Dear Editor, by A Writer

Dear Snobby Editor:

So I sent you my manuscript, and you kept it for 389 days. I had already given up, since your submission guidelines said you would respond to my query within three months. I’m a writer, and I’ve never been very good at math, but I’m pretty sure 389 days is longer than three months. I gave you exclusive rights to it for the entire three months, waiting on submitting it to any place else, so you could have it for as long as necessary.

I don’t really mind that you took so long to respond, though. Truly, I don’t. I mean, if you were to tell me you were going to publish my writing, that would be just fine with me. But no, you kept my story for all that time, only to reject me 389 days later.

Honestly, I wasn’t even sure your publication was still functioning, because the website has been down so frequently, but I was still willing to sit it out. But at the end of the three months, I submitted my story elsewhere. Not surprisingly, I was accepted for publication. The book came in the mail last week, which is ironic, since your rejection email also came in the mail last week too, within a day of each other.

What’s so comical about this, dear editor, is the way you rejected me. Your comments said, and I am quoting here, “We’re sorry, but your writing doesn’t quite show the professionalism and depth necessary for professional publication.” Chicken Soup for the Soul seemed to think so. They accepted it, and the editing on it was actually very light, especially compared to some edits I’ve received over the fifteen plus years I have been working as a paid, professional writer.

But the best part of your rejection of my work was when you went on and on about how wonderful the authors you usually work with are, how fantastic your team of writers and stable of editors for your publication are. I believe what you said was this, “We have a wonderful stable of authors and editors at our disposal, and we regret that you will not currently be one of them.” However, you did go on to say, “But we do hope you’ll consider resubmitting to us soon.”

Not bloody likely.

So thank you again, editor, for keeping my work so long, for degrading it and rejecting it. I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing all right in my future writing career, but I also thank you for signing the letter, “Best of luck with your future writing endevours [sic].”

Perhaps you yourself need an editor? I’m just saying…

Not so frustrated, published writer.

Note from Unsent Letters: The author of this blog post has requested that their name be withheld, because, you know, the writing world is small, and editors, like the human beings they are, talk to one another. No reason to be blacklisted, but I’m sure this is a letter most writers can at least understand on principle!

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8 Responses to “Dear Editor, by A Writer”

  1. I feel when a publisher says, “They will get back to you in three months, it means you will probably never hear from them.” :)

  2. In those 380 days that book could already have been put up as an Amazon Kindle and making money!

    Morgan Mandel

  3. Jay says:

    Just a friendly note from someone with a horrible vocabulary. This editor doesn’t seem to have a large much less professional vocabulary when addressing would be writers for their “stable”.

  4. Theresa Wiza says:

    Great blog! Congratulations on getting your story published!

  5. A says:

    Congrats on getting published! I too sent in a letter for consideration about a year ago and never heard back. I ultimately published it myself, only to hear back a month ago from an Unsent Letters editor that I was being considered. However, I still haven’t heard back after responding to that query … I suppose because I’d already published it myself. Who knows?

  6. admin says:

    To A: actually, this letter isn’t from someone to an editor at a different publication. Unsent Letters would never be so rude as to tell someone their work was not professional or that they were not worthy of being published with us!

    As for hearing back from us, we are in the process of closing out the first book, and we are still contacting people all this week. If your letter has been previously published online, we can’t use it in the book – BUT that doesn’t mean we might not still e considering it for the blog. You should hear something before the end of the month, as should all submitters to Unsent Letters prior to January.

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