acknowledging rejections

I always do it — just a polite line saying thanks for getting back to me, still looking forward to next issue or whatever. It’s almost a superstition – I have to do it for each and every rejection.  Not sure why. Is it some compulsion to demonstrate (to them? to myself?) that I’m not some wacked-out loser who can’t take rejection or criticism? There was a time when I wasn’t sure that I wasn’t that sort of wacked-out loser, but I think it has passed. Why, then?

I just realize that I thought everyone did this, and am only focusing on it now because I recently sent out several rejection emails as a first-time co-editor and didn’t get any responses. Not that I thought any were due (and feeling, now I think about it, rather grateful than not that no fiery rejections of the rejections were forthcoming), but just wondering.

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Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

7 thoughts on “acknowledging rejections”

  1. I’ve been wanting to send thank you type responses to my rejections, but I thought the editors would just think I was weird. I’m glad to hear you do this. Do the editors reply usually?

  2. I was glad to see this…and learn I’m not the only one who sends a “thanks for reading/looking forward to the issue” note in response to a rejection. There’s something about email that feels more personal (even though it probably isn’t), because I only do it with email rejections and not with snail mail rejections. I’ve never once had an editor respond to my note.

  3. Julie — Miss Manners is weeping for you!

    Valerie – Maybe they will think you’re weird — maybe they think I’m weird! And Marybeth. Like her, I never get responses, but then I don’t ever expect any. It’s more a loop-closing thing than a loop-opening one, I think.

    Good to hear from you all. Nic

  4. I have done it once or twice, but not often. I assume that they get a lot of email and my thank you email will be another burden, so I let it go.

    Once or twice, I’ve gotten a nice rejection note (hah!) that I’ve wanted to reply to, but wasn’t sure if I should, because I submitted through one of those online submission managers.

    Now that I think about it, it’s a good idea to reply to even rejection letters.

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