Thursday, March 18, 2010

One Word Is All It Takes

A friend of mine told me on the phone yesterday about the best rejection he ever received; I made him swear he was going to send it to me via e, but I should have made him triple swear. He said it was from a literary magazine, and would look to see which one, but here's what it said: "Nope." Just a single colloquialism. Have you ever?  I do not even really mean that rhetorically: have you ever gotten such a decisive turn down? Personally, I think it's rude.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you gotta look at it from the reverse. If you've ever read for a lit journal, then you know the number of absolutely STUPID and THOUGHTLESS submissions that come rolling in. And then there are the crap stories by people whose educational credentials contain the letters MFA, PHD, ETC, and you just wonder what in the holy hell were they THINKING?! So I guess what I'm saying is that if it was an honest "Nope" then that's not such a bad thing. Kind of dickish, yes, but consider the restraint by these folks show on a daily basis and imagine yourself in their shoes.

contestant #345 said...

i bet it was mcsweeneys...am i right? let's have a guessing contest and you announce the winner tomorrow.

i once rec'd my ms with the word "no" written in the top corner in red ink. it was small handwriting, not like huge caps NO. i forget the journal, it was a paying print publication based out of a college in the middle of the country. when i reread it, i totally agreed with their decision.

Z said...

Really? You've never gotten a ding from editor/agent with just a big red no?

Gosh, the adult world is so...kind. I work in kiddie lit, and I bet I've gotten five or six big red no's---some circled, some in caps, some just plain small and dismissive---over the years...