Best Rejection Yet

I just received a rejection e-mail that contained the following snippet:

“…we have decided to pass on your story.  It’s an unusual take on mass culture, firing a rocket of cancer to wipe out television, but it’s not quite the type of story we’re currently looking to add to Redstone SF.”

I’ve read stories for magazines, and I know how this usually works.  For one publication I was given a stack of photocopied rejection notices and specifically told not to make any personal notes.  Another publication uses an electronic submission management program in which it is impossible for me to edit, in any way, the standard rejection notice.

It doesn’t matter if I only read the first sentence, or if I read the whole story twice.  It doesn’t matter if I think the writer’s way off base, or if I think they’re really close.  If somebody submitted a story written in Klingon they’d get the same rejection notice as a person who just needs to revise once or twice more.

In the past I’ve received rejections with a personal touch – a hand-scribbled, “good luck!” once, another time, after the obviously form rejection, and editor had written “Your story did not capture my interest.”

Thanks, dick.

Anyway, this new, favorite, best rejection yet made me feel good.  That little synopsis means that the person writing that rejection actually read the story the whole way through.  It also means that I succeeded in communicating the story on, at the very least, a basic level.  For all those other rejections told me, I might as well have been writing in Klingon.

And knowing that somebody actually read and understood my story makes me feel good.  It’s the kind of rejection that makes me feel like I’m not wasting my time.

If you want to write, you’re going to get rejected.  Over and over and over.  That’s just the way it is, and it can be a little murderous on the soul.  But it’s rejections like this (and the occasional acceptance) that should keep you going.

So go check out Redstone Science Fiction.  Not because they’re good (which they are), but because they put a smile on my face.

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