Just received another rejection. Funny how the word “unfortunately” leaps out from the page and smacks you square in the face. But not all rejections are equal; some qualify as what I call “the A1 Rejection”, and what better to illustrate my point than to include the actual text (pertinent details have been omitted to protect the agent’s identity):
Thank you so much for sending a sample of [novel title] for my consideration. Unfortunately, I’m very sad to say that I’ll have to respectfully decline your invitation to see more. You deserve nothing less than a passionate advocate for your work and I simply did not connect with the voice here enough to pursue this project further. You’re a very skilled writer and all I can do is encourage you to keep writing and keep searching for a publishing home. And, of course, thank you for reaching out to share your story.
As you can see, this was not just another “we’re sorry but” form rejection letter. It was personal, flattering, and contained plenty of encouragement. This goes up there as a fantastic example of an A1 Rejection; the kind of rejection that makes you want to put your head down and write five more novels just for the hell of it.
Of course there is the cynical voice inside one’s head that says “but this was just another form letter, cleverly worded to make you think it was written specifically for you.” And that may very well be true; but I like to eat my rejections with a nice dollop of optimism (preferably chocolate flavour).
And so rejection #5 is filed away for posterity.