Today we’re returning to rejections, but we’re gonna have a little fun with it. If you’ve been submitting your work for any length of time, you’ve likely accumulated a bunch of form rejections, and you’ve no doubt recognized common phrases that appear in these rejections. So let’s play a little game, and see how long it takes to get a Rejection Bingo!
Before we get started, a little disclaimer/info. Editors use these phrases because they send out a lot of rejections, and they need a boilerplate template to save time. That’s a good thing because it generally means every writer gets a response to their submission. Plus, honestly, these phrases often are a good and gentle way to communicate the no. Keep in mind a boilerplate rejection does NOT mean the editor is not being sincere or they didn’t like the story. In fact, some of the phrases below often indicate a higher-tier rejection and/or even a short-list rejection.
Okay, with that out of the way, here’s the card (in standard manuscript format, of course). The card has 25 common form rejections phrases, so over the next week or month or whatever see if you can get a Rejection Bingo. Feel free to fudge the phrases a bit. For example, if you get a rejection that says “Elected not to publish,” go ahead and count that as a “Decided not to publish.” This is just for fun, after all. Finally, yes, it is absolutely possible to fill up more than one space on the card with a single rejection. In fact, I have one old rejection that would almost get me a bingo all by itself. 🙂
Did I miss any good/common phrases for my rejection bingo card? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll consider an edit.