My first rejection letter darkened my inbox this week.
I submitted an article to a journal and truly, truly, truly I did it to get over the fear of actually sending something off for consideration.
Well, let me tell you, I am exquisitely good at lying to myself. When I saw the message in my inbox, my heart flipped and fluttered at the sheer prospect of my piece being published. I opened the e-mail and as quickly as it flipped and fluttered, my little heart sank. I swear I felt it drop down to my stomach. I didn’t know how badly I wanted to be accepted.
Until I wasn’t.
I have included my rejection letter sans identifying information because I love this journal even though it doesn’t love me back.
After you read it, don’t go firing off comments about how rejection is part of being a writer. I know that. Being stung is part of being a beekeeper, but it still hurts a little bit.
For your benefit, I have translated editor speak into regular people language.
Thank you for your submission. We’d run out of toilet paper and it was the perfect substitute. The editors have read and considered your piece and, unfortunately, will not be able to publish it. Because you are a ghastly writer and your overzealous use of sentence fragments made the editors want to claw their eyes out. The current editorial team is currently coming to the end of its tenure and the few remaining slots have all been filled with other pieces. No way in hell were the current editors going to publish drivel like that in their swan song issue. Seriously, no way. We are sorry we can’t offer you better news, but we just can’t because your writing is that bad, and we are sorry for the significant delay in getting you this decision as the editors made their difficult choices, but we had to allow enough time to pass it around the office so that everyone including the UPS man could mock both you and your article, but we wish you all the best as you continue your writing, if that’s what you’re calling it. And please stop calling it that. Thank you for your interest in our journal. We hope you will enjoy reading pieces by writers who are by far your superior.
Editorial Assistant, the one who drew the short straw and had to figure out a polite way to tell you that your writing is dreadful. Maybe you should consider a career at Safeway. By the way, your outfit sucks, too. I haven’t seen it, but I’m confident that it does.
So there you have it, the first in what I’m sure will be a long line of rejection letters. I’m heading to Safeway today to pick up a job application.