The Good vs. The Bad Rejection Letter

In the age when many agents are moving to the no response is a response model, there is still such a thing as a good rejection. When an agent takes the time to address me by name and use the title of my book in their rejection, I really appreciate it.

This week, I received a lovely rejection, which I’m pasting below minus the agent name and agency.


Dear Ms. Heintz,

Thank you for allowing xxx agency to consider title of your book.

I’m going to pass on taking this on for representation. Though I found much to admire in creativity, after careful consideration I feel that this project is not quite right for the agency. The fiction market is extremely tight these days,  and as much as I did admire it, I can’t say I fell in love with it to the degree I’d need to effectively sell it in today’s difficult book market.

As you know, however, these decisions are highly subjective and another agent or editor may have a completely different opinion from mine.

Again, I thank you for giving xxxx agency the chance to consider this proposal, and I wish you every success with this work.


Coincidentally, I also received “the bad” rejection letter. The letter where they can’t be bothered to make the rejection pleasant. I really hope this is not this agent’s form rejection. Because the tone came across as mean-spirited. And the closing with best wishes felt sarcastic at best.


I read your query describing  your work. I decided it is not a work I want to consider.    
My decision not to ask to read your work is based on my gut reaction.   
Because of the amount of queries I receive,  I make my decision quickly.    
I wish you the best of luck in your search for representation.

With very best wishes,


How do you deal with rejection letters? Do you believe there is such a thing as a good rejection?
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4 Responses to The Good vs. The Bad Rejection Letter

  1. berry says:

    Second agent is an ass. Sorry but it has to be said. What a moron. Hope she’s on the other end someday.

    • I’m pretty befuddled by it. The opening came across rather harsh, but the closing seemed to be an attempt at nice. I receive a good amount of rejections on my queires, but this was definitely a standout in terms of worst rejections ever.

  2. berry says:

    How mean. Needs grammar lesson too.

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