What bestseller would you have rejected? Now is your chance!

Publish date:

In our March/April issue, which hits newsstands Feb. 23, we feature a new call to arms: Reject a Hit.

While combing through our dusty archives for the 90 Secrets of Bestselling Authors feature that ran in our 90th anniversary issue, WD Editor Jessica Strawser stumbled upon a series of funny and intriguing rejection letters of yesteryear—which generated an idea.

Every so often, you hear about how the latest book was rejected countless times before it sold a gazillion copies and sprung up on every type of “–seller” list known to man. So let’s step into the role of the unconvinced, perhaps even curmudgeonly editor: What harsh rejection letters might the authors of some of our favorite books—be them legendary or contemporary—have had to endure?

Humorously reject a hit in 400 words or fewer and send your piece to wdsubmissions@fwmedia.com with “InkWell: Reject a Hit” in the subject line, or post it here. Some of our favorites could appear in a future issue of WD.

Behold, for instance, this troubling letter (featured in the upcoming magazine), discovered in a fictional steamer trunk in the attic of our archives:

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Also, registration is now open for the Writer’s Digest Editors' Intensive that takes place March 13-14 at our headquarters in Cincinnati. The event features a full day of workshops, Q&As, info on approaching and querying literary agents and publishers, info about building blogs and using social media, and a reception. Perhaps the coolest feature: Each attendee also gets a one-on-one critique with an editor regarding the first 50 pages of his/her manuscript. Click here to learn more – hope to see you there!


Feel free to send your piece to wdsubmissions@fwmedia.com or post your response (400 words or fewer) in the Comments section below. By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our occasional around-the-office swag drawings (next one: Friday). If you’re having trouble with the captcha code sticking and you’d like your story to appear here, make a note of that and e-mail your story to the submissions address, and I’ll make sure it gets up.

Reject a hit!

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