Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, Happy Rejection

I submitted two stories to StoryQuarterly's contest and got back two identical rejections in yesterday's mail. They go like this:

Dear Writer, Rejected
Thank you for entering “Title of Story” in the StoryQuarterly Fiction Contest. The piece was read and carefully considered by several of our editors, in a competition made challenging by the number of entries we received and by there being so many, like yours, that deserved particularly close attention, based on the positive responses of the editors. In the end, we could choose only a handful of stories, however, and hard choices had to be made, and we regret that your story was not one of our winners this time. We’re grateful for your participation in the contest, and we hope you will keep StoryQuarterly in mind for your work in the future. An announcement of the winning stories will soon go out to the magazine’s readership, along with a schedule of open reading periods and future contests. Again, thank you for sending your work, and please accept our kind wishes for a wonderful holiday and a fulfilling New Year.
Sincerely,
The Editors
Dear Writer, Rejected
Thank you for entering “Title of Story” in the StoryQuarterly Fiction Contest. The piece was read and carefully considered by several of our editors, in a competition made challenging by the number of entries we received and by there being so many, like yours, that deserved particularly close attention, based on the positive responses of the editors. In the end, we could choose only a handful of stories, however, and hard choices had to be made, and we regret that your story was not one of our winners this time. We’re grateful for your participation in the contest, and we hope you will keep StoryQuarterly in mind for your work in the future. An announcement of the winning stories will soon go out to the magazine’s readership, along with a schedule of open reading periods and future contests. Again, thank you for sending your work, and please accept our kind wishes for a wonderful holiday and a fulfilling New Year.
Sincerely,
The Editors
StoryQuarterly.com

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I got the exact same form letter from Story Quarterly on 12/27/2007. It sounds encouraging, but I really can't be sure that they don't send the same letter to everyone. Did anyone get a different response?

Anonymous said...

So you're asking fellow writers to step up and admit if they received a lesser form rejection - one that did not, perhaps, talk about deserving "particularly close attention" or "positive resonses of the editors"!! Alas (i.e. phew! i.e. thank the random craziness of the contest gods) I can't help you determine if there is a wicked two-tier rejection system in place, because I didn't submit to that particular contest. I'll watch this with interest though!

Anonymous said...

I also received these for two different stories. Alas.

Anonymous said...

I'm the first anonymous commenter, and while receiving such a flattering rejection letter softens the blow (unless we find out that everyone got the same letter), the cynic in me can't help wondering about an ulterior motive: Namely, to induce us to pay another $20 entry fee for their next contest. I think I'll stick to regular submissions from now on rather than gamble again in game where the house always wins. I'm not bitter, really! I just like to think I'm wiser now.

Anonymous said...

Did anybody ever get a personal note from SQ, or just these hopeful rejections? Reminds me of the hopeful rejection that Glimmer Train sends out ("it was a good read"), they too have contests and that's why their rejections are hopeful too. I think we lowly rejected writers are finally catching on.....

Maybe these contest mills will have to work harder in the new year and actually scrawl a little personal note on each one: "close" ... "thanks"... "keep at it"..."sorry"..."try again"!

Anonymous said...

Same rejection here, durnit. I thought I was special.

Oh well.