EVERY WEEK, REJECTION LETTERS FROM MY PAST. BECAUSE THE HURT GOES AWAY AFTER A COUPLE OF DECADES.

THIS WEEK IN REJECTION!

This Week in Rejection!: Indigenous Fiction

There’s so much to admire about this rejection letter from Indigenous Fiction, circa 2001. Take a gander:

For one thing, the rejection itself (paragraph 1) is polite and doesn’t condescend. Then, in paragraph 2, we have an explanation for the speed of the rejection and an exhoratation to keep trying with the story in question. That’s nice.

The final paragraph is, in my opinion, terrific. A lot of journals and magazines really hammer you with the whole, “Sorry we rejected you, but hows about you SUBSCRIBE TO US???” deal. And while I know such publications live on a financial razor’s edge, there was always something that felt…off about the way a rejection was so often concatenated to a sales pitch. But Indigenous Fiction just mentions it calmly and lets it stand.

In fact, my only quibble with this letter at all is picayune: They say “it will give you some excellent examples of the kind of material we take.” I would argue that, technically, it gives you the only examples of such material! 😉

This might just be the ideal rejection letter. It’s encouraging, polite, a bit cheerful and optimistic, and while it asks for a purchase on your part, it doesn’t push the issue. Even the postscript is kind — they tell you about a contest, assume you will enter, and wish you good luck with it. Nice job all around, Indigenous Fiction!

 

 

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