Having had yet another rejected short story returned this week, I got to thinking about the worst aspect of this process. Every writer – no matter how successful – has to live with rejection, but it’s the unanswered question I find hard to take. Why?
I think there should be a number of tick boxes on the rejection letter – a rejection questionnaire, if you like – so the editor can tick the appropriate box, and thereby put the offending author out of their misery. It could go something like this:
- Exceeded required word count
- Word count insufficient
- Similar theme to others already accepted
- Subject matter not suitable for publication
- Hook not strong enough to compel reader
- Poor/unsatisfactory ending
- Storyline sags midway
- Unbelievable characters
- Incredulous plot
And the nightmare one:
- Badly written, so don’t bother sending any more to our magazine – we’re not interested!
It may be cutthroat, but at least the author would then be able to address the issue(s) rather than spend hours mulling over her/his capabilities as a writer. So come on editors… give us a break!
What do you think?
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