The Nicest Rejection Letter–Have You Received One?

I received the nicest rejection letter from the editor of a literary magazine, Umbrella Factory Magazine, informing me that my fiction piece would not be accepted for publication.  I must say receiving this kind of rejection letter was a welcomed treat because the editor commented on how well he liked the piece and offered suggestions for other literary magazines he thought I should submit the piece to.  Now, how many editors would do that?  I didn’t feel the sting of rejection from this letter because the editor did not indicate the piece was not good; he noted only that it would not find a home at his magazine. 

Hello Katrina,

Thank you for the submission.  Unfortunately, “The House Down the Dirt Lane” will not find a home with Umbrella Factory Magazine.  Your piece was a treat to read.   You clearly have a handle on the Southern dialect, and the dialogue is masterfully written.  I would think in the climate of our country today, a short piece about a shell-shocked vet will resonate with many readers.  Have you seen Clapboard House?  It’s been a few years since I’ve seen it, but it was one of my favorite magazines.   They focus on Southern literature.  Also, I use as a resource; perhaps that will be a useful tool for you. 

Thank you.

[A nice person at Umbrella Factory]

Many writers who submit to literary magazines may not receive a rejection letter, or if they do, it may not state why the work was rejected, leaving the writer to wonder what was wrong with the piece.  In a case like that, my suggestion to writers would be to send the piece out again to another magazine.   What may not appeal to one editor may tickle another editor’s fancy.   

“Keep writing and publishing your work!”  That is the message I got from this nice rejection letter.  I know editors are very busy, but this type of rejection email, a nice one, will go a long way to encouraging writers to resubmit their works for publication after receiving a negative rejection letter.

If you have been fortunate to receive a nice rejection letter after submitting your work for publication, share your letter or experience with us.


Submitting to Literary Magazines

New and emerging writers interested in having their works published should consider submitting to literary magazines as an invaluable part of their writing goals.  Writers need to understand the importance of submitting their poetry, fiction, and short stories to literary magazines.  It is a successful method for marketing their works and for building a readership.  

But they must adhere to the specific guidelines for submitting to literary magazines to avoid having their works promptly discarded in the slush pile.  The submissions guidelines are there for a reason, and if they do not follow them, they are weeding out their chances of publication.

Before submitting work to literary magazines, writers should always check the submissions guidelines and follow them to the letter.  Not doing so could mean their work does not get published, and that is the whole point of submitting in the first place, right?  Also writers should make sure to familiarize themselves with the content and genre of works the literary magazine publishes to ensure their work fits in with the magazine’s theme. 

I write on southern-themed topics, and when I submit to literary magazines, I focus on those that accept the type of works I produce.  The few I am familiar with, either by submitting to them or having work accepted for publication, are listed below. 

Barely South Review  The new literary journal in electronic format housed in Old Dominion University’s MFA in Creative Writing program!

Charlotte Viewpoint  A magazine showcasing long-form essays,  memoirs, fiction, and poetry written by fellow citizens.

Clapboard House  A Literary Journal–Artful Short Stories and Poems

The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature A webzine devoted to Southern cultural literature.

Glint Literary Journal The Literary Journal of Fayetteville State University. In print and online. The best fiction, non-fiction, essays and poetry on the web.

Meadowland Review An online literary journal comprised of a small group of writers and editors who share a commitment to providing a public space for thoughtful and original material. We welcome and encourage both emerging and established writers of short fiction and poetry.

Musacadine Lines: A Southern Journal   A place for emerging and established writers to publish their work.

The Pedastal Magazine A webzine of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and interviews.

Storysouth A quarterly journal featuring the writings from the new south.

Umbrella Factory A small press determined to connect well-developed readers to intelligent writers and poets through virtual means, printed journals, and books. We believe in making an honest living providing the best writers and poets a forum for their work.

The Western Online The Western Online is dedicated to everything Western. We publish Western short stories, non- fiction articles and artwork. Good Reading Starts Here  is a wonderful resource for finding literary magazines, online and print, and their submissions guidelines–or links to the literary magazines’ websites, which contain the most updated submissions information.

Duotrope’s Digest is another resource that contains a listing of 2875 markets to which writers can submit their works.   The listings are categorized by genre, length, new, fledgling, paid, or unpaid, as well as many other categories.  There are a list of submissions guidelines and links to the magazines’ websites.  This is wonderful tool for a new and emerging authors to utilize, and it’s free.