I got the nicest rejection letter the other day from Alligator Juniper, a literary magazine out of Prescott College. I’d submitted a story a few months ago for a contest, one of those on-a-whim moments when I had a few minutes in magical conjunction with an advert for the contest. Just below the standard, typewritten response was a long, handwritten paragraph from one of the fiction staffers telling me several things that they absolutely loved about my piece. Of course, they still weren’t going to publish it.
Um, as much as my ego loves stroking–let’s be honest, no matter how they say it, it’s not called a rejection letter for nothing–I’m left holding this little piece of paper wondering how exactly that’s supposed to help me. I mean, kudos for the plug, but seriously, if I didn’t think it was good, I wouldn’t have sent it to you. The most frustrating thing is that this same story came back with a rejection letter from a different magazine last year with a similar handwritten note. That one went so far as to assure me that I would surely get that story published. It was just going to have to be somewhere else. Good thing I’m all pumped up on peppermint mochas and holiday cheer, or else I might feel just a wee bit dejected.