Author Ellen Jackson

Rejection Letters

All writers get rejection letters. Iím very proud of mine. My book CINDER EDNA has now sold more than 150,000 hardcover copies and is still going strong. The book has won many awards and has even been featured in a short film. I receive many letters from children telling me how much they like CINDER EDNA.

CINDER EDNA was rejected more than forty times before it was accepted for publication. Below are some quotes from the rejection letters I received:


Dear Ms. Jackson,

As much as I appreciate the humor in CINDER EDNA, the story is a spoof that would not be appreciated by children. I may be wrong, of course, and another publisher may feel differently about it. The manuscript is returned herewith.


Famous Editor


Dear Ellen Jackson:

Thank you for your submission. I wish I could reward your patience with some good news, but unfortunately Iím returning your manuscript with regrets. I can recognize the humor in this, but the feeling is a bit too coy and arch for my tastes, Iím afraid.


Not-So-Famous Editor


Dear Ellen,

I am sorry to report that XXXXX Press will not be taking CINDER EDNA. This just missed for us. I am enclosing some of the comments in hopes they may help you:

"Perhaps this can be fixed, but I found myself waiting for the BIG laughĖI did snicker more than once."

"A little self-righteous..."

"The story strained too hard for the humor..."


Another Well-Known Editor


"These kinds of fairy tales have been terribly overdone..."

Executive Editor

Large Publishing House


"What I decided was that funny as the book is, itís really very sophisticated, of more appeal to adults really than to little kids..."

Unknown Editor

Mid-size Publishing House


"We are not convinced that this would have enough lasting value to succeed as a hardcover picture book. It strikes us more as a magazine piece."


Small Publisher


"Although the idea is good, the presentation is somewhat didactic..."

Initials Only

Another Small Publisher


"Some of this is contrived, and there are unanswered questions inherent."


NOTE TO WRITERS: I am NOT saying that you should continue to send out a manuscript until the paper turns to dust. Use your best judgment. Editors are human beings who have their own tastes and prejudices. Give their comments a fair hearing. But if YOU like the manuscript, don't give up.