I received an interesting rejection yesterday from a pro print magazine. I'm not going to identify which magazine it was. I'm not mad because I got rejected. I understand magazines get a hundred submissions for every story they buy, and they've got to make a decision. However, I want to use this letter to demonstrate why magazines should used form letter rejections.

"Dear Mark:
Much better manuscript preperation this time, for which we thank you."

It's nice. He even remembered that I sent him a manuscript two years ago. And he gave me valuable advice then, suggesting I use a bigger font which I have ever since. Moreover, Dear Mark sounds a lot better than Dear Author. However, notice he mispelled preparation. I don't think I'd trust a manuscript of mine to their editing.

"Thank you for letting us see your work, "Fred Fornier: the Professional Revivier." Essentially science fiction, which we avoid, and ends in futility, which we also avoid."

There's a big problem with this. The story I sent them was not "Fred Fornier: The Professional Reviver." (April/May 2006 Nocturnal Ooze Magazine). That was the sole publication credit that I listed on my cover letter. The title of the story I sent them was "Do Unto Others..." I just wonder how they got it so mixed up. Also notice the mispelled reviver. I do believe they read my story, although I don't consider my story sci fi. My instructor at LRWG also classified it as sci fi. It does have elements of sci fi, but it's supposed to be a horror story and an allegory of how people can be on the one hand so nice to the people they love and on the other how cruel to those they hate.

I understand that it was not the kind of story they were looking for. I accept and respect there decision. However, I doubt I'll be sending them a story again. It took them five months to respond, and then I get this sloppy letter back. It gives me doubts about the quality of their editing.

This is one example of why I prefer form letter rejections.