Can someone explain why a rejection written on a full sheet of paper would feel more acceptable to a writer than one written on a half-sheet or even a quarter-sheet? I’m not being my usual smart*** self here: I really want to know, because I keep seeing angry posters complaining about paper scrotum sizes. Is there a pecking order here–a full-sheet reject is higher status than a half-sheet? Is the worst rejection the size of a cookie fortune?

As a sidenote: there is no bigger rejection than asking a popular girl to prom and have her laugh in your face. Cheerleaders don’t use paper, and there’s no good way to write “ha-ha” with the same derisive inflection.

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6 Responses to Rejectomancy

  1. newport2newport says:

    It’s diversionary, isn’t it? Methinks it’s all about the rejectee trying to take the sting out of the rejection by pointing out something “bad”/”in poor form” about the rejector.

    (Think: I’m like rubber, you’re like glue…)

    My pop psychology, for what it’s worth.


  2. alixwrites says:

    I don’t know about whole or half sheets, but I did once receive a rejection letter from a California agent, which was on a full sheet of paper, but which looked like it had been copied 500 times, possibly on an old-time mimeograph machine. It was gray and had spots and looked like the court documents my law firm (at the time) used in asbestos cases, which dated back to the 1930’s and had been used in hundreds of cases.

    I mean, didn’t the woman own a printer? Couldn’t she print out a new copy and start fresh? Was it really important to her that aspiring authors feel especially bad about her rejection, because it wasn’t even worth her secretary’s time to make a new copy every month or so?

    Years later, someone (someone published and, therefore, desirable to an agent) was asking about this agent on a message board I’m on, and I did have to say that, while I didn’t know her, I thought she wasn’t incredibly careful about the impression she made. And I think agents should be. Mine certainly is.

    On the other side of the coin, I once got a rejection that looked like a printed Christmas card — beautiful paper and embossed. And you know what? I don’t even remember who it was from. But I sure remember the ugly one!


  3. davidlubar says:

    The smaller the sheet, the harder it is to thoroughly wipe yourself.


  4. thunderchikin says:

    True. But the larger sheets are more prone to leave paper cuts.


  5. thunderchikin says:

    I think I got that same rejection letter!


  6. thunderchikin says:

    Not the Christmas card, either.


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