The 9th Time’s The Charm (A Writing Rejection Fairytale)


Me aewd my ghostwriter Lucy


Happy almost-Friday, my friends!

This week life managed to surprise me in a good way. I’ll be honest with you…I liked it!

Some of you may remember the plethora of posts I’ve written about my writing rejection, i.e. Let’s Play The Schadenfreude Game – A Writer’s 1st Rejection, Chopped Liver (A Writing Rejection Merry-Go-Round), and Becoming More Lizard-Like (Another Ode to Writing Rejection).

I’ve had my blog pitches rejected by various Huffington Post editors a whopping eight times over the past 18 months. At one point I became so full of sour grapes over my Huffington Post rejections that I immersed myself in bath of negativity. I read articles written by people who despise the Huffington Post and who had their work rejected too. (There! See? I share my dark side with you – I never pretend to be Mrs. Glitterfart here!) 


I vowed to stop submitting to them because what was the point? 

A few weeks ago I was surfing the web. I don’t remember what I looking for in particular, except that it wasn’t Huffington Post-related because I was burned out on them, as you might imagine.

But when I serendipitously found this post on Erin’s Inside Job about how she landed her Huffington Post blogging gig I couldn’t resist my curiosity. In it, Erin explains how her pitches were constantly rejected, and she decided to go straight to the top. She pitched her blog post idea to HuffPost’s founder Arianna Huffington and was successful. It sounded too good to be true.

After reading that, I drank a mug of my new favorite caffeinated beverage called “The Godfather Latte“.


Thanks, in part, to the power of this magical chai tea combined with my two favorite food groups: espresso and chocolate, I was a bit high and figured I had nothing to lose by emailing Arianna Huffington except more pride.

Apart from The Godfather, what motivated me to make this final attempt was that I was profiled twice in Ariana Huffington’s paper & I got positive feedback. While neither of those profiles went viral, the statistics on the HuffPost Women profile weren’t shabby either. Plus the HuffPost Women profile (the one I shared everywhere except under rocks) was mostly comprised of my own writing, so it was almost a blog post in itself, ha ha!

I hastily drafted an email. I made the egregious mistake of ignoring this cardinal rule: “Any email meant for an editor’s eyes must be very short, i.e. 2-3 lines” Whoops!


C’mon, Arianna, show me some blogging love!


Here’s the novella I sent to her:

“Dear Arianna,

I hope this finds you well!

I’ve had the honor of being profiled in HuffPost twice! The 2nd piece
(about my having the least-known perinatal mood & anxiety disorder/form of bipolar called postpartum bipolar) was written by Dr. Laurie Hollman and got great views, shares & comments:…/a-successful-working-moth_b…

HuffPost Blogger Greg Archer chose me as an “Inspiring Agent of Change”:…/agents-of-change-5-inspir_b…

I’ve submitted a pitch to HuffPost Stronger Together, Healthy Living, HuffPostWomen and the general box about my experience with this obscure-yet-relevant perinatal mood & anxiety disorder to no avail.

The piece would be worthwhile to your readers. Bipolar disorder, postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis have recently made media headlines. “Touched With Fire”, the film about bipolar disorder, the U.K.”EastEnders” postpartum psychosis storyline, and the postpartum depression screening ruling are a few examples.

It’s the perfect time to spread the word about postpartum bipolar disorder; despite the fact it’s more obscure, it’s a very relevant perinatal mood and anxiety disorder and just as important as the other seven perinatal mood disorders.

Do you think you or your staff could help me? I’m copying my article below.

Thanks so much for your consideration,


I emailed her two weeks ago and promptly forgot about it.

Last Monday, in my blurry-eyed state, I opened my email and spotted a subject header that said “An invitation to blog for Huffington Post”.

My first thought? Spam.

I opened it anyway.

It seemed real! I couldn’t believe it. Still dubious, I reviewed the email. It didn’t ask me to buy a penis enlarger. There were instructions: a form to submit and a request for my profile picture. Then I received a confirmation and further instructions from The New York Scientology Society (just kidding!)  no, – it was “The Huffington Post Team”! 


It was so awesome to receive good news like this, especially as it has been a hard time for most of us, hasn’t it? 

Family and ex-friend dilemmas that I haven’t been able to blog in depth about (as much as I’ve wanted to, believe me) have been testing me, so having my HuffPost pitch finally accepted was a beautiful validation that I was doing something right. While sure, it’s not The New York Times, it’s an opportunity to get the word out about perinatal mental health, a subject close to my heart. That’s what matters to me.


Karen Kleiman gets it right!

Karen Kleiman gets it right!

If you ever feel like giving up on doing something, but feel compelled to try again, please remember this little story. You never know…

And with every fiber of my being, I wish you each a happy surprise of your own. You all deserve them!!! (Maybe you can share one of yours here? 😉 – subtle hint.

See you next week!

lots of love,



Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.


73 thoughts on “The 9th Time’s The Charm (A Writing Rejection Fairytale)

    • Thanks darlin’ van 🚐 you are too funny with today’s selection of emojis – I love every one!
      But I love you more! XOXOXOX 💗💜❤️💙👍

  1. Delighted to read your blog this morning and keeping my fingers and toes crossed that your important comments on BP will be published on Huffington Post soon.

  2. Congratulations! The HuffPost may not be the NYT, but it’s nothing to sniff at! I enjoy it a great deal, and I look forward to reading your post.

    When you called Lucy your “ghostwriter”, I immediately thought of a series of posts that blogger/writer Donald Miller did a number of years ago. They were written from his dog’s POV; I believe his (much smaller) dog was also named Lucy! So if you’re ever out of blog ideas, ask Lucy to write one for you. 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Laura! I might need to take a look at Donald Miller’s posts – I love the fact he did that. I’ve been told that “Lucy” is the #1 most popular dog name! I won’t hesitate to ask my Lucy for her input; I can tell she’s often thinking profound thoughts! 😉

    • You bring the queso, I’ll bring the iced espresso/chocolate chai – that doesn’t sound so good together, ha ha ha, but we could make it work!!!! Thanks so much for your sweet comment!!

    • Thanks, dear Leslie – it’s nice to share some good news about writing after whining about it for so long.

      I’m lucky that anyone reads this vent (I mean blog), and I’m grateful to you for stopping by. Hope you’re doing well and have a great day!

    • Aw shucks! 🙂 What do I say to that? whopping THANK YOU BRENDA!!!! :)))))) Woo hoo! And as another way to thank you, I dedicate this song to you and your husband:

      • Thank you!!! We just listened to it together. I waited til Jim got home from work. Our heads were bobbing! We like the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, The Allman Brothers, etc as well. Hehe. Have a great evening you go-getter you!!

    • Thanks, my beautiful friend! By the way, I told my girls about your post about your weekend with the horses (and showed them the photos) and they 💜 loved the pictures!!!!!! 🐴

      • They LOVE riding!!!!!! they do it when we visit Alpine Valley/Tahoe in August! I like to go hiking while they ride, and I try not to get lost…..I got lost in the mountains for a couple hours last summer, you might remember my blogging about it…I was a dork. I wasn’t my usual careful self in bear territory, of all places. I won’t make that mistake again – maybe I’ll join the girls riding instead! 😉 XOXO

      • Oh no, in bear country, must have been scary! Riding is fun, as long as they don’t take you on a trail that is too advanced. I’m sure your girls would love you to join them. Love and hugs my lovely friend!

  3. AHHHHHHH!!!! OH GOD!! THAT’S FREAKING AWESOME!!!! Congratulations you SO SO SO deserve it Dyane. Oh my God I’m so happy for you!!! You can’t forget me when you make it to the New York Times!!! 😍😍😍❤❤❤❤❤

    • Thanks, my lovely scribe queen!

      I actually know someone in my town whose essay was published in the New York Times Modern Love section. We were chitchatting about writing (we were acquaintances) and I had to drag this information out of her – she was so freakin’ modest, I couldn’t believe it!!!! :)))))))) I wish I could be like that. Sadly, I’m not. I told her if I made that big time, I’d get “New York Times Published Writer” tattooed on my face or perhaps my hand or arm might be more fitting! 😉

      Anyway, thanks a trillion for your support. You have helped me so much in terms of sharing and support my writing, and that seriously means the world to me. 😻✏️💖😍

  4. Reblogged this on The Bipolar Compass and commented:
    Guess who is Huffington Posts newest blogger!?!?!? My friend and fantastic writer Dyane Leshin-Hardwood. Her book “Birth of a New Brain” comes out in 2017. Look for it in a bookstore near you!!

    • Jess,

      #1) You are AWESOME to support me – it’s so wonderful I can’t begin to thank you enough without sounding inebriated, and

      #2) Can I hire you to be in charge of my P.R. when I win California SuperLotto Plus??? Don’t laugh – here’s true story: At 16, I bought my friend “B.J.” (Yes. Snicker all you like, I always wondered about that nickname, but she was lovely and the “B” stood for Breshaun)
      16 Lotto tickets for her 16th birthday and she won $100!!!

      No one won the 21 million last night, so I’m totally going for it on Saturday. And then I’ll win and hire you! It can be a temp. side job as your writing career skyrockets and takes over….. :)))) Thanks again!!!!! XOXOXOXOX

    • Thanks Kitt – I am so out of it I don’t know if I mentioned to you that Marilla was *so happy* you donated to her Read-A-Thon.

      Apart from her Granny, you were the only other person who has participated, and it means so much to our family. I know you’re not a trust funder, so your generosity really made me jolly.
      You should have just donated a $1, girl, $15????? That’s a LOT!!!!! The equivalent of three double mochas, extra chocolate!

      XOXOXOXOXO Love you!
      You know I’ll donate to anything you do as long as it’s legal – come to think of it, if it’s not legal, I will still donate – that’s how much I care about you!

      • Honestly, I was going to donate $10, but the site insisted on a $15 minimum. I bet you could get more donors if the site let them donate less. C’mon. We all want to support each other’s kids, but there are so many of them. Marilla is awesome, though, and is totally worth it. I LOVE investing in reading.

  5. Reblogged this on S Burke. Author and commented:
    Congratulations, Dyane! I have reblogged this, shared on my facebook page and tweeted it. More power to you. Thanks for caring so much about others with Postpartum Bipolar Disorder. Whilst I don’t suffer from this particular version, I know only too well what Bi-Polar Disorder can do to a life…Best wishes, my dear.

    • Sooze, I shared this over at your blog and wanted to post it here too!
      Wow – Soooz, I am so deeply honored!
      Thank you for this lovely reblog and for your wonderful encouragement.
      I’m a big fan of Australia and I went there by myself at age 24. I want to return someday. How I wish I got to Sydney, but only I went to Melbourne, and it was an adventure in all sorts of ways, some of which I write about in my book!

      I love all kinds of Australian music and I saw Yothu Yindi perform a long time ago at WOMAD in San Francisco. I’ve been enjoying listening to Paul Kelly, whose music I got to know through my favorite musicians Neil and Tim Finn. I like Tina Arena and even read her memoir. I’m a pop/rock aficionado as you can tell. I’d love to know what kinds of Australian music you enjoy.

      I started following your blog and I look forward to getting to know you.
      I’m also going to tweet this link to my followers so they can see what fine taste you have, LOL! 😉

      take care and have a beautiful Friday,

      p.s. I started following you on Twitter too – I love Twitter….a little too much! :0

  6. Congrats, Honey Pot! Wow!! I’m so happy for you!!

    And since you asked about sharing a happy surprise…

    I’ve been invited to write a column (my choice of topics) for the Tampa Bay Reporter, a start-up Internet news site focusing on the bay area. It’s pro bono for everyone right now, until they get some advertising revenue. I can also write an advice column.

    I’m excited and scared shitless! Ack! Trying to figure out what to write for my first column has my head spinning. Woe.

    • I can’t tell you how jolly I am that you’re sharing a happy surprise, and especially because it’s writing-related!!! That’s fabulous!!!!!

      “The Tampa Bay Reporter” has a nice ring to it! How cool you’re getting in with them at the beginning, which I think is ideal. You know that Huffington Post is mostly pro bono too and it stays that way for probably 99% of its writers. That’s neat that there’s a chance to be paid down the line….

      In addition to your misc. topic column, I could TOTALLY see you writing an advice column!!! It really does sound perfect – you have a great way of sharing your wisdom in a positive, unique, very honest & caring way. I hope you go for it!

      Please share the link here when you make your debut.
      I relate to the “excited/scared shitless” feeling you describe. I must tell you it made me laugh, but not at you. With you, of course.

      Good luck with the brainstorming for column #1 but you don’t need it – have fun with it – go for it. Whatever you do will be chocolate. (That’s the highest word of praise I can give you.) Wait a minute – make that : chocolate-chai. That’s even better.

      You’re a superb, expressive and deep writer plus you have a wicked sense of humor.
      The TBR knows they got something good with you on board! Congratulations from your Honey Pot!!!!
      p.s. you know I’ll write glowing comments when your debut goes live but I won’t say that I “know” you!

      • Thanks so much for your enthusiastic vote of confidence! My efforts were derailed today by an unplanned visit from a dear friend…Instead of an inspirational walk, I scurried around to clean house and get myself presentable! Arrghhh! She now knows we must PLAN. What I’ve written today sucks royally, but I’ll try to spiff it up.

        You rock, Honey Pot!

    • Thanks very much for your comment, Bradley!
      Yes, I’ll be so happy to add it to my resume…I definitely prefer “Huffington Post Blogger”
      to many of the jobs that *are* on my resume! 😉 (They’re primarily office manager jobs – nothing too exciting!)

      Take care, & I hope you have a great weekend!!

  7. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE *singing loudly* THIS POST!! ❤ ❤ ❤ So happy for you, oh tenacious one!! This is absolutely ridonc! In the best way! Can't wait to read your HUFFPOST BLOG!!!!

    • Ridonc!
      God, you are so funny!!!
      Thanks, honey peach!

      I’m loving your Trump-isms on Twitter, btw. Get it all out!!!!!!!!!

      I’m going to catch up on your Caucus post this weekend & I bet you’ve written another since I spotted that one in my WordPress Reader. Avonlea has been sick for 3 days, and I’ve lost a lot of hours I usually read online by helping & cuddling with her (and possibly getting sick any moment myself) but it’s all good.
      You know I’ll make it over!

      XO 💖 XO

  8. What fantastic news! Your trial here is a testament to diligence and perseverance. Thank you for not giving up. Thank you for being willing to share your life with others to help them learn they’re not alone.
    In short, you rock. 🙂

    • I was soclose to giving up! I mean, c’mon, 8 times with one publication? 😉
      But all that rejection not only gave me another wrinkle (more like a few) and more white hair –
      it made the acceptance so much sweeter.

      I love your comment! It’s truly wonderful to be thanked by a fellow writer. While reading your words, I felt the need for some kind of triumphant “I Finally Got A Piece of Writing Accepted!” music playing in the background. Any suggestions? :))))

      • Victory music? Shoot! I can’t think….dagnabit, my kids have been hooked on DESPICABLE ME music lately, so all I can think is the Pharrell Williams song “Happy.” I do think it rather fits your situation. 🙂

      • Now I have it in my head……”I’m happy…….” 😉 it’s way better than what’s usually floating around!!!!!

      • The song drives me batty. BUT, but but but, it is a good dancin’ celebratin’ song, so I still think it fits.
        You could always go with the fanfare from the end of STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE. That’s also very triumphant. 🙂

  9. Reblogged this on Just Plain Ol' Vic and commented:
    Wonderful story that show persistence can pay off. My hats off to Dyane for continuing to pursue her goals with determination. It is this type of fundamental drive that is required to lessen stigmas associated with mental illness.

    • Thanks SO much Vic!!
      That’s extra-special praise since it comes from you.
      Some may call repeatedly pitching a publication being persistent, others, well –
      they might call it being a giant pain in the ass, but hey, you know I’m usually a very nice person. 😉

      I feel honored with this reblog – thanks again and have a great weekend!
      your devoted fan,

  10. Whoop whoop whoop all the way. Huff post is coming up strong and steady you know and who knows if after a few more years it wouldn’t be in the ranks of NY Times? For now already, that’s a big one sweet so thanks for teaching and sharing with us this lesson in peserverance, determination, dedication, discipline and soulfulness…

    • “Perserverance, determination, dedication, discipline and soulfulness” – I like the sound of that, Marie!!!!
      It could be another book title! 😉

      Seriously, thank you from the bottom of my heart & soul. Your encouragement and faith in my me-ness, and your love for Miss Lucy are beautiful. I’ll be emailing you back a little later on today with some info.
      In the meantime stay strong!
      Much love, Dy

      • I have a sister from another mother all the way in Texas, and her cat is called Lucy: ain’t it wonderful that two of my precious e family members have them pets called Lucy? Someday, I may get one too we’ll see. In the meantime, way to go Lady. If another burnt scented candle will help, let me know when 🙂

  11. You’re such an inspiration because you JUST DON’T QUIT!!! You see rejection, and instead of just accepting it, you get insulted & you’re like, “screw that, Failure: watch me try again, just watch me Succeed!” I love it!

    • Your words made me laugh, Michelle! That’s so precious, it really is.
      Thanks for being happy for me – your comment really cheered me up with morning.

  12. You go girl! Congratulations! So proud of you for staying the course and going after something that’s so so important. HuffPost is lucky to have YOU!

    • Thanks a trillion, beautiful. I PROMISE I will read your latest two posts this weekend!!!!!! I feel a void if I’m not current with your blog, my friend. I’m behind on everything (having a sick child @ home for 3 days threw me off, but she’s doing better and I haven’t gotten the creepy, evil bug yet)
      I know you get it. XOXOXO

      • no worries. It was total rant. In fact…I need to start a new blog called Marriage Rants as a specific place for my emotionally charged musings. 🙂 And yes… I absolutely get it!!!

    • Thanks SO much, Nina!!! That’s huge praise coming from you & I feel honored. I re-read the letter and while it’s a mini-novel, it miraculously got the message across! 🙂 By the way, I serendipitously encountered the blog of my high school classmate, the Jewish writer Laura Nicole Diamond, that you might be interested in checking out. The link is below – in the meantime, take care & thanks again for making me feel great with your kind words! 🙂

      • I was called “Duane” so many times in junior high instead of “Dyane” and that’s when an 80’s TV show called “What’s Happening” was big – it had a Duane as a main character! 😉

  13. My dear Dyane, I couldn’t find an “About” section so I’m replying here. I’d posted the whole thing on my blog and then my husband said what about Aral, he doesn’t know. So I deleted my post except for a generic thing about PFO’s. I found out today I have one. My stepdad is a cardio thoracic surgeon so I called him and he’ll get back to me tomorrow I hope. The hole can be closed with a procedure with a catheter so not a big deal. I’m fine. Love you and hope to be blogging and getting myself in all kinds of trouble for a long time. 😊💞💞💞💞

    • Hey Honey!

      The “About” page is just underneath the picture of my girls, but it’s definitely not obvious, LOL! – I need to make it stand out!!!!

      Anyway, that’s incredible your stepdad is a cardiothoracic surgeon of all things, and that’s GREAT he can provide you with his perspective.

      I think you did the right thing taking down the post just so Aral wouldn’t get upset…meanwhile, as you noted, the procedure sounds simple, so that’s a blessing too.

      Thanks for getting back to me right away – love you too, beautiful! p.s. I’m so proud of you AGAIN for this great attitude – it’s strong & positive – give yourself credit!!!

      • Hi Dyane, thank you so much, you are incredible, sweet, loving and so supportive. Once the procedure is done, I will post all about it. Love you tons.

  14. Pingback: Shot Down By HuffPost!–What Can Help A Mom with Bipolar During Setbacks – Birth of a New Brain

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