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The nature of the beast

Writing fiction is an odd activity: I’m very happy about a rejection letter I received today.

Yup, rejection. Why? Because it’s a good rejection!

This is what appeared in my inbox:

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for letting me see “[Story X].” The story is intriguing, but I’m afraid it’s not quite right for me. I look forward to your next one, though.


Sheila Williams, editor
Asimov’s Science Fiction

That? Is not the standard Asimov’s form letter. I know this, because the standard rejection looks like this, and is very upfront about being a form letter (which I appreciate):

Dear Sarah,

Thank you very much for letting us see “[Story Y].” We appreciate your taking the time to send it in for our consideration. Although it does not suit the needs of the magazine at this time, we wish you luck with placing it elsewhere.

Please excuse this form letter. The volume of work has unfortunately made it impossible for us to respond to each submission individually, much as we’d like to do so.


Sheila Williams, Editor
Asimov’s Science Fiction

Which means I’m improving. A personalized rejection. From Asimov’s. Asking for more stories!

Things to do: Send [Story X] somewhere else, since it appears to not suck.
Write more stories, better than [Story X], and send them to Asimov’s and elsewhere.
Celebrate my rejection. (Told you writing was a strange business.)

(Incidentally, I did sell [Story Y] eventually.)


  1. Dan says:

    You rock, you know? 🙂

  2. Sarah says:

    Awww. <3

    But if I really rocked, they've have BOUGHT the story! Must rock harder next time!

  3. Dan says:

    Well, of course. 🙂

  4. Booyeah! Congrats on the excellent rejection letter AND the eventual sale!