In my closet I have all of my rejection/acceptance slips adorning the walls.
I save each and every one of them.
The rejections far outweigh the acceptance slips but I like knowing where it is that I’ve come from in terms of my writing.
The other day I received another “pinky” from a publication where I’ve submitted numerous stories. I thought that today in the spirit of negativity that I would post a line by line personal reply to their sterile and apathetic rejection letter.
I’m not really bitter about this as much as I am disappointed.
Sadly, I’ve gotten very used to the idea of rejection simply because it goes with the territory.
A short hand written note saying ‘this is why we rejected you’ would be such a great help.
As Steven Tyler of Aerosmith says, “Dream on.”
FYI- the piece I submitted had been written, re-written and edited for a little over a year. With that said, here’s looking at “pinky”…
(my responses are in boldface)



Thanks for sending us your work  internal organ, but it’s not right for our publication.

I knew sending in a hunk of my pancreas along with my story was going to be overkill.

This isn’t a reflection on your writing…

Jeepers Creepers, I hope not.
You guys had me scared there for a minute.
Give me a clue.
Does it have anything to do with my elevated triglyceride count?

We pick perhaps one out of a hundred submissions, and the selection process is highly subjective, something of a mystery even to us.

Wow. What a frickin’ surprise.
You guys already have me thinking that this can’t end well.

There’s no telling what we’ll fall in love with, what we’ll let get away.

Just say it. You don’t love me anymore. That it?
Just like all the other editors I’ve submitted myself to. I feel so cheap.

We rarely respond personally to submissions…

Another fn’ surprise.
And here I was expecting flowers and a box of chocolates.

…as the number of manuscripts we receive makes this difficult.

Boo-hoo, I’ve got little tiny tears in my eyes. See?

We’re aware that writing is hard work, and that writers merit some acknowledgement.

But just not today…

A form letter doesn’t speak to that need.

‘Ya think?!

Please know, however, that we’ve read your work, and appreciate your interest in the magazine.

Oh, now I feel much, much better. Thanks.
And I wasn’t interested so much in the magazine as I was in the moolah, if you get my drift.

We wish you the best in placing your writing elsewhere.

I’ve got just the place already picked out. Ready?
Bend over and take a deep breath, this will only take a minute…it’s a small manuscript.

And the ultimate killer truth:

P.S. We’ve returned your work if sufficient postage was included. If not, we assumed we could recycle it.

Here’s my free tip to you granola-eating, tree-hugging hippie bastards:

recycle this.

There, I feel better already.


Special props to my bud, Annie, the inspiration behind this post.
You’re the bomb, AMR…



8 thoughts on “Pinky

  1. LOL, Mikey. You feel better now? I told you
    that you would. A little rant is very
    cleansing and purging. Lucky it was you, though
    if it had been me, I might have gone ahead
    and sent that ‘edited’ response to them.

    Thanks for the props. 😉

    Yes, I feel better.
    Not even beaten down as I thought I would feel.
    Makes me want to write more because some assface doesn’t think I have the ‘stuff’…
    You are welcome for the props. They are much deserved.
    Later Gator,



  2. M… The day will come when it is time… but in the meantime bitch a little it’ll make you feel better..
    The picture kind of reminds of of your beetlejuice halloween costume!!
    Back in the days before the coconut.
    When it was lot’s of hair gel days!!

    Beetlejuice?! Eeeeeahhhh!!!!!!
    Boy I had a lot of hair then. 





  3. Is it wrong that i’m laughing right now? I think you should email them a link to the blog entry…tell them they can recycle it even!! Or design up your own ‘form’ letter that goes with a phoney submission…Glad you feel better after your rant though….cleansing is a good thing.

    I was hoping someone would be laughing.
    I’ll have to sleep on the email thing.
    A stunt like that would probably get me published.
    Go figure.



  4. I’m sure all writers understand what you are going through. Everyone says not to take it personally, but it IS personal – they’re rejecting what YOU wrote! Sigh. Sorry, I feel like crap today and am not my usual irritatingly optimistic self. I should be walking on air – I got to be an SOB

    Nice plug at Liz’s site!
    And yes,all that write can relate.



  5. I’ve always been suspicious of the saying, “It’s not you, it’s your work.” Considering that many, if not most, of us throw ourselves whole heartedly into our work, especially work which emanates from the song inside (not infrequently, this song is sung in response to work most of us would consider non-creative, too), and considering that most organizations who rely on other people’s work have placed themselves in a position to judge from and encourage the song, even in song deadening work, well, I wish the judges would at least acknowledge this. I think rejection of one’s work isn’t nearly as maddening as being lied to about the nature of the rejection. And yet, the lie continues.
    I love the idea of sending a picture of whatever organ you wish. I also like this idea: Saying, in your cover letter, “This is my body…this is my blood…”. Not that the organization’s reader would acknowledge this, but, you know, at least you’ve faced down the lie up front.

    It’s not even so much that I got rejected as much as the apathetic letter.
    And they’re all the same.
    They drive me insane.



  6. Well at least you have a sense of humor about it. This reminds me of the rejections I used to get when I worked at a job that simply didn’t like to promote…well me I guess. I used to apply for jobs that I was underqualified for and even over qualified for. It became a game to see how many job posting rejections I could get. I had quite a stack before I left that job. Amazingly, when I went to my new employer, I was promoted up the ranks very quickly.

    Your day will come. Hang in there!!


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