What to do when you get a rejection letter

There have been many articles written about how now-famous authors received not just dozens, but hundreds (or thousands, even!) of rejection letters. I got one yesterday and actually felt good about it. Really. Here it is:


Thank you for submitting your manuscript, and for your patience during the assessment period. Unfortunately, we cannot offer to publish your manuscript.

There is much to commend in your novel, and your writing is not without merit. However, as a small publishing imprint, we only manage to publish twelve to fifteen titles per year and consequently stay close to our mandate. Regrettably, your manuscript does not meet these criteria and therefore does not suit our publication lists, at present.

Once again, thank you for your submission. We wish you all the best with your writing endeavours.


It’s truly funny. Because I haven’t written a novel my whole life. I submitted a poetry manuscript. Gatekeepers don’t have to be literate, it seems. I had my laugh, now to send the manuscript off elsewhere. That’s how it spins.

About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. His latest book is BLOODRED DRAGONFLIES, published by Deep South in South Africa. Check out the official blog page for Bloodred Dragonflies. In 2011 the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in Manila released BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN (poems in Filipino) and ALIEN TO ANY SKIN (poems in English). The same publisher released his most recent poetry collections SOUND BEFORE WATER and KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN. In 2015 a new poetry collection in English, A THOUSAND EYES was released. His first collection of short stories in Filipino, SANGA SA BASANG LUPA, was released in 2016. UK publisher The Onslaught Press launches his poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. San Anselmo Publications released HOW TO MAKE A SALAGUBANG HELICOPTER & OTHER POEMS in 2019 followed by CROCODILES IN BELFAST & OTHER POEMS in 2020 - both books can be purchased through their Facebook page. View all posts by matangmanok

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