A vast public collection of real-life rejection
These types of rejections are the most disturbing. I've had two similar to this...one hand written at the bottom of a standard copy rejection, the other typed out specifically. It leaves you wondering what any of it means.
It's depressing to read about great editors of the past, people like Maxwell Perkins, who patiently polished rough manuscripts into masterpieces. I've read some of the early drafts he had to edit, and they were really rough. Of course, they went on to become novels like The Great Gatsby or Look Homeward, Angel. Were editors like that always the exception? My pet theory is that editors assume we all have MFA instructors to turn to for editing advice.
I wish I could remember what this rejection was for. I never should have put all that information in an Access database ...
this letter is so vague...it could be describing the act of taking a dump. "a solid effort..."
I got something similarly vague from the New Yorker, but it still made my day! So sad...
Nothing wrong with that--this is what almost all my rejections look like. Editors do still work with people, when they like the story enough--this is what you get when they don't, but want to let you know that they recognize you're a decent writer.
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