All writers have a stack of rejections. In his memoir, Stephen King talks about nailing his rejection letters to a wall. Someone (I forget who – sorry!) on the podcast Writing Excuses said that his most reprinted story was also his most rejected story. And the logic of rejections and acceptances is often baffling and random.
Because we cannot control where our work is accepted, all we can do is continue to send stories out into the world, and celebrate each rejection on the path to becoming a (maybe someday) professional writer.
So instead of deleting rejection emails as they come in, I’m celebrating them below.
Day One, June 2016
Thanks so much for submitting to Day One! I really appreciate your support and interest, as well as your patience while I considered your work. Unfortunately, I’m going to pass on this story, but I wish you the best with your writing and hope you’ll think of us in the future. Thanks again for submitting!
Buck Off Magazine, May 2016
Thank you for sending us your story. We appreciate the chance to read it. Unfortunately, the piece is not for us.
Thanks again. Best of luck with this.
Southern Indiana Review, May 2016
Thank you for sending us your work to consider for an upcoming issue of the Southern Indiana Review; a panel of editors carefully read your submission. Unfortunately, we are unable to use your work at this time.
The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, May 2016:
Thank you for trusting us with your story. We appreciate the chance to consider it. Unfortunately, it is not quite right for us, but we would be happy to read something more from you. We’re sorry we can’t be more specific or give you individualized feedback. We wish we had time to give every submitter individual feedback. Please consider sending another submission through our submissions when you feel you have a new piece ready for us to read. It is always our policy to read each new submission with an open perspective.
Atticus Review, May 2016:
Thank you for sending us your story. We appreciate the chance to read your work but unfortunately have decided not to publish it. Please know that your work was considered carefully and that our decision to return this submission doesn’t mean much. Our tastes are subjective and often we end up turning down submissions that we enjoy, simply because they’re similar in tone or content to other pieces we’ve published.
Thanks again for your interest in our small press. If you’d like to keep up with our press and all the literary goodness going on at Atticus, we invite you to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Atticus Digest.
We wish you the best in finding a home for your writing.
Bourbon Penn, May 2016:
A Bad Penny Review, April 2016:
Thank you for sending us your story. We appreciated the chance to read your work, but ultimately decided it’s not for us.
Best of luck in placing it elsewhere.
Bayou Magazine, April 2016:
Thank you for letting us read your story. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept it for publication at this time. We receive thousands of submissions each year, and we must reject many fine stories, and this rejection does not mean that your story is without merit.
We wish you the best in placing it elsewhere.
The New Yorker, March 2016:
We’re sorry to say that this manuscript is not right for us, though we enjoyed reading it. Unfortunately, we are receiving so many submissions that it is impossible for us to reply more specifically. We thank you for the chance to consider your work. Please feel free to send us more soon.
Buffalo Almanack, November 2015:
Thank you for sending us your story. Unfortunately, we’re going to pass on it as it doesn’t quite meet the tone we are looking for at the moment. However, you should know that we did greatly enjoy your work—and that it had been on our short-list for publication. We sincerely hope this piece finds a home elsewhere in due time and that you might give us a try again in the future. We ask that you please wait a minimum of one month before submitting to us again.
Strangelet Press, October 2015:
Thank you for sending us your story. Unfortunately, this piece is not for us. We wish you the best of luck finding a home for it.
If you have other work which you feel we may be interested in, please do not hesitate to submit it to us.