Thursday, September 08, 2016

A Writer's Life

This is one of the more kindly, cordial rejection e-mails I have received. If only they could all be worded in similar fashion. I've removed the name of the publication and the editor who wrote it. But at least three or four other publications are also looking at it.

Dear Mr Camp,

Thank you for submitting.

This is an interesting essay, but it flits and skates over some salient points that I'd like to see explored some more.

Also, I'd like to see some deeper introspection in this piece--it's largely factual, which loans the work the prerequisite detachment, but it deserves some good old-fashioned navel-gazing, as well.

Finally, I'll say that, in a work like this, I believe the reader likes to go with the writer on a journey and arrive with the writer at a conclusion--this reads a lot like you're moving the reader towards a foregone conclusion, which risks alienating the reader at a time when you most want them on your side. And I'd re-think the title--you have important things to say, but the title says it before we even get a chance to go with you on the aforementioned journey.

But ours is a subjective industry, and what works for one editor may not work for another. I wish you all best with this piece. And thanks for supporting our work here.


Nonfiction Submission Editor

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