Dear Literary Magazine, Thank You for Sending Us Your Rejection Letter
by ________Posted on September 12th, 2012 at 11:28 am
Over at The Morning News, Jamie Allen offers an insightful (albeit farcical) critique of the existence of form rejection letters in the domain of literature and artistic creation—pondering, “How can we writers be inspired to mine our psyches for our truest and deepest humanities, and then send these efforts to you for humbling inspection, when you are so unwilling to return the favor with even a primitive stab at creativity?”
Here’s the start:
Dear Literary Magazine,
Thank you for sending us your rejection letter. Despite its evident merit, we’re sorry to say we cannot accept it at this time. And by “evident merit,” we mean its merit must be evident to someone, and perhaps that someone is you, because we just couldn’t find it. We mean “evident merit” like this: “evident (?) merit (?).”
No, seriously—while we don’t normally spend more than a paragraph rejecting rejection letters, we thought it might be beneficial to dedicate a little more time to your work.
First, your rejection letter doesn’t feel especially unique—at least in the context of other rejection letters we’ve seen. As a direct representation of a literary magazine with a mission statement to “bring the most honest and original writing” to its “readership of informed thinkers,” this is a concern. Consider it this way: How can we writers be inspired to mine our psyches for our truest and deepest humanities, and then send these efforts to you for humbling inspection, when you are so unwilling to return the favor with even a primitive stab at creativity?
We even briefly wondered if you were attempting a deadpan parody of the rejection-letter genre. But then it occurred to us that you may be hiding behind worn rejection-letter clichés—that you may be afraid to be genuine. So many young writers are afraid to be genuine! Don’t fall into this trap. Instead, figure out how to be your most genuine.