Journal Entry: Publisher Rejection Letters

Journal entry, 28 Messidor 223: Minotaur commanded Mr. Cornwall today to publish on this informal electronic newspaper/diary some of the “most devastating” phrases from the rejection letters Minotaur has received from publishers over the last several decades. It is unclear why Minotaur wants this done–it seems the result will be to embarrass him. Perhaps this is a way of trying to purge his demons and move on. Making the selection was difficult for Cornwall, since Minotaur has submitted thousands of manuscripts for pamphlets, monographs, novels, brochures, hymnals, anthologies, magazine and newspaper articles, broadsides, and other print media. It appears that perhaps only about five of his works have ever appeared in print (outside of published judicial opinions). In the instances where he was published, it was probably because the publisher was under the mistaken belief (probably planted by Minotaur) that Minotaur was either a justice of the United States Supreme Court or a visitor from another planet. Here, then, are some of the choicest nuggets from the huge treasure trove of rejection letters. Publisher names have not been included (Minotaur doesn’t want to alienate them, as he continues to submit several manuscripts each week).

“As a publisher of medical textbooks, we were not looking for a prequel to Beowulf.

“Unfortunately, good writing typically goes beyond making a list of verbs used in the martial arts.”

“In a 1400-page novel, we would expect more character development on the protagonist than to merely learn on page 1342 that his mother was a Nepalese anchoress. If you resubmit, please also give him a name other than Tonald Tuck–maybe it was clever the first time, but by the end of the book (really after about page 4) we wanted to kill you.”

“It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

“Your disquisition on admiralty law will probably be lost on the kindergartners to whom the book is supposedly directed.”

“You will recall that after your last submission—the daily desk calendar titled Stalin’s Breakfasts—we asked you to stop submitting to us.”

“We have reason to believe that our audience is not interested in a history of different salves.”

“It was not credible to us that your encounter with the diabetic leprechaun had actually occurred.”

“We tried your recipe for ‘hiker’s granola’ and ended up with a rapidly growing blue paste that appears to be immortal.”

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2 thoughts on “Journal Entry: Publisher Rejection Letters

  1. I have been reading about WW I and I have a keen interest in the history of the salves – – – previously found in three of the smaller countries of Central Europe that did not survive the Paris Peace Treaty of 1919. I am therefore disappointed that your offered publication was apparently rejected. Your article may have been rejected but the world will find that ethnic ties run deep and the descendants of the salves are likely to appear again in the future!

  2. It is for that which of to whom you speak! The publisher I mean. For them I address and to them I focus my speaking. LISTEN to the Justice. HEAR the Justice. The Justice wind blows loud and strong. Take it in. Open your dumb sails. If you close against him you will be the loser. And if you are the loser all of the society too for not to have his books.

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