Real-Time Rejection: The Second Rejection of “Story X”

“Story X” has received its second rejection letter. Again, it didn’t take long. The markets I’m currently targeting are definitely quick on the draw (that’s a good thing). Let’s have a look:

Dear Aeryn,

Thank you for the opportunity to read “Story X.”

Unfortunately, your story isn’t quite what we’re looking for right now. In the past, we’ve provided detailed feedback on our rejections, but I’m afraid that due to time considerations, we’re no longer able to offer that service. I appreciate your interest in [our publication] and hope that you’ll keep us in mind in the future.

Take care,

Okay, so this looks like it might be an improved form rejection because it seems like they want to see more work (. . . keep us in mind in the future), but in this case, I think this is just another common form rejection. Now, it is possible this magazine does have tiers of form rejections, and this one here might be a step up from their straight-up “no thanks” letter. But my gut tells me the implication to send more work is just a nicety this publication likes to include in their rejections. I could be wrong, of course, but I honestly think this publication would send a personal rejection if they were really requesting I send them something else.

So what’s the takeaway here? What can we learn? Nada. Zip. Nothin’. This is the kind of rejection letter you must not overanalyze, because it doesn’t tell you anything other than “we’re not publishing this story.” There’s no positive, self-assuring message to be gleaned, and what I’m going to do is the same thing you should do when getting a letter like this: cry a little, curse the gods, become convinced your work is shit, get mad at yourself for thinking your work is shit, become convinced you work is not shit, and send the story out again.

Okay, onward and upward and all that. It’s time to send this puppy out again by hitting the ‘ol auto-reject button. Oddly, that button looks a lot like the SEND button on my email account.

Previous Real-Time Rejection Posts

Part 1: Real-Time Rejection: The Journey of “Story X” (intro)

Part 2: Real-Time Rejection: The First Rejection of “Story X”

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