Interesting idea for rejection slips. I know the writer intended it as a joke, but why should we not have standard rejection slips throughout the industry? I suggest using a form with these boxes to check. Editors could check one, several or all of them:
- This story is wrong for our kind of publication. We would never publish that kind of thing.
- Truthfully, we didn’t like it/weren’t grabbed by it.
- It’s obvious you have some talent, but this work didn’t grab us.
- At the moment, we already have enough submissions to keep us busy. We may have glanced at your first paragraph, but truthfully, nobody would say we gave it a fair appraisal.
- A portion of the editorial committee loved this piece, but eventually it was axed.
- The subject matter is just too weird.
- It’s too long.
- We wouldn’t run it anyway, but you should totally revise this work before submitting it to another publication.
- We like this piece and if you revised it thoroughly, we might actually consider running it.
- Maybe this work had potential, but we stopped reading when the manuscript was not formatted properly or hadn’t been proofread at all. Maybe this is a great story, but why should we waste our time?
If every publication used the same rejection slip, the world would be a better place.
On the other hand, writers under 40 ought to get used to NEVER receiving rejection slips. When a multitude of publications exist to publish things, editors no longer have the desire or time to become a filter. Except where there’s money involved, in which case we’d be lucky to receive a rejection slip at all.