Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

A Writer’s First Rejection


This week I received my first rejection.  The envelope was thick so my first thought was, it’s a contract!  For a moment, my heart was racing as I pictured my story in the magazine.  I tore open the envelope and realized the reason it was thick.  The envelope contained my story.  I was unaware it would be returned by the magazine, obviously I’m still a rookie.

Along with my story was a brief cover letter.  When I say brief, I’m talking two sentences.  There was no explanation as to why the story wasn’t accepted for publication only that it had been declined.

This might be hard to believe, but I was happy. I’ve heard of famous authors with drawers stuffed with rejection letters, so I felt I had been initiated as a writer.  I knew the story was good because it had been published in another magazine it just wasn’t a fit for this magazine.

For me, rejection will always be part of a writer’s life and thick skin is a must.  In time, I’ll learn not to take rejection or critical comments personally.  Not everyone is going to like my writing and the negative comments will only make me grow as a writer.

So what did I do after putting my first rejection letter into my desk drawer?  I got on my laptop and started a new story to submit to the same magazine.  It might take one year or five years but I will be published in that magazine because I won’t stop submitting until I am.


Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, published by Harlequin Love Inspired released on February 21, 2017 and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

9 thoughts on “A Writer’s First Rejection

  1. That’s a wonderful attitude to have, I’ll have to try to cultivate it for the future!


  2. That’s the best attitude a writer can have; back to butt in chair. 🙂


  3. I often reply to these types of posts by saying: Please don’t think of it in terms of “They didn’t like my writing.”

    They probably thought your writing was excellent. It may have simply been a heavy month for submission… or they may have accepted a similar piece the day before… or perhaps it wasn’t what they were looking for thematically or story wise…

    I’m sure you’ve read published stories/articles you did not like or find interesting. Now imagine you are the editor of that magazine. It’s very likely you would have rejected that story because it didn’t personally appeal you you, no matter how well written it was. This is a highly subjective “business,” if one can call it that.

    Good luck with your next creation. I’ll bet that one gets in!


  4. The bad news is you got rejected. The good news is you have a place to publish it right here if you choose or if it is long enough self-publish on Kindle. As Eric said, the rejection may or not be made on the writing. It could be some of the reasons he mentioned, or they just did not even read it at all. Who knows? Who cares? Definitely do not look at it as being “rejected” or being a “failure”. Get your story out there and before long, they will come to you wanting you to write something for them. That is the beauty of the Internet and the world we live in today. Now is the best time ever to be a writer. Don’t let your story sit in a drawer just because some magazine did not want it. Share it with the world!


    • Thanks, Doug. I appreciate your comment and respect your opinion. I’m not sure if I’m brave enough, at least at this point, to post my stories here. I’m still getting comfortable with sending my writing to strangers, but I am a firm believer of “never say never.”


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