Thursday, April 13, 2006

Regarding Your Submission Status. . .

Ironically, as I was drafting my first, form rejection letter, I received word that one of my stories was rejected. That yellow Post-it with the lone word 'sorry' slapped onto the middle of my manuscript prompted me to delete the word 'sorry' from the draft of my rejection letter.


Dear INSERT WRITER'S NAME,

I'm sorry Delete I regret Yikes! Let's go with. . . Your submission INSERT TITLE was not selected for publication in ???????? Literary Magazine, but I wish to thank you for giving me the opportunity to read it. Though I'd like to add, it appears you didn't read the guidelines regarding the tone and style of the magazine, or perhaps you thought it didn't matter and sent whatever you had--tone and style matter!

Unfortunately, our high volume of submissions wishful/forward thinking create a very competitive playing field, forcing me to frequently pass on many fine manuscripts without adequate time to comment specifically Editors can't engage in critiques or serve as a writing coach--not that I wouldn't love to, but it's time prohibitive; I'm a writer too but I encourage you to continue to pursue your publication goals in a variety of venues. Seriously, I do.


Fiction Editor
???????? Literary Magazine

12 comments:

Anne C. Watkins said...

That sounds fine to me. Professional, courteous, and to the point.

Congrats on your new gig! :)

Literary Fiction Editor said...

Yippie! Professional and courteous are good; that means I've bypassed lame & sappy. But, is it cliche?

Apparently, I'm still firmly planted on the writing side of this business--hoping my rejection letter won't be rejected.

Thank you for the thumbs up :-)

Dama Negra said...

Hey, that's a very nice rejection! I wish mine were like that!

Although it must be hard, as a writer, to be giving out rejections. Good luck on your new job!

Literary Fiction Editor said...

Yes, Dama, I am finding it difficult to be giving out rejections; so difficult I'm still stalling about sending out my first one. And you're right, some of them aren't very nice, but don't let them discourage you from submitting. My one word Post-it note rejection was a bit too efficient for my tastes, but I already have that same manuscript back in a clean envelope and ready to send off to a different market tomorrow morning.

Dawno said...

Welcome to the blogosphere! I look forward to more posts.

I thought your letter was just fine. Now here's some advice I learned from being a hiring manager - don't apologize for your decision, makes people think you're not really sure and they have a chance to "appeal" the decision. Your opening sentence is perfect based on that.

Always thank them and give them something positive to go home with - you did that too. The reason for that is that even if they didn't get the job you want them to have a good opinion of your business. It's harder to overcome bad press than to make someone feel half way decent that they didn't make the cut. You did that too.

You're good! And not giving a critique is solid - if you get a reputation for it you could end up with submissions that were sent just for the critique!

Literary Fiction Editor said...

WOW! Two days into the job, and I've got a human resource 'angel' fluttering beside me. Life is good!

You bring up some excellent points, illustrating the business side of writing. In fact, I didn't progress as a published writer, until I started to treat my passion for creative writing as a business–easier said then done.

Thank you, Dawno

Jenna Glatzer said...

Hey girl! Just wanted to drop by and check out your new digs. :) Congrats on the new job! You're perfect for it!

Literary Fiction Editor said...

Check out my new digs. . . are you kidding? Regarding the topic of the value of networking and building an empire of useful resources for writers, you are the queen; you can have your own set of keys, and dibs on anything you find in the fridge too :-)

No matter the writing related topic, all roads lead directly to Jenna Glatzer's www.absolutewrite.com

Laurie said...

Congrats on the new job. :) I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog as it happens...

Literary Fiction Editor said...

Thank you for the vote of confidence, Laurie; I'm looking forward to seeing how this all turns out to, but then again, I've always been an anxious person i.e. are we there yet, are we there yet :-)

Kira said...

Just recieved a rejection letter yesterday, and I have to tell you I would have much preferred to recieved yours! Don't stress about it. It's fine.

Literary Fiction Editor said...

Thank you, Kira. After, looking through my file of rejection letters, I found some to be too curt, some bordering on blabbering. So 'fine' is just right :-)