A couple of posts ago, I whined expressed concern about not having a November publication. Of course it’s a lot like playing lotto: you can’t win if you don’t play. I haven’t submitted much in November or October, or September, just resubmitting stories that have been rejected. One story has been rejected twelve times. If I didn’t love the story so much and believe in it and its potential to open doors and pave golden, diamond-dusted paths toward fame and fortune, then maybe I’d let it retire. But I’m deluded and stubborn: two very hazardous personality traits.
All this rejection is good for me. It’s thickening my skin for future agent rejections. You know, “Don’t take it personally, but we can’t stand you or your writing, and your story makes us want to hork all over my keyboard,” type of rejection.
So I compiled some rejections from various short stories, so you, the curious, can know the different levels of pain I must endure from time to time.
I present to you the polite but dull standard form rejection.
Dear Ms. Sutton,
Thank you for sending us ____. Our editors have looked it over carefully, but don’t feel it’s the best fit for our publication. Unfortunately, we are unable to place all of the fine pieces we receive. We wish you luck in placing it elsewhere.
The impersonal and brief rejection
Thanks for the submission. I appreciate it. But I’m going to pass on this one.
The let-me-down-gently rejection
Dear Tricia –
Thank you for submitting ____to ___ for publication. Though I like your writing ability, I’m afraid we will decline. We receive many more manuscripts than we can accept. We wish you luck in placing it with another publisher.
You are welcome to submit other stories to us at any time.
Thank you for letting us read ___. It’s an amusing piece, but we felt it’s not a good fit for ___. Thanks for thinking of our publication, and good luck placing your piece elsewhere.
The personal rejection
Thanks for sending ___ to us. I’m going to respectfully pass on this piece.
I like the characters and the voice of the narrator, Tricia, but the perspective’s a bit insular for my tastes. I like stories that focus a bit more on external interactions between characters, allowing the conflict to arise from those interactions.
Thank you for the submission. This is an intriguing story, but it’s not the kind of literature we’re looking for. All the pieces we accept must, in some way, suggest an evolution in writing technique.
The almost-there-personal rejection
Thank you for the submission. We’re going to pass on this particular piece, but it was very close. (No, we don’t say that to everybody.) You’re a strong writer, and we encourage you to submit again.
Good to hear from you again.
Thanks for that reminder of how smells can transport us to days gone by.
And now I present to you my very first ever published (and written) poetry. It’s true, I wrote poetry. Don’t laugh. Okay laugh, you will anyway.
Do you have any rejections you like to share?