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Thursday, May 07, 2009


Oh How I Hate Rejection, But The Letter Was Great!

The other day, I came upon Sue Shellenbarger's April 29th article in the Wall Street Journal (, and it got me thinking - could writing rejection letters not always be a hard thing to do? Could there be a genuine, heartfelt, and polite rejection letter that merits a reposting online? Could there actually be a way to write a humorous mock rejection letter too?

To me, it sounds like both are possible. For the first question, several of these college rejection letters read with a heart and a look to a bright future, with the adage that it does not matter where you go, you will find an intellectual home and that home will be better because of you. In a society where we watch many of the younger generations going into the "I am always a winner; I am special" mentality, it is good to see that while some schools are super sensitive, a lot of these letters are realistic too; some students just do not fit what the school is looking for and/or is not up to the working ability expected. Rejection stinks, whether it is from an editor, a potential employer, or from a college, but we live in a world where it is both a possibility and a necessity.

That said, however, there could be some free-writes of humorous rejection letters, most of which none of us would probably send without a contest for them. Imagine writing a rejection letter to a pair of shoes you opt not to buy or discard, or to an attractive actor or celebrity, or better yet, to a luxury car you'd never afford or to a food you find absolutely not to be in agreement with your palate. To me, it sounds like there could be some creativity emerging from rejection. Next time, look at it as a time to first mourn the rejection, then a time to get out a pen and paper and go through the process of trying a creative spin on a rejection, whether turning it back on the employer/editor/boyfriend etc., or just going and ixnaying something else. Let me know if it makes it a little better for you!


Blogger Kerrie said...

This is so timely. I recently got one that used a word I would NEVER have put in a rejection letter to someone who submitted a personal piece of writing. It stung, but I guess that's part of life.

8:11 PM  

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