As writers and creators of any kind we face constant rejection.

Perhaps somebody doesn’t want to represent our work, or publish our work, or read it – or maybe all three.  We try not to take it personally, tell ourselves they are rejecting our work, not us. We slink back to our computer or drawing board and start again.

Today, something happened that put all this in perspective for me. I read The Big Issue magazine. Not normally residing near a capital city, I don’t generally have exposure to this publication. But yesterday I was able to buy a copy from a street vendor in Brisbane.

The Big Issue is an innovative enterprise to help homeless and disadvantaged Australians. It is sold by people who may have disabilities, be struggling with addiction or have been disadvantaged through their upbringing. The Big Issue is all about boosting the self esteem and future prospects for the people who sell the magazine.

So what’s the relevance to having your manuscript rejected? In this week’s The Big Issue, one vendor talks about the snubs he receives on the street every day from people who don’t want to buy the magazine, the feeling of rejection. He talks about one day feeling depressed and how he turned this rejection into a positive experience.

It made me think about how I pay far too much attention to that yellow envelope with the rejection letter that arrives periodically in my mail box. I don’t have editors in my face saying “I don’t want to buy what you’re offering.” I don’t deal with rejection on a daily basis.

When next you’re in an Australian capital city, I hope you’ll buy a copy of The Big Issue and help someone get their life back on track. If you’re a writer or illustrator, you may not know what it feels like to be homeless, but you probably know what it feels like to receive a rejection.

Happy writing.



  1. And if you’re not in a city where the Big Issue is sold, you can subscribe! The profits still go to vendors & you get a great read.

  2. Thank you for this blog, Dee. It’s great that someone is speaking out for the sellers of The Big Issue. They are trying to help themselves, maybe because they haven’t given up hope entirely.
    Might add – there are some interesting articles in the magazine too – might be worthwhile submitting to it as well.

  3. Thanks Sheryl,

    It’s a sad fact that we are so sick of people trying to sell us rubbish, that we become immune to genuine people with a genuine need who are trying to sell us something that’s worth buying.


  4. Like Dee I live in a rural area where there are no Big Issue vendors. But for a few years I have made a point, whenever I go to Melbourne, of buying a copy from the first street vendor I see. I have a short chat with them then wish them a good day. Another thing about The Big Issue is that the content is interesting and well written. It’s worth supporting.

Comments are closed.