The one problem with electronic submissions is that all you get in the form
of rejection is an email. But here's the one I received this week from Kenyon Review:
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 1:23 PM
Subject: Your submission
Dear Damon Garr:
Thank you for submitting your story. We regret that we are unable to use "Riverside."
Your work has received careful consideration, which sometimes means a response less prompt than we would wish. Unfortunately, the large number of submissions prevents us from commenting on many worthy manuscripts.
Okay, boilerplate so far. But now it gets interesting:
[Personal note: we apologize profusely for having kept your story for such a long time, and even more for deciding, in the end, not to take it. Your story was passed from editor to editor, all of whom admired some aspects of its craft and execution. In the end, however, we didn't quite find
enough to warrant keeping it. In my case, it seemed to me that the opening and closing were weaker than the rest, lacked the supple surprise and mordant dilation of the middle.
Again, sorry to keep this work so long. We'd be happy to see more from you in the fall--we'll try to be more prompt in getting back to you! Best wishes and good luck. ]
We do appreciate your interest in The Kenyon Review.
Yes, the Kenyon Review almost took my story. Almost? Oh, that would have been nice. And now they're not reading again until the fall. So close.