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Truthful Rejection Slips

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:

  1. This story is wrong for our kind of publication. We would never publish that kind of thing.
  2. Truthfully, we didn’t like it/weren’t grabbed by it.
  3. It’s obvious you have some talent, but this work didn’t grab us.
  4. 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.
  5. A portion of the editorial committee loved this piece, but eventually it was axed.
  6. The subject matter is just too weird.
  7. It’s too long.
  8. We wouldn’t run it anyway, but you should totally revise this work before submitting it to another publication.
  9. We like this piece and if you revised it thoroughly, we might actually consider running it.
  10. 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.

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