Rejection got you down? Have a look at Judson Merrill’s post, which made me chuckle. Although JM’s waggish rejoinders to his assorted rejection letters are not, perhaps, the very model of gracious behavior, they do reflect a certain fighting spirit, plus an understanding of the absurdity of the submission/rejection process that is psychologically indispensable to any aspiring writer. That rejection is part and parcel of the writing life does not make it any less painful. Composing clever responses to form letters is not likely to advance an author’s cause or career, but it can offer a measure of comfort, humor, and a very necessary reminder that these letters, which are necessarily brief, impersonal, and devoid of actual, specific feedback, should be taken with a grain of salt.
Dear Mid-American Review,
Thank you for your recent rejection. I appreciate your taking the time to read my story. I understand how careful you must be in selecting a cohesive body of work to present in the MAR.
Your communiqué, however, did leave me with a few concerns. You write, “We have decided your submission is not a match for us at this time.” I assume this means I should submit my story again at a more convenient time. I don’t want to be a pest, though, so please provide a concrete timeline. Would you like to review the story again for your next issue or next year? Anything’s fine, just let me know.
Also, confusingly, you close that same paragraph with, “We wish you the best of luck placing your story elsewhere.” Typo?
How do you cope with rejections? How do you maintain perspective?