Contests are a special brand of rejection hell because they announce you're a loser with a list of winners (not you) in an envelope you've supplied yourself with a stamp. This contest was for literary essays up to 10,000 words (unusually long) and was conducted at the speed of light; I mean, they practically just got my submission yesterday. (Did Jo Ann Beard and the editors really have ample time to read and offer "careful consideration?" Or did only four people submit essays?) Anyway, this rejection offers a nice little unforeseen slap: "Ms. Beard and the Fugue editors have decided not to award honorary mention to other contest submissions." Clearly every one's essays except for Kisha Lewellyn Schlegel's was crap.