Thursday, November 8, 2007

Rejection Letters

Back in grad school one of my friends' boyfriends would go, "Oh no, you're not going to compare rejection letters again, are you?"

My brother's girlfriend is a writer. I guess she gets a lot of loving rejection letters. Loving rejection letters make her sick.

I like loving rejection letters. I'm not crazy about consoling ones ("Take heart, writer. We are but one small pond in a vast terrain of...."). I'm not crazy about ones that tell me how I'm supposed to react ("Unfortunately, we've decided...." Unfortunately? For you? Then why not take the story?) But loving rejection letters.... Yeah, I'll take them.

I got a loving one a while back from another writer, Darlin' Neal, who was guest editing for the Mississippi Review online. She didn't tell me what was wrong with the story (though I'm sure something was), and she didn't tell me that the story wasn't a 'fit' for the issue (that I could see for myself later on). She said that she was happy to have read it and that the characters would stay with her. Getting a letter like that -- not a bad day.... That's the kind of thing that can get people like me addicted to their email....

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