9 Funniest Rejections of All Time

07/04/2016 09:44 am ET Updated Jul 05, 2016

You know what they say about comedy coming from deep pain. That’s I why I laugh at rejections. Below are my seven top funny rejections. Be on the look out for these standbys; they may show up in your “in box”!

  1. The rejection used to repair furniture

“When my office was moved yesterday, your enclosed manuscript emerged from underneath my desk. I am sorry.”

Hey, it's okay to use my manuscript to prop up your desk!

  1. The rejection for something you did not even write

“Thanks so much for being kind enough to return the errant manuscript you received from us. We're thinking perhaps one of your envelopes attached itself to the wrong manuscript.”

  1. The rejection for a fan letter sent to a favorite author

A friend of mine wrote a fan letter to author E.L. Konigsburg, and got it back from the publisher – rejected.

  1. The one-minute-per-book rejection

I once had ten picture book manuscripts rejected in ten minutes over the telephone – an all-time record!

  1. The disappearing book rejection

My friend, Jack, flew to Chicago to do a signing for his new book. When he arrived, he discovered the publisher had sent another author’s books by mistake. The title they sent? The Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were.

  1. The-editor-changes-her-name rejection

Recently I got an email from an editor interested in acquiring a manuscript.

“I am so excited about your story!” she gushed. “Please make suggested revisions and send back right away.” She signed the email, “Warmly, Mags.” She remained “Mags” – until she turned down the revision. Then she became a very frosty “Margaret.”

  1. The Holiday gift rejection

Editors like to clean out their desks before the holidays, so prepare for a special surprise.

  1. The writers-don’t-do-anything rejection

This rejection comes from astute readers at an author visit to an elementary school.

Child #1: Do you draw the pictures for your book?

Me: No.

Child #2: Do you glue the covers on?

Me: No.

Child # 3: Do you make all the copies yourself?                                      

Me: Not exactly…

Child #4 (puzzled) What, exactly, do you do?

Me: !!!

  1. My favorite rejection

My favorite funny rejection came from my daughter, who was six at the time. She walked into my office holding a piece of paper. “Look, Mommy, I can read!” she said proudly.

“Dear Pamela,” she began, sounding out the words, “I am sorry to say I cannot evaluate any new manuscripts for the next six months . . .”

Laughing at rejections is good therapy and when you get an acceptance, you will definitely get the last laugh.

Pamela Jane is a children’s book author, and coauthor of Pride and Prejudice and Kitties: A Cat-Lover’s Romp Through Jane Austen’s Classic  Her new memoir, An Incredible Talent for Existing: A Writer’s Story which Story Circle called “a fine, five star read” has recently been published. Follow her on twitter @austencats.

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