Here are a few verbatim excerpts from some recent rejection notes I’ve received for different stories from different markets. Hopefully the editors and first readers who wrote them don’t mind — any advice or encouragement they take the time to send is always gratefully received. But it just goes to demonstrate that having an editor or slush reader like or even love your story isn’t enough. As well as being flawless, the fit and timing have to be just right.
“This is well written, and riveting. The characterization is strong, the ending is just right. Your descriptions and narration were great…A beautiful story, expertly told…”“I think this idea has great potential and I hope it finds a home. Your story made it quite far in our process and I’m sorry to let it go.”“This is a perfectly good story…”“… this piece is fantastic. Absolutely amazing. I really enjoyed the read…I loved this story — and I really do: the prose, the idea, the pace — …”“…This is a very fine piece of sf…”“…all the staff agreed that this story was very good…”“…It had good imagery and the prose is fluid, so you can write well for sure…”“This is a good story and I enjoyed reading it…”“This has an inventive setting and the main character is interesting, and there are some beautiful bits of prose…”
“Please consider submitting to us again. Best success selling this story elsewhere.”