4 ways to survive rejection


After winning the Creative Print Publishing competition last year, I felt that I was finally noticed as an author. So I finished my next novel in time for a second competition, hoping for a cash prize as well as publication.

Instead I received a rejection. After feeling sorry for myself, I reread the judges’ advice—too much repeated repetition, prolifically included additional words, and confusing points of view. (The judges gave specific examples of these.) Though I felt disappointed, the comments will make my book easier to read, with a smoother flow and better chance of publication.

Tips on handling rejection:

1. Don’t take it personal

Nobody rejects your book because they don’t like you personally. Well, maybe some people do, but cry it out and work at getting thicker skin. You won’t last without it.

2. Use the specific advice

As long as you get more than the “Dear Author” rejection, read it carefully and make the changes throughout your work. Don’t just fix the mistake on page three—look for it elsewhere and annihilate it.

(If you do receive the “Dear Author” rejection, at least pride yourself in the fact that someone thinks you are one.)

3. Don’t take one person’s opinion on it

If you feel that you received a wrongful rejection, check with others to confirm. Obviously, don’t check with those who always side with you, as that just keeps you from listening to the truth.

4. Try again

You may want to take a little time off after a rejection, but don’t quit. Set a date and mark it on your calendar for when you will begin again. If nothing else, keep going to spite those who criticized your work.


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