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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Down and Dirty in the Delta!

This Delta Review form rejection says: "Thank you for submitting.  Unfortunately, the work you sent us is quite terrible.  Please forgive the form rejection, but it would take too much of my time to tell you exactly how terrible it was.  thanks again for the form letter."  

I am told it is real.  What more need anyone say?


Anonymous said...

Ackk! They're forgetting the first rule of rejection: Do it in a way that doesn't lead someone to spray paint your office or take a baseball bat to your car. If I were the New Delta Review, I'd hire a security guard before I sent out letters like this one.

rmellis said...

They were nicer a few years ago:

E. said...

Can this be real? I am astonished. It at least would have been more honest to say, "Your terrible work was a waste of my precious time, and barely merits a form response."

Just awful. Who the hell do these people think they are? If they accept unsolicited submissions, they must accept that some percentage of what they consider "quite terrible" stories will come over the transom. No excuse for poor manners.

Even if the writer deliberately submitted a putrid piece in some misguided quest to test the process, I think it's incumbent on the publication to display professional courtesy.

Crossing this one off my list.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, they are trying to corner the market on "humorous rejections". But I'm guessing the only laughs from recipients would be hollow and mirthless.

They probably started sending out this less ambiguous - though no less hilarious (ha-effing-ha) - form rejection because too many writers took the previous one at face value and resubmitted the same story in the hope that there'd be room in the next issue.

Writer, Rejected said...

But I think if I got this rejection, it would make me laugh. Don't you think they mean it as a joke?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...


Believe it or not, this is the current Editor-in-Chief of NDR, Benjamin Lowenkron. Our journal has a high rate of turn-over on the staff because we are 100% run by graduate students. So, every now and then, an assmunch who thinks he is hilarious happens to stumble onto the staff. I am not sure when or who sent out that rejection (though I have a few ideas), but it is not our practice to insult and antagonize our contributors. Our nornal rejection slip simple informs the writer that their piece did not find a home at NDR.

That being said, I do think the letter is hilarious, and that people take rejections way too seriously (there are an infinite number of reasons a piece gets rejected, and I have plenty of rejections of my own work sitting around my office). Though I would not send this sort of rejection out, I have to admit the thought has crossed my mind on a few occasions - for example, the time we received a letter smeared in cat feces from someone who we rejected (with the normal rejection), informing us that his/her story got picked up by a "better journal." No joke. Anyway, we here at New Delta Review welcome all submissions, and as always, stop idiot be.

-Benjamin S. Lowenkron, Editor, New Delta Review

Anonymous said...

Not only was it meant as a joke, it was never meant to get out.

As the "assmunch" in question (got to love a boss with such careful attention to word choice), I feel somewhat drawn to clear it all up.

We were out of rejection slips a few days back, and (yes, due to the massive turnover) had to search everywhere for the original document which contained the form letter. Once I found it, I amended it slightly as a joke, and saved two versions of the slip (the original, and the joke). Then, one page was printed containing three of the joke slips, and was passed around the office (though not to the EiC).

Apparently, it got mixed up in the pages of actual form letters I printed off that day. For that, I am sorry. I'd like to assure the three people that mistakenly got the joke rejection that it was completely random (as well as accidental), and not indicative of a particularly poor quality of work. Not to say that the stories in question didn't warrant such a harsh reading... I just can't say for sure that they did. Trust me, they accidentally found their way into the pile, and went out in the mail with no one knowing that it had happened.

Not acceptable, certainly, but funny nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

Are the two comments above real? I can't tell.