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'Dear Writer:

We regret that your manuscript does not meet our needs at this time'

By Tai Moses

IF THE SENTENCE above is uncomfortably familiar--nay, if it is seared into your consciousness--then maybe it's time to pay a visit to www.rejectioncollection.com, the Writers and Artists On-Line Source for Misery, Commiseration and Inspiration.

For aspiring writers and artists, rejection is a fact of life. Even the most stalwart artistic ego can be bloodied and bowed by the chilly tone of a rejection letter. But suffer in silence no longer! At the Rejection Collection, you can read an assortment of rejection letters that will fortify your resolve and stiffen your upper lip--or make you run screaming back to your day job.

The rebuffs are separated into categories such as magazine and newspaper editors, art galleries, agents, publishers and grant makers. Writers are invited to post their own rejection letters and sob stories and are encouraged to be as "immature, self-centered, narcissistic and off-the-wall as you like." (In other words, you have permission to act like an artist.)

The site is the brainchild of Catherine Wald, president and "Chief Rejecutive Officer," whose impressive credentials as a rejected writer date back to being turned away by her high school literary magazine. As Wald's cheerful litany of her failures suggests, rejection can be its own reward.

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From the March 21-28, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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