Tuesday, 23 June 2009


I got two rejections today. The first one, a form rejection: 'Dear Writer...' Sent in roughly 24 hours, for three pieces subbed. Multiple subs allowed. Subbed 3, all different. Got back the response pronto. No, writer. No.

I read it, imploded quietly and stormed around. Perhaps I've been spoiled but I have not had a form rejection in ages. The ones I have had have all been personal and often very pleasant. Useful critiques, kind words and so on. So I reacted badly. After imploding, I regressed. Then I sat down, fuming, and searched for any dosh I could get on the editor of the fine pub that dared ... dared! Waaaah! ... to be so good as to read and reject me so quickly.

And I found the editor's blog. And it was all about their own rejections. How they tried and tried. Their dedication and so on. How badly they reacted to the form ones. Yes indeed, there was my own hubris and idiocy slowly draining away, like so much battery acid. It wasn't pretty, but it passed. I learned. Moved on. 'Dear Writer' grew up a bit.

The second rejection was even faster. The fastest I have had, in fact. Subbed in the morning, got rejected three hours later. But this one was personal and very, very helpful. The editor pointed out some spot-on problems with the piece and was very kind about the rest.

So, basically, next time I'll be more careful.


  1. At least they were fast. I received one today for a piece that's been out just under year.

  2. I love the mailed form rejections. Well, they are really just paragraphs which have been cut from a piece of paper with duplicate paragraphs printed on it. The best part is that they don't even bother to line up the paper cutter, so the "letter" is not an even rectangle.

    I tell myself I'll never submit to those journals again. Yet, I know that I will.