Dear Conjunctions, Thanks For Your Kind Rejection

In the past, I have only ever submitted to small or fledgling presses, so when I recently submitted my pai gow poker piece to Conjunctions, rejection was expected, even welcomed. Just as I knew:

1 + 1 = 2 and 1 + 2 = 3

it was always a mathematical certainty that:

Me + Submitting to Conjunctions = Rejection

However, I also knew that rejection no matter how expected, hurt, so, on the inside flap of the SASE I sent with my submissions (used to return my manuscript/rejection letter), I wrote:


It would be the first thing I would see when I opened the envelope before reading the rejection. So, when I got home from our writer’s retreat in South Lake Tahoe and saw my SASE in my mailbox, I knew exactly what it contained. I sighed, unhurriedly going through the junk mail and tossing things into the recycle bin. Finally, I came to my SASE, and opened it. There of course, were the three words I had written on the inside flap to prepare me for rejection:


I smiled. I wondered if the editor who read my manuscript had seen my childish scrawl and rolled his eyes or made fun of me. Perhaps, he hadn’t seen it at all. Anyhow I felt better. I reached into the envelope and pulled out my manuscript and noticed a card still inside. Of course, the standard rejection card. It read:


Bi-Annual Volumes of New Writing
21 East 10th Street, New York, NY 10003

We thank you for having given us the
opportunity of reading your manuscript,
but regret that it does not meet our
particular needs at this times.

And in pen, they had written:


I laughed aloud, pleased that the human on the other end of this standard rejection had seen my note and taken the time to encourage me. I appreciate the small act of kindness and hope that my silly scrawl made someone laugh.

I already had envelopes prepared, so I was able to immediately send off my pai gow poker piece to a couple more places–let’s see what happens. Rejections forthcoming.

One Response to “Dear Conjunctions, Thanks For Your Kind Rejection”
  1. satsumaart says:

    This is awesome. When I get around to sending work out, I will do this too. 😀

    So happy to connect with you today!

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  • © 2018 Jen Palmares Meadows

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