View Full Version : Is this a form rejection?

05-08-2008, 01:40 AM
I just got this letter from a semi-pro mag, and although I feel like crud, I don't feel as bad about being rejected like this; it seemed like a personal note. Can anyone tell if this is form?

"Thanks for showing us your story "Subterrene" but I've decided not to take it for XXXXXXX. The idea's well executed and the writing is good, but in the end it just didn't connect with me enough for a buy. Good luck to you with it, though, and I hope you will try us again when you can."

05-08-2008, 02:34 AM
Is that from JJA?

05-08-2008, 02:45 AM
I think it's a polite form of rejection. That said, I always assume they read my material through and through and that I'm the only one who's gotten such a letter. Makes me feel better even if it isn't true. :-)

05-08-2008, 02:57 AM
Rejection happens, and has happened to all of us. Trust in your gift and your work. Whether it be a form letter or a hand written note, it won't matter once you publish. No worries! Have an adult beverage on me and BELIEVE!

Bourgeois Nerd
05-08-2008, 03:40 AM
I got a rejection that was so encouraging because it reassured me that my premise wasn't too dark or out-there but then I came on this board. It was here that I found out that someone else had gotten the same lovely rejection letter. I LOL'd. At least I didn't email them back for such encouraging remarks. Someone had actually done that with this one agency and they felt like such a putz.

Anyway, it's hard to tell some days if I'm not just severely deluded about the whole process (writing AND query letters).

Mr Sci Fi
05-13-2008, 03:21 AM
I think if they mention you by name as opposed to author, *shudders* name your story and give you a reason for the rejection, I'd consider that good news. Yours was one that was well-written enough to merit a personal note.

05-13-2008, 11:20 AM
The original post was a very specific kind of rejection -- the kind you get from an editor who would love to say something helpful but has been beaten over the head so many times by authors taking it the wrong way that they've learned not to say anything at all. Unfortunately, the internet has caused a proliferation of these, since there are so many sites and forums where editors get flamed (and even slandered) for speaking. It's not personal, and it's not strictly impersonal. It's just being trapped in the middle.

I have also learned (the hard way) when editing a project not to say any more than what you see there. It's a case of a small numbers of lunatics spoiling the pond for everyone. Now, for the writers I've known for years, the ones I know are not crazy, I'll chat away.

It's sad that it has come to this for so many editors. But it's hard enough to get through a day, get through a stack of hopeful work, try to say something useful, try to get to sleep, only to find out people have started hate mail campaigns against you out of the blue.

05-13-2008, 05:03 PM
I think this is one of a number of "form letters" that the editor keeps on hand, or in mind. This is the one he sends to near-misses, to stories that were good but, as he says, just not his thing. The invitation to send more is a good sign. Send more.

05-13-2008, 06:15 PM
It's form.


05-13-2008, 06:24 PM
At the risk of sounding dumb, what's a semi-pro mag?

And I've gotten rejections like that, where they name the material and compliment the writing. Not sure if it's a form. I don't think they'd invite you to submit in the future if they didn't mean it.

Saundra Julian
05-13-2008, 10:30 PM
Sounds like form to me too.