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Thanks and Sorry and Good Luck: Rejection Letters from the Eyeshot Outbox

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Thanks and Sorry and Good Luck: Rejection Letters from the Eyeshot Outbox compiles a dozen years of disappointment transmitted via e-mail from a single editor to hundreds of writers around the world. Performative and funny one minute, respectful and constructive the next, these rejections both serve as entertaining writing tips (suitable for use in today’s more adventureso ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Barrelhouse Books

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 ·  41 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is juvenile. No.

The above is not my comment on the book under review!

I’m pretty sure the above is the shortest rejection letter (email) contained in this book of Lee Klein’s rejections sent to submitters for his lit site ( for the latest posting.)

I found the book at least mildly amusing, a couple laugh-out-loud moments perhaps? These rejection letters aren't really meant to be amusing of course. When they were written each had an intended audience of one
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Imagine that I had carried out the stunt I had initially intended to carry out. I had the thought that I might write this Review and submit it to on the off chance that I might receive my very own Lee Klein Brand Rejection Letter with which to authenticate my Review. Naturally I would have run the risk of my Review being accepted. Such an acceptation of said Review would have put everyone involved in rather precarious metaflictual and conflictual positions (and required more work and ...more
M. Sarki
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it

In order to be as forthcoming in the following review as possible I have to confess an affinity already acquired for most things Lee Klein. I believe he is a marvelously interesting and talented writer. And because I hold this Mr. Klein in such high esteem I am hesitant to give this book more than the four stars it certainly deserves. If I were rating this particular nonfiction on a typically noncreative site the book would garner a five star review from m
W.D. Clarke
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Besides being a lot of fun and full of perceptive advice to would-be writers concerning what really matters in art (and, sometimes, in life) this book will definitely cure you of ever wanting a job as a submissions editor anywhere, ever.
Lee Klein
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you have a copy of this, SELL IT NOW!

Prices on Amazon range from $104 to $411.91.

You can also get it from the publisher for comparative pennies ($16).
Apr 17, 2014 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Mark by: Lee Klein
On Tue, Oct 8, 2013 at 4:57 PM, Mark McKee wrote:

Dear Eyeshot,

Below, please find my submission, "----." I spent one Friday a couple weeks ago reading all of your archived rejection letters. Not only are they funny as heck, there's a lot of useful advice. I have no schooling to mention, don't care for social media, so I'm boring where those areas are concerned. I don't think I've heard or sat in on any lectures from famous authors, living or dead. None that I remember. I did once find a prehisto
Richard Bon
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A truly unique book (the only compilation of outgoing rejection letters I've read or ever encountered), Lee Klein's email responses to the authors of unaccepted submissions is at once educational, provocative, and hilarious. Anyone who's ever submitted fiction to an online or print publication and been rejected via standard form letter, as Klein himself claims in his bio to have done ~500 times, can appreciate and respect why Klein, as Eyeshot's founder/curator/editor, decided to tak ...more
Alyssa Lentz
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Damn, this book was jam-packed to read, both as a writer and as someone who reads/curates written submissions. It really drove home the value of honest feedback, and made me think we are often trying too hard to be nice/succinct/polished in ours. Receiving one of these letters would have been so insanely valuable! It's packed with really good writing advice and even a kernel of a story idea every now and then, but more than anything it really encourages you to write things that only YOU can writ ...more
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-teaching
Hey! I love this book. I read it aloud to my fiction students. My Nico read it aloud to me. It has two arcs: the memoir of a reader (and a damn fine reader) and the business of what makes a good story. I appreciate the way in which audience is privileged w/out making the art of fiction about audience. I love the call to be odder weirder more daring. And then there's this: the mystery of how rejection, even repeated rejection, can be a kind of honor (of the art, of the work, of the mind of the ma ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"OK! Stop a sec. You've submitted eight pieces in one day. And they've all been rejected. How does that make you feel? Maybe you should work a little harder on one or two things. You seem to get an idea and think the idea itself is worthwhile. You should work a little harder. Concentrate. Give the idea a context that makes what's funny about it come to life. Please don't send more of these little jokes and lists. They're not funny. Particularly the spam thing. Not funny at all. Sorry. Also, you ...more
Apr 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was leery of the project when Barrelhouse first started discussing it. A book of rejection letters seemed insular at best (in that it would appeal to a specific [and small] group of readers) and mean-spirited at worst (writers spend enough time dealing with rejection; do we really want to rub their noses in it more?). Of course, that was before I read the manuscript. What's amazing about Lee's book is not only how supportive and hopeful it is on almost every page, but also that the arrangement ...more
Caleb Michael Sarvis
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I came to this book for the laughs,
I stayed for the best book on craft I've ever read.
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just spilled ketchup all over my pajamas but I don't blame Lee Klein's wonderful book for that. The d on my keyboard doesn't work so I have to copy and paste a single d whenever I need one. But I don't blame Lee Klein's lovely book for that. In all seriousness, I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would. I tend to make assumptions about books but was glad that I look pretty much like a donkey for thinking I'd get no pleasure from this book. This is not a blurb or anything. I just felt like ...more
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
No review. But, years after reading: Clever/sincere publication. A glimpse of his decency and sense of humor, and honesty and integrity, and professional concern. And tough love, haha.)
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
I ordered the book intending to put it in my bathroom and enjoy a few pages occasionally. It came in today, and I've already finished it. Damn.

Entertaining, pithy, and often insightful.
Michael B Tager
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this so much. It's non traditional and super weird and also hopeful. It makes me want to fail up and try harder. This is good. ...more
Melinda Lewis
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Learned so much.
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philly, xoxoirl
Should you need a reminder that being rejected by a school, publication, agent, or editor is at least one part crapshoot ... read this book.
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Lee Klein is the author of Neutral Evil ))), JRZDVLZ, The Shimmering Go-Between, Thanks and Sorry and Good Luck: Rejection Letters from the Eyeshot Outbox, and Incidents of Egotourism in the Temporary World. His translation of Horacio Castellanos Moya's Revulsion: Thomas Bernhard in San Salvador (New Directions, 2016) received a 2015 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Award and was recognized by New Yorker ...more

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