Monday, October 16, 2006

Rejection Collection - North Dakota Quarterly

Another rejection slip, this one from North Dakota Quarterly for my story "This Is What He Does," claiming that they are not accepting new fiction. I always wonder if this is a cover. I assume they didn't read it all, but maybe this is just a way of rejecting and trying not to make me feel bad. Either way, the slip is not too impressive, especially with the cockeyed sticker covering up the original address.


  1. Hi, saw your post from Metaxcu, and have to say: Yes, there is a pecking order in rejection slips.

    There is the standard thanks, but no thanks. -- Mimeographed, no comments, totally impersonal. Like the one you received. What I don't like about the one you received is they should notify writers -- via their submissions guidelines -- if they are not looking for fiction submissions.

    There is the we liked it, but no thanks. When you're a novice struggling writer, as all of us pretty much are all the time, this is a big deal. Almost like an acceptance. Especially if it's from a Big Name Zine. How can you tell this is different from a standard thanks but no thanks? Well, often there is a handwritten note on it, like Try Again. Some sort of human stain. Or your name is spelled correctly in the salutation. Some sort of personalized touch.

    Then there is the Oh, you were sooooo close! This, too, is just under the gratifying level of an actual acceptance. This arrives usually as an e-mail from the editor, with all sorts of heartwarming bowing and scraping and "please submit again." You know one of these when you see it -- totally Sally Field (You really liked me!)

    Eventually, you will get an acceptance. And there's no need for me to explain those...

  2. LK,
    Thanks for the comment.

    It's funny how after receiving many rejections, you get a little skeptical. I'm looking for meaning in everything.

  3. I'm so skeptical. But not about rejection. (Read my latest post if you don't believe me...)

  4. I received a "thanks but no thanks" rejection slip from NDQ in September. It didn't say anything about not taking submissions at this time. I'll have to check their website, but I think they claim to take submissions year round