Skip to main content

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

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 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:

Image placeholder title

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 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!

Adalyn Grace: On Writing for Escape

Adalyn Grace: On Writing for Escape

New York Times bestselling author Adalyn Grace discusses combining her favorite genres into her new YA fantasy novel, Belladonna.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Our September/October Cover Reveal, a Competition Deadline Reminder, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce our September/October 2022 cover, a competition deadline reminder, and more!

Writing Nonfiction History vs. Historical Fiction

Writing Nonfiction History vs. Historical Fiction

Author John Cameron discusses how nonfiction history and historical fiction are more similar than they are different.

Bob Eckstein | Publishing Survival Tips

Top 10+ Survival Tips for Publishing

Poignant advice from some of the funniest people in publishing.

Zac Bissonnette: On the Passionate Community of Mystery Lovers

Zac Bissonnette: On the Passionate Community of Mystery Lovers

New York Times bestselling author Zac Bissonnette discusses the process of writing his new cozy mystery, A Killing in Costumes.

My Long, Winding, and Very Crooked Writing Journey

My Long, Winding, and Very Crooked Writing Journey

Every writer’s publishing story is different. Here, author Sharon M. Peterson shares her journey from writing to publishing.

Jeff Adams | Writer's Digest Indie Author Spotlight

Jeff Adams: Publishing Advice for Indie Authors

In this Indie Author Profile, romance novelist Jeff Adams shares his path to independent publishing and his advice for others considering that path.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia | Writer's Digest July/Aug 2022

The WD Interview: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The bestselling author of Mexican Gothic shares her approach to world-building, character development, and what she’s learned about the business of writing in this interview from the July/August 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

9 Pros and Cons of Writing a Newsletter

9 Pros and Cons of Writing a Newsletter

Thinking of starting your own newsletter? Let freelance writer Sian Meades-Williams lay out 9 pros and cons of writing a newsletter.