How to Handle Rejection as a Writer: Say Thank You

I know this sounds a bit pathetic or possibly even demeaning. Can I possibly mean that you should actually thank an editor for rejecting your piece?

Well, sort of. Don’t thank them for rejecting it. Thank the editor for reading your submission and for taking the time to e-mail you back even though he/she is probably overworked and underpaid.

If you received a reply within a few hours or days of sending your query, then treat the editor like a god.

Personal Rejections

If you didn’t get a form letter, that’s a good sign! Read what the editor tells you, take it to heart, and save that message so you can refer back to it every time you query that magazine or one like it.

Suck It Up

Writers need to develop thick skin and get used to rejection. You will never write for any sustained period of time if you don’t know how to take a textual punch. They come fast and often some days.

Saying thank you has a way of keeping yourself positive and showing the editor that you aren’t fazed by the rejection—which you shouldn’t. The next time you send a query to this editor you’ll start on much better terms than if you’d pouted or offered a rebuttal to his/her rejection.

Even if you think the editor is out to lunch, you need to move on. Whether or not you ever query this editor again, you can’t argue your way into convincing an editor to accept your work. I know, I was awesome at convincing my mom to buy me legos and ice cream, but really, it doesn’t work on editors.


You can be grateful that this rejection is not the end, but just the closing of one of many paths. There are other magazines where you can send your query or article, so get moving.

2 thoughts on “How to Handle Rejection as a Writer: Say Thank You

  1. Thanks for this advice. I’m currently editing my own WIP and guess I’m hoping for few rejections, even though I am gearing myself up for many. To be thick skinned is something I need to become. Fast.

    CJ xx


  2. Maybe you can send some short stories into magazines to build up some credits and to work on facing editors? Thanks for the comment.


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