A reader inspired a final "question of the month" for 2007 with this letter:
I'm kind of upset about a recent form reject from FIVEPOINTS. The submission was targeted -- I actually do read their magazine, I like some of the stories in it, and what I sent was completely targeted to it and highly polished, sent out only after close analysis of what they publish. It was addressed to the editors, went out with a personalized cover letter, and so on. And in return? Well, you'll get more insight out of the paper slip you pull out of a Chinese fortune cookie ... and their cheap slip wasn't all that much bigger. But that gave me an idea, so here goes: My suggestion to them and other journals is to go ahead and run with the "fortune cookie" motif. It's cute, it speaks to their level, it's easy to mass produce, and for serious-but-undiscovered writers it helps take out the vacuity of this whole routine. They don't have to send us the cookies but maybe they should go the extra mile and print "learn Chinese" with a word on the back side, or at least give us a few lucky numbers at the bottom so we won't feel so cheated out of postage and paper and time and feel so trampled from the deal. Maybe they could list the names of a few other journals worth supporting, so we could take the advice and get some more SASEs out in the mail. I mean, I was so incensed by the cheapness and thoughtless of their tiny slip which had been sent in response to what I know is a great and well-written story that I took another close look at my issues and did some googling on the contributors. And as a result I did find out one interesting thing about FIVEPOINTS: as far I can tell every last one of their contributors are either teachers or MFA graduates, so I figure that until I become one of those I won't ever meet the needs of that magazine.
Suppose for a minute you could receive your literary rejection in some form other than an email or a letter (i.e., a cake, singing telegram, melting ice sculpture, or fortune cookie). How would you most like to receive your next rejection?