Yesterday, I received a rejection of a short story. That is not unusual. Rejections are to be expected. However, this one was unusual in an unpleasant way. First, it was more than a little tardy, arriving as it did almost a full year after the submission. Second, the envelope contained only my cover letter. No note. No apology for being so slow. No recognition even of ever having received, much less, looked at the submission. Showing more courtesy to the journal than I received, I will withhold its name (available to those who personally request it), and say only that it is a well established, university sponsored literary journal.
I have been at this business of marketing my work for some forty years and have received my share of mindless, insulting, or simply frustrating responses. This one has to rank near the top of any list of such I might compile. It competes for this honor with the rejection of a poem I received years ago on the basis that it had been submitted in a 9 X 12 envelope instead of a business sized envelope, the editor declaring with perfect seriousness that he only considered submissions in the latter. Or in the frustrating category was the one that said "We were going to publish your story, but we have folded."
These are the bumps and bruises we all received along with the occasional successes.