No writer is a fan of rejection, though (or because) it accounts for roughly 95% of our submissions. That said, I received my most gratifying rejection yet this weekend, and can't help sharing (I cut out any names, even though I would like to thank them):

Thank you for entering “The Coldest Night of the Year” in the 2014 [________] awards. While it was not selected by our staff as a finalist, I wanted to let you know that it was “this close.” We very much enjoyed your writing and found much to admire in this story.

The plot was fresh, your writing is fluid and well-paced, the dialogue was spot-on, all of which made for a difficult decision. That said, the reading panel’s concerns focused on the frequent shifts in perspective, confusion about whose sections were whose, uncertainty about the age of the son, and whether the second-person narration was necessary or beneficial to the story.

We hope you’ll read these comments in the spirit of constructive criticism and that you’ll send us more of your work. And if you choose to undertake a revision of this story at some point, we would be happy to consider it in a future submission period.

AuthorJohn Proctor