More often than not when submitting stories for publication a rejection comes in the form of a standard line. It’s usually something along the line of “thanks but no thanks” and that’s it. It’s fair enough too – having been on the other side of the fence I can sympathise with the editors. As a writer, however, it’s always good to get a bit more feedback from an editor. A rejection is one thing, a rejection with a reason is better.
Today I got a rejection that makes me feel like I’m on the right track at least:
Thank you very much for submitting “Your Story” to Publication. We have decided not to accept your work for publication. This is not necessarily a reflection on the work itself (your story is well written, interesting and different), it simply isn’t quite right for Publication. We wish you all the best in finding your work a home.
The names have been changed to protect the innocent. Everything about that is a pretty standard rejection, except the bit in brackets: (your story is well written, interesting and different). The editor didn’t need to add that but they did. Those are three things that I’m always aiming for, so even though that’s a rejection, it’s an encouraging one.