So you worked on a short story and sent it off to a place you deemed worthy of your words. Then, after losing sleep for a few days and checking your email 17,452 times, you received a rejection. You can do two things about that. The first one is take the rejection, revise your work, and submit it elsewhere. Sure, you can be a fucking punk and do that, but you’re not a loser. The second thing, what real writers do, is reply to that stupid editor and let them know what’s what. If you often decide to be a little bitch, stop reading now. If you really care about being a professional, keep reading.
Still here? Awesome! Here’s what you need to do next time you get a rejection:
1. Reply immediately. You don’t want your pain and anger to subside. This editor hurt you and you have to swiftly hurt them back to teach them a lesson. Make sure to get rid of all filters and use all of your frustration to write what you will write. Drag that violent animal screaming nonsense near your heart and let it run free. Let your feelings dictate what you write. Don’t even check your email, just write and write and hit that send button the second you’re done.
2. Stick and stones, remember? You want to make sure this email gets you noticed and, more importantly, makes the editor remember you so that the same thing won’t happen next time you submit. This means you can use words like fucktard and asshole. Let them know how you feel and don’t pull any punches. “I spent four days working on this, you illiterate asshat,” is a superb way to kick things off. Also, if the name doesn’t make it obvious, do a bit of research (always after, never before!) to find out who the editor is and then use that to attack them on a personal level. Remember: a rejection is a very personal attack, an attack against everything you stand for, so deal with it accordingly.
3. Explain your story. The reason most people get rejections is because editors don’t understand their stories. You should always tell editors who reject you that they didn’t get it and then proceed to tell them how fucking amazing your story is and how missing the point is something only a dumbass would do. There is only one way to interpret a narrative, and that’s the author’s way, so give them a thorough explanation so they understand what they missed out on by rejecting your work.
4. Insult their publication. Don’t worry about burning bridges or any of that pussy nonsense: tell it like it is and let them know their rag is not even up to your standards and you only sent them something to help them get some views. Extra points if you can name a story they recently published and tell them how it’s a piece of shit compared to yours.
5. Mention all previous publications. Some editors don’t know who you are (I know, that’s incredible, but it is what it is!), so include a copy of your CV in the email. This will help them see how wrong they were and how many other great editors dig what you do.
6. If you can find the editor on Facebook, send them a friend request. When they accept, send them a message calling them something horrible and then unfriend them. Asshole editor - 0 You - 1
7. If the publication has a Facebook page, drop a few nasty comments on their posts. You don’t want them to think you’re the kind of coward who gets rejected and whimpers away to lick the wounds; you want them to know they messed with the wrong writer.
8. Wait a few days and submit something different to the same publication. Then, once you’re sure they’ve seen it but right before they have a chance to send you an acceptance, pull the story. That’ll teach them!
9. Get on Facebook and rant angrily about the rejection. Fellow writers need to know which editors suck and everyone should be aware of the serious issues affecting your life and mood at the moment. Remember: the longer and angrier the post, the more likes it will get.
10. Simultaneously submit the story to seventeen venues without revising. Face it: you’re an awesome writer and there’s no way in hell that story could be better.
There you have it! Good luck with your next submission and always keep in mind that you’re a mind-bogglingly good writer and anyone who doesn’t think so deserves to die.