You be the editor - Reject a hit book for a chance at publication in Writer's Digest

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Nearly all writers know rejection. All too well.

Rejection happens—there are only so many slots in a publication/press lineup every year, and there are innumerable reasons any article/book might not be a good fit for a venue (e.g., the 2,000-or-so-word narrative style movie review I submitted early in my college career to a weekly specializing in 300-word movie reviews). But every so often, from Dubliners to Dune, you hear the backstory on a wildly popular—and often great—book that was rejected innumerable times before it found an outlet and scaled the bestseller lists. (Which can help the rest of us rejection recipients take heart, right?)

Which led us to wonder: What might some of the more absurd rejection letters for our favorite hit books have looked like? Earlier this year, we invited readers to play the role of the curmudgeonly editor and humorously Reject a Hit in 400 words or fewer for a shot at being published in WD magazine. Our first official reader-submitted letter is currently in our July/August issue (an editor who was less than impressed with Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, from its “marauding creatures” to its abandoned “latch-key children”).

Now, the submission doors are open, and we’re checking out pieces for consideration in future issues.

Want to be the one doing the rejecting?

Reject a hit in 400 words or fewer and send your piece to with “InkWell: Reject a Hit” in the subject line. (For a look at our initial call, which features a sample fantasy rejection letter, click here.)

A regular writing prompt—a photo prompt by request—follows below.

Happy writing/rejecting!


WRITING PROMPT: The View From Above

free to take the following photo prompt home or post a
response (500
words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below.
By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our
occasional around-the-office swag drawings.
you’re having trouble with the
captcha code sticking, e-mail your piece and the prompt to me at, with “Promptly” in the subject line, and I’ll
make sure it gets up.

Image placeholder title


feature package on how to write and sell your
memoir. Interviews with Life of Pi author Yann Martel, and
the scribe behind “True Blood,” Charlaine Harris. The results of our
Pop Fiction competition. New markets for your work. For more, click

here to check the July/August 2010 issue of WD out.


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