Fingers Crossed

Last week, I shared a few recent rejection letters with my 8th grade students. They've been curious for a while, and I figured I could turn it into a relevant learning experience, since they’ve sent out business letters this month to politicians and influential CEO's urging them to get involved with specific global issues (child soldiers, world hunger, derelict landmines, etc.) I warned them about the dreaded form letter rejection—but two of the kids have already received warm responses, one from a senator and another from a CEO of a major financial institution. The senator said she is currently backing U.S. legislation to get involved in the Ugandan conflict; the CEO purchased a "flock of chicks" from Heifer International in my student's name. We were stoked.

As for my rejection letters, I showed them a warm one (the editors liked my story but couldn't use it), a cold one (the infamous "xenophobia" letter), and an example of the much-loathed form letter ("We will not be using this piece. You are free to submit it elsewhere.") I told them how I always prefer a warm or cold rejection because it’s personal, and that form letters are the least helpful, as they offer no suggestions for improvement.

But now there's another variety of response circulating out there, and I've already received two this month: the "wait a little bit, and we'll see" letter. Allegory Magazine found my submission "very entertaining" and said it would either be published in their next issue or would receive an honorable mention. I'm pulling for Option #1. Electric Spec received my submission, but instead of rejecting it outright, they've decided to hold it until May when the editors will vote on which stories to include in that month's issue.

Until then, I must wait. And write.
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