I’ve gotten rejections on tiny slips of paper and rejections that say very little. But this week’s rejection is surely the briefest ever…and also uses the least paper.
Oh, and as a bonus: It also makes me look kinda like a tool.
So, in the past I have received rejections where the editor in question merely writes something on my cover letter and then sends it back. That’s fine. Most magazines and journals are budget-constrained, after all, and if they can save a little dough by using my own paper, good for them.
But check out this one (scanning just the relevant section of the original cover letter):
“Interesting.” I didn’t know what to make of that, and I still don’t. Obviously, they never published my piece. But what was I to make of “interesting?” A part of me thought that maybe an editor had written that on there as a note to another editor, as in, “This is interesting, Jim, take a look at it.” And then I got rerouted to the discard pile. Or maybe it’s just “Interesting, but no thanks.” In which case…why not write that?
In any event, it hardly matters, and it’s possibly “interesting” only to me now as a footnote to my career. (The story in question, BTW, was eventually published by The Florida Review — my first prose publication credit!)
As to why I look like a tool? Well, first of all there’s the pretentious use of my middle initial on my letterhead. What the hell was I thinking? And then there’s my inability to decide if “Miah Arnold” is male or female and, therefore, falling back on the clumsy, gender-avoiding, and idiotic looking salutation, “Dear Miah Arnold.”
Sometimes, gang, we look back on our past just shake our heads at ourselves.