It certainly doesn’t happen very often, and usually your mind will be off in another world when you find out about it, but sometimes rejection letters make you smile. I don’t mean that they make you laugh, if that happens I think you’re probably not reading it right, but occasionally they’re very rewarding. When you get that personalized, “we came very close to publishing your piece” rejection email, it’s always a surprise. So many rejections are in form format these days, that it can make you feel very disconnected to your work. You get a rejection, you shrug, you move on, repeat. Gems like this one, however, make you pause and realize that people do read your work and that it makes an impression on them.
Taking a nod from L. Lambert, who has the guts to do this for every rejection – you have to be impressed with that, I’m posting it up here. Thank you folks at The Future Fire for the very kind rejection. I’ll definitely be submitting to you again.
Thank you for submitting ‘The Strangers’ for consideration by The
Future Fire. The editors have read your story and after some
discussion we have decided not to take it for publication.
This is a really strong story, well-written and gripping with some
sympathetic characters in a genuinely dark setting (though I would
call it ‘post-apocalyptic’ rather than ‘dystopian’; dystopia suggests
to me a repressive political setting rather than a desperate and
dangerous environment). We decided in the end that it isn’t quite a
fit for TFF, but we did enjoy reading it and like your writing a lot.
I hope you’ll consider sending us more of your work some time.
We’d like to thank you again for thinking of us with this story, and
wish you the very best with your writing in the future.