Monday, January 25, 2010

At least my mother thinks I'm a good writer.

My mother always told me I was a good writer. That's my mother in the picture with the goose. Hi, Mom!

Unfortunately, the publishing companies don't agree with her.

Rejection letters all sound alike. I should know; I have quite a collection.

I think it's the subtext, the words read in-between the lines, that is most interesting.

They usually look like this:

Dear Author

(You are so insignificant we couldn't even put your name on this letter.)

Thank you for your submission to our literary magazine.

(Did we say thank you? We meant, 'Thanks for wasting our time!')

Unfortunately, your manuscript is not right for us at this time.

(We keep referring to it as 'manuscript' because we didn't actually read it. We use a truffle-hunting pig named Milton to sniff out the good submissions. Milton felt that your piece was too cliche'd.)

We regret that the high volume of submissions we recieve means that we can't in any way critique your work.

(We're going to reject you, but we won't tell you why! Good luck playing our evil guessing game.)

We also can't return your manuscript.

(We used your submission to line the bottom of the office hamster's cage. He died of indigestion a week later.)

Please consider subscribing to our magazine to help support writing such as yours.

(We don't like you well enough to want your writing, but we will take your money!)

Our magazine will be closed to new submissions for the remainder of the year.

(Don't send us any more of your drivel ever again, you hack.)


(As sincere as a form letter we photocopied 5,000 times can be.)

Some Junior Editor
(We sent this one to the bosse's nephew. We also published 16 of his pieces last year. Don't you wish you knew someone in the publishing world?)

Sigh. Maybe my mother will start a publishing company.


  1. okay... this is hilarious... "he died of indigestion a week later"... priceless!

  2. This is funny..especially the bit about the hamster !!..but i dont like the idea that they didn't return your manuscript..that IS after all your property !! could turn up in a few years time with someone elses name as the author..or am i just a cynic ?..i would offer to pay for its was after all your own hard work. You could read it to family & friends at way would i let them keep my hard work,dont give up if you enjoy writing.

  3. Very entertaining and so sadly true for many writers....thank goodness for the blog! Maybe this 'platform' on the web tracks will bring enough search engines and visitors to catch an editor's attention1 Thanks for the giggle. I found you via klahanie's blog.