Dealing with rejection

Despite the fact that it’s St Valentine’s Day and once again, I am officially Less Attractive Than Hitler (Hitler had a girlfriend), the kind of rejection I was thinking of or at least I was until I had to think about that was the kind of rejection that goes like this:

Not in my schloss.
He was right up her strasse, apparently.

We received nearly 2900 scripts, (Why do so many people send us all this crap? I mean, honestly!)

and our team of readers have been working intensively to sift through all submissions. Like rarely, thanks for nothing, yah? We very nearly missed something interesting to do, rather than what we’re paid for every month.

Our readers were asked to consider what the opening of each script demonstrated about the writer’s voice and originality, their understanding of medium, form, genre and tone, and the strength of the world, story, characters and dialogue. Yours was obviously unoriginal and your world frankly isn‘t as good as ours. 

Unfortunately, your script did not progress beyond the first 10-page sift which was the case with 85% of all submissions we received. Your unoriginal derivative pile of identikit characters, seen-it-before stories and less-than-credible dialogue was dumped along with all the stuff from all the other losers on the first read through .This means that your script will therefore not be considered further and will not receive any other feedback. This means your script was crap.

We hope you will not be too disappointed or discouraged; we appreciate it will be frustrating not to receive specific feedback. This does not mean that your script has no potential – rather, that the standard of the work that did progress was very high, yours wasn’t and we can only focus on the necessarily small proportion of work that most captured our attention and imagination. Maybe you could read it out at a village fete or something. Or a childrens party, so long as they’re not too old or discriminating. 

It’s a rejection slip, or a rejection e-mail, anyway.

Compared to some of the non-Valentine rejections I’ve had in the past, quite mild. No throwing stuff. No slammed doors. No going around with that bloke I always had an idea about half an hour later. Nobody’s relations on the phone, no screamy phone calls and no silent weeping, on either side. In comparison there’s almost a thread of logic there, which is a refreshing change given the usual lack of anything apart from the central no-part-of-your-body-is-welcome-in-or-frankly-all-that-near-any-part-of-mine-notwithstanding-any-prior-events logic that accompanies the non-Valentine-type rejection. In my experience, anyway.

This one was from the BBC. I won the BBC Writers Room Screenplay competition last year (M/f as we used to say in journalist college. It means More Follows. I think you’re confusing it with something with more letters.) so I thought I’d send them No Batteries Required, written for radio.

It’s actually really rather good. Even people who take a very let’s say “objective” view of my charm, wit and sophistication say that. At volume, sometimes. The bits about my CW&S, at least.

But the BBC don’t want it. But they want submissions for The Show What You Wrote, their new BBC Radio 4’s comedy sketch show – written by you. Free, obviously.

“This is an opportunity for you to get involved in creating a show that sounds different from any other sketch show out there. The Show What You Wrote is open for anyone to enter, whatever your level of experience. If you have a good idea then write it up and send it to us.
The themes for each episode are:
1) Science and Nature
2) Geography
3) Art and Literature
4) Sport and Leisure


I would. I really would, but this rejection thing has made me wonder. I mean, the BBC comedy bar is set pretty high. It’s going to be pretty hard to beat the Today programme, putting Lord Lawson, whose scientific credentials include being a reporter for the Financial Times and er, that’s it really,  against actual climate change scientists and saying that makes the programme balanced. It makes it the fat bloke in the subsidised bar four pints in against someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. Although to be fair, while he doesn’t know any more about what makes it blow than anyone else, like a true Thatcherite daughter of her father Nigella Lawson certainly knows how much blow costs. And suddenly, I don’t mind that particular rejection at all.

The Less Attractive Than Hitler thing, that I do mind. Still. Shower, shave and get out there to do another open mic and another one on Sunday. It might work. Worth a shot, anyway.


Oh and the red type? That was revealed using my patented iMean™ app. I use it regularly. Want to borrow it?


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