Rejections suck, but here’s what they’re saying

by janeeatonhamilton

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You know those form letters you get from periodicals you submit to? Ever wondered if they have different tiers of them (they do), or whether to feel encouraged when you get one that says “Please try us again?”

Here’s a site where you can search for a specific periodical and find out what their slips say, and whether you’ve moved up a notch.

Rejection Wiki

As an example, here is the Alaska Quarterly Review:

Prose rejections
Standard

We thank you for the opportunity to read your manuscript. Unfortunately, your work does not meet our needs at this time. Because we know how much effort went into this submission, we regret the use of this form. But the volume of manuscripts we receive makes a personal reply impossible. The Editors [with a hand-written “Many Thanks”]

Higher Tier

Same text as standard, with a handwritten “Many thanks. Hope you’ll send more.”

Not sure if this is personal or form:

Thank you for the opportunity to consider your work. Although in the end we have decided that “The [Exploding] Arm” does not meet our needs at this time, please know your work was seriously considered. We sincerely hope you will continue to send more our way. Many Thanks, The Editors

Poetry rejections
Standard

We thank you for the opportunity to read your manuscript. Unfortunately, your work does not meet our needs at this time. Because we know how much effort went into this submission, we regret the use of this form. But the volume of manuscripts we receive makes a personal reply impossible. [Hand-written “Many Thanks”] The Editors

Higher Tier

none recorded