Monday, November 14, 2011

Tired today! It was quite a weekend. Fun, bittersweet to see it end. Then today I had to do a school visit, and the mad rush to end of semester begins. I hope to accomplish a lot next week, before Thanksgiving.

Rejection (1999)

Hibrow Publications
100 Flashcube Building
Erudite, New York 10000
June 11, 1999

Simon Colchester
10 Never-ending Lane
Insipid, New York 11111

Dear Mr. Colchester:

Generally I begin my letters, regardless of whether they are offers or rejections, by thanking the writer for his or her submission.  In your case, I must make an exception.  I could never thank you for sending me your story.  Reading it has wasted the better part of an hour and ruined my day.  Have you heard of writer’s guidelines?  I am not impressed that you are clever with your word processing software.  We at Hibrow Publications do not appreciate every line of your text beginning with a bullet.

Under ordinary conditions, I would just recycle your story, never send you a response at all, and remove the stamps from your self-addressed, stamped envelope to use for my own personal mail.  But, for your special circumstances I have decided to sacrifice the postage.  Someone needs to let you know the truly abysmal quality of your work.  Perhaps then you will be persuaded to stop producing it.

Do you remember the “Gong Show?”  Many times while I was reading your submission, I wished you were a contestant, and I was a judge, so I could have the pleasure of interrupting your miserable thoughts on that page by hitting the gong with all my might.

You may find this note shocking.  It is evident you are extremely proud of your writing.  Indeed, your article is quite comprehensive and contained much detail.  Rather than being impressive, however, I found myself asking who you think would be interested in so much drivel on so boring and trivial a topic?  A friendless loser would have something better to do than read your article.  And even if your topic had been clever one, your prose was so mind-numbing that my brain’s ability to generate pleasant-sounding rejection letters has been frozen, and may be forever impaired.

In case my message has yet to penetrate your consciousness, your submission does not meet our needs at this time, nor will it meet them at any other time.  Unfortunately, I am unable to congratulate you on the effort you showed in your story, because your time would have been better spent by watching a test pattern on the television.  However, I am willing to offer a suggestion for improvement.  Throw this story in the trash immediately, and erase it from your computer disk.  As a precaution, you may need to format the diskette to eliminate all traces of this piece.

Finally, I will not wish you success in your future endeavors, because should you persevere and achieve publication, you will only serve to drag down the overall quality of writing in the English language.

Valentine Green

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