Painful Rejection... Aaaaah!

Saturday, I received a rejection for a flash fiction piece.
Have you ever received a rejection which contained "ick"?  Yeah, me either, until Saturday.

Now, I understand not every story is for every person.  Everyone is entitled to their feelings and opinions.  But, when you're commenting on something for a literary magazine, you're supposed to have some professionalism.  Right?

It's a short flash fiction, a dark snapshot.  Maybe they dislike my kind of story at their magazine.  Maybe they just say they will take everything but are picky on which darkness invades their bits and bytes.

The last few lines of feedback, I think, tried to be thoughtful between the insults.  I need more background for my "very simple story" using my "too practical" writing.  The terms "mean" and "nasty" also made an appearance.

I must say, I cried for an hour after reading this.  I felt like a failure.  Of course my writing is too basic.  Of course the story stinks.  Of course... of course...
I've told myself over and over that this is the last year I'm writing for publication, even before the rejection from Hades.

Though, there was one thing which made me feel a tiny bit better the next day (besides sleep).  I received another rejection on the same story just last month.  Near the end it says:  Though this particular piece is not quite right for us, please consider submitting additional work in the future. We like your style.
It could be something they say to all the declined suitors but, of course, I'd like to think it was something special, just for me.

Have you had a bad rejection lately?  How did you handle it?


  1. Ah, yes, I've definitely had a bad rejection before, but not from a literary magazine. That seems even worse. I don't even understand it really--isn't rejection bad enough? Why do people feel the need to throw in mean, nasty words along with it?

    Good luck with future submissions! At least there was a silver lining with the second rejection.

  2. I haven't had a rejection for something like 40 years. Of course I haven't had anything accepted either because I haven't submitted anything so you're doing better than I. I guess that really bad rejection might make for kind of a novelty though there is no call for something like that. Maybe you should frame it.

    I'm sure things will get better as you continue to submit your work. Maybe avoid that place though.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  3. I had a rejection last week too, but it was the second kind. Don't let the nastiness get you down. It says more about the magazine/person than you or your writing. Send your work to others. Best of luck.

  4. I never understand the need to be nasty. "No" is an acceptable answer, but there are gracious ways to say it. Sorry you had such a rough one!