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Beginning Writer Tips - How to respond to a rejection letter

Although in many ways, I'm still a novice writer, I've been rejected enough times to be an expert on rejection. So how should you respond to a rejection letter? That's easy—don't.

If your goal is to argue with the publisher until they change their mind and accept your submission, know that in the history of publishing, that has never ever happened. Publishers receive a lot of good material every day, far too much for them to possibly use. They're not going to go back and reconsider something they've decided to pass on. They don't have the time or inclination to argue about it, and if you establish yourself as an author that's difficult to work with, they'll start rejecting your submissions without even reading them.

But what if you just want to thank the publisher for some feedback they've offered? If a publisher has taken the time to give you personalized feedback, that's great. It's a sign they feel you're a good enough writer for them to spend some time on in the hope that your next submission will be what they're looking for. But don't take up more of their time by sending them a thank you note. Most publishers are not really set up to engage in a dialog with a submitting author. They just don't have the time. Thank them by sending them a better submission. Publishers that have given me personal feedback always get early preference when I have a new story ready to submit.

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