Not all rejections are all bad

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:

Dear Alan:

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.

Ever onwards.


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6 thoughts on “Not all rejections are all bad

  1. I seem to recall Stephen King in “On Writing” saying that he always treasured the first rejection he got with a minor personal comment.

    Keep up the good (and improving) work.

  2. Interzone is good at this sort of rejection (she says with too many of them fuelling her fire) – they are tend to be helpful and to say they’re looking forward to more submissions from you.

    It softens the blow I found.


  3. I recently got one with a more personal touch, as well, and I was ecstatic about it. It is good to know that you’re doing something right, especially after you get a few form rejections under your belt.

    My daughter said, “I’ve never seen someone get so excited about a rejection.”

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