Most of us writers have received rejection letters at one point or another in our writing career (I’ve certainly received my fair share, that’s for sure). But what if we could turn the tables a bit and pretend to be an editor that rejects a bestselling novel or famous author?
Writer’s Digest’s Reject-a-Hit free writing contest encourages you to do just that. Recently, writer Matthew Lauser took a stab at it and wrote this brilliant rejection of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park. (If you have a great idea for a bestseller that needs rejecting, write it up and submit it to us following the guidelines below.)
Reject-a-Hit: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
spoof-rejected BY MATTHEW LAUSER
January 10, 1989
Dear Mr. Crichton,
After consulting our marketing group, my crystal globe and several palm readers, I have decided to send you a nice rejection letter. You can add it to your collection, which is no doubt quite large and varied.
Jurassic Park has promise, I’ll give you that; however, the main problem I see with it is that the dinosaurs have muscle and skin on them. You must realize that our standard target audience is going to expect a bunch of bones, not monstrous beasts that run around eating people. Can you imagine the uproar it would cause if we, a respectable publishing company, put out a book with such revolting content?
That brings me to my second concern, which is that the whole story is presented as fact. As you probably know, Prehistoric Press is dedicated to the publication of informational books about dinosaurs and other ancient flora. If we were to publish Triassic Park, there would be widespread panic and disorder, especially among parents of small children in Costa Rica. Since none of them will have heard of these events, the government will be implicated in a cover-up conspiracy, and what could very well follow is an uprising. Do you want to be responsible for a war? We don’t.
Cretaceous Park might be picked up by a small publisher of cheap
horror stories. If not, your best bet is self-publishing, and selling it to family and friends only. You’ll probably end up with a similarly small print run either way.
On the bright side, your character development is quite good. Put the same characters in a true story about fossilized skeletons, and we might be able to do business.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: If you have an idea, write one for us! Channel the most clueless of editors by humorously rejecting a hit in 300 words or fewer. Then, submit your letter via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Reject a Hit” in the subject line.