1. Handwritten (or personal e-mail) note asking you to submit more
  2. Personal scribble (or added line on an e-mail) on a form rejection asking you to submit more
  3. Note with critique but not asking you to resubmit
  4. Handwritten note (or personal e-mail) saying he/she likes your work
  5. Personal scribble (or added line on an e-mail) on a form rejection saying he/she likes your work
  6. Notification that your work is wonderful but the market has died
  7. A request that you not send more work because you don’t understand the market
  8. A request that you not send more work until you learn enough to be ready to submit
  9. A note (or added line on an e-mail) on a form rejection with vitriolic rejection of your writing ability, subject matter or style
  10. A note (or added line on an e-mail) insulting you personally
  11. Form rejection letter (or e-mail)
  12. Web link to a spreadsheet with the word “decline” beside your name
  13. A red NO scribbled on your query letter
  14. A red NO scribbled on someone else’s query letter
  15. A red NO scribbled on a query letter you sent, but not to that person
  16. Just your query letter
  17. Your query letter stained with what you hope is coffee
  18. Your empty SASE
  19. Silence
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17 Responses
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  2. man o man! that is just painful. I received a rejection letter a few days back. Typical. Large number of qualified applicant followed by unfortunately…… I’ve been keeping them for years. I’m up to three inches thick in them. Plans to paper a room in them as a future installation piece. Me bad or am I bad?

    • Cindie says:

      I keep all mine too, but they don’t see the light. They’re all entered into a spreadsheet and then filed. I kind of see them all as one side of a balance with each one bringing me closer to the tipping point of a sale!

  3. […] Sometimes I Lie » Blog Archive » Hierarchy of Short Story Rejections […]

  4. forex robot says:

    Amazing as always 🙂

  5. Wolf says:

    This was freaking amazing. More! More!

  6. Des says:

    Silence. Amazing how much we can read into that. Impressive where it rates on your ranking. I make a silent prayer hoping that my submission merely evaporated into the ethernet; the mail carrier carried it home; the designated recipient had an untimely demise…

    • Cindie says:

      I put it as the worst because it doesn’t give me any useful information for future submissions. And it dangles hope in front of me like a chocolate cupcake.

  7. Diane Glazman says:

    You forgot:
    – your query letter returned with ‘no’ scribbled across it and a subscription card for the publication
    – a form letter rejection to your request for writers’ guidelines

  8. Clarissa says:

    Is this hierarchy top to bottom or bottom to top? Ha ha.

  9. Rita says:

    Hey Cindie – great blog! I’m glad I found it. I am very much enjoying your writing –

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Cindie Geddes

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