As rejection letters go…

…it’s a pretty good one.

I submitted a short-story proposal for a forthcoming anthology in honour of Sir Terry Pratchett. I knew going in that it was a long shot — they’re looking for humorous writing, and the story I proposed is about a 9-year-old child dealing with his father’s cancer diagnosis — so I wasn’t terribly1 surprised.

From the rejection letter2 itself:

The reason we didn’t select your work on this occasion was that

  • It didn’t quite have the humorous characteristics we’re looking for.

  • The sample was occasionally a little confusing.3

  • We both enjoyed your story, and it was a close call as far as submissions went.

  • Please don’t judo us for the rejection, and best of luck in your future writing projects.

Please understand that while your material does not fit the bill for our current project, we encourage you to continue writing, and wish you the best of luck in future.

So… I will continue with this little tale, and find a new market for it. (Anyone interested? It’s about the collision of fantasy worlds and real-life pain.)


  1. Initially I wrote really here, but I recently went over this list with my apprentices, and maybe I should try to practice what I preach. 
  2. Well, email. 
  3. My darling wife, reading over my shoulder, said, “See? That’s what I keep saying too!”