Another personalized rejection letter today—this time from a mag that pays $1000 for a single short story. “Send us more!” they said. “We really enjoyed your prose style.” But..but…
Personalized rejections letters almost always fall short of critique. I’m an editor, I’ve sent out plenty of rejection letters myself. I understand why there isn’t time for this.
But as an editor, I can also say the feedback I’d like to be able to give writers is always on the tip of my tongue, and with 8 years editing experience at 4 different magazines and 1 publishing company, I’m not too shy to say I think I have something to offer. That was part of the reasoning behind TRACHODON’S critique service launched this spring. Better than a flat-out NO, at least a decent critique can invite writers to consider a new direction, correct a habit they didn’t know they had, or re-think plot tropes.
My friends and I swap stories all the time. Every writer has to. It’s darn near impossible to see your own blind spots on the page (they are, after all, blind spots) and besides, if writing isn’t as much about creation as it is about growth then I don’t know what it is.