A member of the writing group I participate in stumbled across this gem in the Writer's Digest magazine - Reject a Hit. The premise: to compose a rejection letter for a classic, popular, or otherwise timeless book.
Here's an example of one done for Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat.
At tonight's group, we (by we, I mean the two of us) thought we'd have a bit of fun with Stephenie Meyer's Twilight. Here's mine - enjoy. To those offended, no apologies.
January 24, 2005
Dear Ms. Meyer,
We have recently read your manuscript, Twilight, and while we appreciate your submission, we regret to inform you that many, many revisions would be necessary before we would consider accepting. And even then, nothing is certain.
First of all, the timing of your novel is poor. With the successes of the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books and films, it is embarrassingly obvious that you are riding on their coattails.
Second, our target audience demands literature that contains healthy male-female relationships; we wish to provide positive social interaction examples for today's young women - and let us ask you, what is healthy about a brooding, sparkly vampire who lurks around windows to watch his girlfriend sleep?
As if this weren't bad enough, the main character of Bella is abysmally written. As we read your work, one word for her came to mind - whiny. And that is her most compelling characteristic! Otherwise, she's got the personality of a paperclip...and we're supposed to believe she somehow attracts a perfect, gorgeous mate like Edward? It's a stretch.
Bella is a character we disliked from page one, and that dislike spirals rapidly through the nine levels of literary hell...until at the end, we were desperately wishing a painful, horrible, torturous death on her.
Not quite the reaction we strive for here at SKE Media, Inc.
Surely, you understand our stance in regards to your work. If we were to publish your novel, and attempt to market it as "quality literature", we would have to burn our agency in effigy in order to maintain any semblance of dignity.
Best of luck to you in the future!
SKE Media, Inc.