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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Loving and Hating Rejection Letters

I'm sharing with you an example of the kind of rejection every author wants to get--with a reservation (of course!) 

Still, I’m hugely grateful for it and happy to put myself on the line so you may benefit from it, too.  It is a rarity among the finer and more established literary journals in the world. 

Most journals send canned rejections. But if you watch for clues, you can tell which submissions will reap the most benefit.  As an example, sometimes they offer a subscription to their journal with your entry fee.  Some say you will get input from the judges. And some, like Missouri Review, send you rejections that make you feel good instead of lousy!  Keep reading for info on one of their contests! 

But back to the rejection and my not-so-grateful reaction to it:

From: Missouri Review <submissions@missourireview.org>
Date: February 9, 2016 at 9:37:43 AM PST
Subject: Your submission to Missouri Review
Dear Carolyn Howard-Johnson,

Thank you for sending us "The True Big Bass Story".

This is a delightful story with a great grasp of narrative movement, plot, and strong insights on the world of journalism.

Unfortunately this particular piece was not a right fit for Missouri Review, but we were very impressed by your writing. We hope that you will feel encouraged by this short note and send us something else.

We look forward to reading more.


The Editors of Missouri Review

We’re awarding a $1,000 first prize in Prose, Poetry, Audio Documentary and Humor categories in our 9th Annual Miller Audio Prize audio competition. Send us your entries by March 15, 2016.

The only additional thing I could have asked for (would it be presumptuous of me to ask?) is, why would a story with bigotry as a theme be “not right” for a literary journal in a state that still harbors much bigotry—and don’t all journals (states) fall into that category? 

I guess I am like everyone else. I'd rather get an acceptance in my e-mail box. 

Happy submitting!

 Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

1 comment:

  1. That certainly was a gracious rejection letter. You commentary on the state of bigotry being every where and published in other literary magazines is a good point. Maybe the Editor was having a bad day. Just my 2cents worth, Carolyn.


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