I Got a Rejection on Christmas Eve! (21-25)

Did you know that submitting your work to magazines in December is kind of a terrible idea? Well, turns out, it is! If you think that’s because editors are trying to get through the slushpile and go home to their families, you’re probably right! The majority of the stories I submitted during the 2018 holiday season were rejected within a week. Wow! So I guess, if you really want a quick turnaround time, send your stuff in right before Christmas, hahaha.


Dear Christine Tyler,

Thank you for submitting [title] to [venue], but we’ve decided not to accept it for publication.

We appreciate your interest in our magazine.



I was bummed about this one cause I thought it was a good fit. If the form rejections are starting to feel a little repetitive to you, I’m with ya.


Dear Christine,

Thank you for the opportunity to read [title]. Unfortunately, your story isn’t quite what we’re looking for right now.

In the past, we’ve provided detailed feedback on our rejections, but I’m afraid that due to time considerations, we’re no longer able to offer that service. I appreciate your interest in [magazine] and hope that you’ll keep us in mind in the future.

Take care,


Another disappointing one. The story this rejection is connected to is probably the strongest short I’ve written. I’ve been calling it “Tree of Death” in the “What I’m Working On” posts, but the real title is a lot more interesting. I have have a lot of hope this story is going to find a home.


Dear Christine Tyler,

Thank you for sending us your poetry. Unfortunately, we only have three winners and your work was not chosen. Please consider submitting again next year.

Thanks again.


[poetry contest team]

I entered this poetry contest on a lark, so this rejection just kinda eased right past me. I was actually out Christmas shopping with my mom, and you really can’t be in a bad mood when you’re grazing through Target on your mom’s dollar. But then to my surprise, the first email was followed up by another one…

Dear Poets: 
One of you brought to my attention that it’s very tacky to send rejection letters on Christmas Eve. I completely agree and I’m very sorry for the error. If I could undo it, I would. 

Please accept my apology and also my sincere gratitude to each one of you for entering the contest. As you can see, words mean a lot, and so do seasons. 

God bless you and your families. 
Merry Christmas! 

Wow! While I wasn’t one of the people hurt by the timing of this rejection, I was so impressed by the compassion of the people running the contest. It’s easy to forget that rejections come from real people (and for editors, it’s probably easy to forget that submissions come from real people), and this apology was a nice reminder that editors and publishers really aren’t out to wreck your day.


Dear Christine, Thank you for giving me a chance to read [title]. I liked the quality of the prose and the setting, but the narrative felt very straightforward to me and overall the story didn’t win me over. I’m going to pass on this one for [magazine], but I wish you best of luck finding the right market for it and hope that you’ll keep us in mind in the future.

Best regards,


Hot dang, I love this editor. Every single time I send them a piece, they give such lovely personal feedback. I don’t begrudge editors who don’t; I totally understand time constraints. But hearing back from this editor is always a pick-me-up for me. I’ve started sending new pieces to them right away, just to see what I can improve before sending the piece somewhere else!


Dear Christine Tyler,

Thank you for submitting [title] to [magazine]. We appreciate the chance to read it. Unfortunately, we don’t feel it is a good fit for us and we’re going to have to pass on it at this time.

Thanks again. Best of luck with this.


Aaand another form rejection. Ah well. I have some exciting new venues to try out, and a revision plan for two pieces that aren’t getting the traction I’d hoped for. In the meantime, I’m writing a new short story, drafting a chapter for the Storymakers first chapter contest, and submitting my Clarion West application by the end of the week! So there’s still a lot to look forward to.

Thanks for coming on this journey with me!


Image © Gorodok495