the rejection is only one “no” closer to a yes.

    You just keep plugging away . . .

  9. I just imagine myself years from now, when everyone assumes I had always been successful.

    “What Basil? Man I wish I could be like him, a best seller from day one.”

    Oh course few of them will be aware that the first bestseller came on the back of the huge backlist of titles that never got off the ground in the good old days.

    But that’s fine with me.

    I’ve got more plots and stories in the queue than I have years to write them. One of’ems gonna be hit then it’s to the stars from there.

    Here’s to success…eventually.

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