Writers like me are keeping an entire subset of the magazine and publishing industry employed.
If we unknowns did not submit unwanted poems, stories, manuscripts to various publishing concerns, what would they do with their staff who write rejection letters? You know the folk who tell you to stuff your submission, pack it in, go back to playing pong, stop wasting time and electricity, and give up on your dreams of actually getting your unimaginative scribblings in front of readers? Well, those rejection letter people have a unique and unappreciated skill set.
Think about what kind of talent it takes to just say no. Like this:
Dear Ms. Marachi,
Thank you so much for your story “The Arid Hills of Steamy Wisconsin.”
While it is a memorable story, we are unable to include it in Big-Assed Monthly. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit with what we are currently publishing.
Good luck and best wishes.
Gloria Partridge, Manager
Unsolicited Manuscripts and Assorted Trash Collection
And, notice how nicely done.
Gloria has left Meadowlark Marachi with her dignity and the faint hope that someone, somewhere may actually want the novel that she has worked on so diligently for the last twelve years while working a dead-end job and living with her mother.
That’s bullshit, of course, but pride, like hope, survives.
Notice that line it doesn’t fit with what we are currently publishing. That’s because Big-Assed Monthly publishes stories that are readable and have a plot. They are not looking for garbage. Or:
Thank you, Marquis Toenail,
We at Insufficient Space publishing were pleased to receive your submission to our fall 2018 ‘What Bad Crap Have You Written Lately?’ contest. Unfortunately, your 60,000 words about Lady Chatterley do not meet our needs at the present time.
If you choose to submit to Insufficient Space in the future, please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for submission.
Good luck with your upcoming endeavors.
Manager of terrible ideas
Insufficient Space publishers, printers, and shredders
Carmelita Apple was extremely careful about how she rejected this submission. She did not get entrapped assigning gender to author Marquis Toenail. Despite the submission being 20 times longer than the guidelines allowed (please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for submission) and dependent on another writer’s copy-protected work, Carmelita allowed the author to go away believing that their rendering of drivel may interest some publisher, somewhere, sometime.
It will not, ever.
However, should the ever-hopeful Marquis decide sometime in the future to self-publish that will open a brand-new can of worms. Marquis’ opus includes lifts of entire passages from “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” by D.H. Lawrence.
David Herbert Lawrence died in 1930 but copy protection can continue well past the author’s expiration date. Marquis should expect to receive some correspondence that will not be the hoped-for fan mail. Return addresses will include Esq. and LLC.
Or this one:
Please consider this as acknowledgement of your story, “Indecipherable Dreck.” Snooty and Snotty Publishers have never read anything like it.
Obviously, there is no way we would consider writing of this caliber for any publication under the S&S masthead.
Do not submit to us again or we will send professional assassins.
You have been warned.
Manuel Typewriter, manager
Snooty and Snotty Publishers
Never give up, fellow scribblers. Continue submitting and let’s keep those rejections coming. We’re propping up a much-ignored part of the publishing business.