Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Rejecting Rejection Letters


I received two rejection letters this week, both for new poems of mine. Writers need to be able to take it on the chin and I do but that doesn't make rejection letters any easier. I've stopped reading past the "Thank you for your submission" as I know the rest of the letter is going to say how much the editors "enjoyed" reading my submission and how they hope I will "continue" to submit my poetry to their publication. If they enjoyed my poems so much why didn't they publish them and, why would I continue to send my poems to editors who clearly don't care for my work? I wish editors of small presses, journals, and magazines would come up with a synonym for "submission" as "submission guidelines," "submit here," and "thank for your submission," invoke a cartoon image of a timid wolf lying down and offering his throat to be bitten by the victorious meanie wolf. I am, after all, a poet not a canine. A software used by publishers to manage works under consideration is called "Submittable." Is submittable even a word? If it is, it shouldn't be.

"Congratulations" is how acceptance letters begin and I always read them, usually several times. Congratulations is a delighttable word and I cherish it on those occasions it is addressed to me. The congratulatory letter goes on to praise my poems and indicate when they will be published. My husband and my approximately three close friends (one can never be certain of relationships) often praise my poetry but compliments mean a tad more when they come from strangers, especially editors.

I like the idea of rejecting rejection letters. It eases their sting.