So a week full of checking the website later, there it was, that email. I took a deep breath and opened it to find... a form rejection letter.
- It's a clear answer.
- You receive said answer faster.
- It's less emotional.
- It helps prevent slushpile burnout, so the agent/reader can focus on what's important, considering the submission itself, rather than coming up with something to say in response to it.
- The form rejection helps to keep expectations in check.
Every once in a while, if the writing jumps out at me, or if I've met the author in person, I will still respond personally, but for the most part I've become a fan of the form rejection. Sure you could argue that if I hadn't gotten that personal response back in the day, I wouldn't have been as eager to submit to the magazine, but I also wouldn't have had as high of hopes. At least you can take comfort in the knowledge that I'm getting them as good as I'm giving them. We all just have to keep on keeping on. My so-called gem of a short story is already sunk into another slushpile.
Follow Mary on twitter @Mary_C_Moore for more tips and updates on her query slushpile. To submit to her visit her website: marycmoore.com.