Why Your Screenwriting Has Been Rejected and How to Cope

By April 26, 2018Blog, Featured

Rejection is not a nice part of life, but it’s definitely one of the most essential, and most enlightening processes an individual can go through. As an aspiring screenwriter, the chances are that you’ll experience this more than once in your lifetime, but it’s important that you take in, onboard and move forward with a positive outlook.

Today, we’re going to explore everything you need to know about why your screenwriting project failed, what you can do to improve and how to cope with that initial blow, helping you to become more successful in the long-term.

A Drop in the Ocean

It’s important to remember that there are thousands, possibly even hundreds of thousands of writers out there who are trying to make the same dream as you become a reality. The term ‘the right time, the right place’ comes to mind and it’s just something that you’ll have to get used to.

JK Rowling, the ground-breaking author famous for writing the Harry Potter saga, recently divulged on Twitter to her followers than her manuscript for the series was rejected 12 times by publishers before being accepted and published.

Rejection is a Valuable Reminder

While receiving that letter or email saying that your content has been rejected, the first feelings to wash over you, understandable, is sadness. Many thoughts can cross your mind, from self-doubt, low confidence and, of course, low self-esteem.

However, as a writer, it’s important to take rejection as a valuable tool to improve yourself and your work. If your content isn’t currently what a publisher is looking for, that doesn’t matter; it’s a sign that you’ll need to improve your skills, which is never a bad thing.

Checking Through Your Content

Sometimes, the problem might not be with the actual substance of your content, but the quality of it. For example, if you’re a screenwriter that has processed, checked and proofread your own work, without getting a second pair of eyes, how can you guarantee that it’s perfect?

Even checking the tiny details of your content after rejection, such as the grammar, spelling and overall readability of your content, can vastly improve your chances of being accepted. If you don’t trust anybody else’s judgment or knowledge, there are a ton of tools out there you can use to help.

For instance, using blogs like Grammarix allows you to improve your knowledge on how to use grammar properly actively. You can also use website resources such as State of Writing or Via Writing which have a ton of writing guides you can follow to improve your writing styles.

Perfecting Your Content

Hand in hand with the consideration above, if you’re absolutely sure that the substance of your content is perfect, you’ll need to focus your attention on pleasing the publishers and editors. For example, consider the layout of this article. Notice how easy it is to read because the paragraphs are short and easily digestible.

Now compare this to your content. For this, you can use tools like Easy Word Count to make sure that your content is easy to read and therefore increasing the chances that it will be read and accepted in its next submission. If you plan on rewriting your content, you can use website resources like Paper Fellows or Academized, can also be used to help you with your proofreading and editing process.

Overcoming the Four Stages of Grief

Despite the fact that rejection should be taken as a positive process, this is obviously easier said than done. It’s important, to overcome this, that you understand the four stages of grief; denial, anger, depression and acceptance.

“This process occurs in every single form of rejection; the only difference is how far apart the stages lead into one another. The key to success is to acknowledge each stage and get to the acceptance stage as quickly as possible, so you can pick yourself up and move forward” shares Taylor Selfe, a screenwriter for Big Assignments.


At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is that the feeling of rejection is a temporary feeling. Be sure to switch your mind to view it as a positive thing, a chance to be a better screenwriter, and you can guarantee that your success is right around the corner.

Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs at Oxessays. She believes that constant learning is the only way to success. You can visit her personal blog at Letsgoandlearn.com

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