Song Writers Block

If you’ve ever submitted an article or short story for publication, you’ve probably received a rejection letter or two. Most are quite brief and often an obvious form letter. Here’s how to respond.

Dear ______, Thank you for your letter rejecting my submission. I have received rejections from an unusually large number of popular publications. With such a wide and promising spectrum of rejections, it’s impossible for me to consider them all. After careful deliberation, and because a number of publications have found me more unsuitable, I regret to inform you that I’m unable to accept your rejection. However, circumstances do change and I will keep your letter on file in case my requirements for rejection change.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the editor in charge of word count is Sarah Josepha Hale Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

It had been a long, frustrating day.

Marvin’s talent for creating timeless melodies and unforgettable lyrics had garnered dozens of awards and led to worldwide fame. The walls of his studio were covered with gold records and plaques commemorating his success writing soundtracks for movies and television shows.

Why was he struggling so with this song?

The melody came easy. It was clever, catchy, and simplistic in nature.

Yet for some reason, he just couldn’t find the right word to complete the opening line.

Mary had a little fish

Mary had a little turtle

 Mary had little poodle

75 Comments on “Song Writers Block

  1. Dear Marvin,

    I’m going to copy and print that rejection of rejection letter. Might be one of your best brain storms next to your tag removal alarm system. The letter is a great way to handle rejection. You might try Mary had a little roast beef and spam with toasted bread and Jam. Of course, in the end it’s your decision. Back to scrubbing the house for incoming out of town guests, who, no doubt will come sporting white mime gloves.


    Sarah Josepha Hale W(T)F

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dear Sarah Josepha Hale W(T)F,

      In light of all the recent theivery, I’m thinking of starting Marvin’s Tag Security business offering 24 hour protection against mime home invasions. The monthly rate includes twelve artificial Do-Not-Remove tags to confuse any pilfering mime, and an All-Bran box descretly filled with Kellog’s Honey Smacks cereal (55,6% sugar).

      Lowry did find a small white glove at a crime scene last week. There were purple stains on the glove that appear to be caused by red wine. No surprise there. Film at eleven.

      Happy scrubbing,

      Liked by 2 people

    • Well, fortunately it was a small wart. Still, everyone is clamoring to see it. No wonder she was so popular at school that day.

      As for the cheque, do you spell C.E. with one T or two?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent rejection rejection letter… when I a ready to submit and receive my own share of rejection, I shall surely follow your lead.
    As for the song…lemme see… Mary had a little horse, yes of course, yes of course…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m definitely using that rejection letter. I hope you don’t mind if I print off 100 copies. And I can help with that song. Clearly it’s: “Mary had a lof spam. Her email box was really full…”

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I loooove that rejection letter! It’s pitch perfect! Fancy being my PA, sending those out to all the publications that consider rejecting me? And may I suggest Marvin go with Moose? 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I can’t see you getting rejection letters, Lynn. Your writing is so smooth and descriptive–soft and creamy as butter.

      As for the lyrics, Moose sounds like something the Canuck would say. We have to be careful about copyright infringement, especially when dealing with Canadians.


      • Ah, thank you Russell, though of course I get as many rejections as the next writer – more rejections than acceptances, sadly, but such is the way of things.
        And you’re right, you have to watch out for those Canadians – troublesome bunch 🙂


  5. Currently awaiting the latest flurry of rejection letters to flood in. I shall be copying and pasting your response. As for Mary, an invisible box perhaps?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Excellent idea, Iain. The operative word in that song lyric is HAD. She HAD an invisibe box until that naughty mime, Shelley, stole it. Poor Mary. Where’s detective Lowry when you need him?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A great rejection letter — but I wonder if it would get past the gatekeeper?
    A person just needs the right attitude. In the book, The Rejected Writers Book Club, the recipients of rejection letters threw a party for every one that arrived. (It was hilarious, by the way.)

    Mary had a little mime might work. But it might irk, too. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  7. “Mary had an orange President, and then they chucked him out.” A girl can be hopeful, can’t she?

    I have not been submitting for fear of rejection letters but with a rejection of rejection letter like yours, I think I will be iron-clad against rejection. Thanks Russell 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I hate it when “that perfect word” just won’t rise to the top. I’m sure Marvin will figure it out. Perhaps he’ll read this post and sift through the many excellent ideas.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Let’s hope so. Sometimes throwing it out there and getting some fresh ideas can get a writer off high-center. The folks in my writers group have saved my bacon many times with their great suggestions.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Love your rejection rejection letter, and Marvin’s dilemma. Perhaps he’s trying too hard. Maybe he should go away and write another blockbuster film score before coming back to this one 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  10. This Mary, is it the contrary one or the bloody one? I can’t keep up with them all but crocodile should cover both of them, Mary had a little crocodile, it’s teeth were in the sharp style, and everywhere Mary went, it caused carnage for mile after mile.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I’d go with poodle. 🙂

    Hey, at least you can get a form letter back. Some of the places I’ve submitted expect you to assume you were rejected unless called.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. rejection hurts, but i guess it serves a purpose. i remember applying for the same position like 30 times and still didn’t get it. funny thing, i found a better one. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I suppose. When I was young, I was rejected by a good number of beautiful young women. Finally, Connie agreed to take me on as a project. That was 44 years ago and she continues to put up with me. I doubt any of those other women would have been that tolerant.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. It’s the little things that’ll get you every time (haha). I enjoyed your story immensely but I especially got a chuckle from your rejection letter! Rejection hurts but it’s better to laugh than cry? =)

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Pingback: Prompt Prompt | Daily Inkling – Normal Happenings

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