2 August 2018, 17:28

It’s been a good-news-bad-news kinda day. I got word of two unsuccessful grant proposals, but I also got amazing comments on them: positive, supportive, enthusiastic, and helpful.

I’m putting this out there for two reasons: first, because I think it’s increasingly important for those of us who are free to talk about our moments of failure and disappointment to do so, to make clear that successful careers are built on a whole lot of rejection.

And second, because I am enormously grateful to the NEH and its fantastic staff and reviewers for their role in the work that we do. So much of the “no” they have to say is hard, driven by the limitations imposed by their too small, and too repeatedly threatened, budget.

I owe them my thanks — so many of us do — for the programs, for the generous feedback, and for their dedication in supporting the work of the humanities.

127 responses to “2 August 2018, 17:28”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing — as usual, tales of rejection from those I admire, even brief ones like this, are so uplifting.

  2. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Thank you @kfitz for this characteristically generous post.

  3. That’s a very gracious blog post. I’d still be at the angry/eating chocolate/drinking whisky/ranting stage. But so important to talk about these things – thanks!

  4. A graceful response to rejection, with excellent advice to us all.


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