Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Declined - Your application in this category was not accepted by the jury for the following reason: We like your concept, but it's not the level of quality we were looking for. Take it up a notch and try it again next year

Your application in this category was not accepted by the jury for the following reason: We like your work, but it needs more originality and uniqueness. Do something different to make your work stand out and try again next year!

Yesterday, I received the above rejection email in response to my application to a local craft fair. Even though I've been at this a while now, it still is no fun to get rejected.

However, it is a part of it, and you have to take the good with the bad.

For me, this one was a bit harder than some since I was fortunate to get in last year, and it was a great show. I did really well, and I hope all of the participants this year do even better! It is an exciting festival and was a great experience for me.

I am sure handing out rejections is a tough job, but I can't say I'm in love with their rejection email.

I know it must be next to impossible to jury something like this and even more difficult to be the bearer of bad news. However, I think I would have preferred the usual - way too many applicants, way too little space, your work doesn't fit in with our super-hip vision rejection.

I have no doubt that these emails were crafted with the best of intentions. I imagine they sounded better in the writing than they did in the in-box. I kind of felt like I was on the receiving end of a backhanded compliment...there was a "you don't sweat much for a fat girl" vibe there.

We like your "concept" but the quality isn't that great and it lacks uniqueness and originality...hmmmm. It's tough to feel good about any of that, even with the suggestion that I "take it up a notch and try again next year." Or, maybe I'm just being overly sensitive. It's tough to remain objective when you put your work out there for jurying.

Thankfully, I have several shows and events lined up between now and Christmas. I'm too busy working to get too worked up about this one. But, the sting of rejection does cause me to step back and evaluate what I'm doing. It helps me focus on what's important and what isn't.

One thought that jolted me yesterday was how terrible it feels to be rejected. In these moments, my faith sustains me. It is comforting to know that Christ came to earth as a man, he experienced all the pain and difficulties that we experience. I was reminded that - He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him - John 1:11. Not only that, but many today still reject His gift of grace.

The tiny hint of pain I feel when I am rejected is nothing compared to the pain we must cause Him.

So...I survived another rejection email... What's that old saying...what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger?

Maybe the 200+ of us that got the ax should unite and have a Reject Festival! I think we might just do pretty well.


  1. Leisa, this makes me very sad for you to be rejected because your work is so awesome. Seriously. The festival will be missing out without you there.

  2. Thank you Lydia. Don't be sad though, it's the way it works with these festivals. With this one, there were 300 applicants and about 75 spots. My stuff just wasn't what they were looking for this time.