Please consider the enclosed story, “Snake Bite,” for publication in a future issue of ______ Review! Allow me to tell you a little bit about myself: I’m 5’4, have blue eyes, and guys say I resemble Jessica Simpson.
I’m joking! That’s not at all what I meant when I said ‘Let me tell you a little bit about myself.’ Silly goose! What I meant was, let me tell you who I am as a writer. And, truth be told, I look nothing like Jessica Simpson, although my friends say I look like the hypothetical offspring of Tom Hanks, Sigourney Weaver and a jar of expired mayonnaise. My friends are so funny!
Here’s what I really want to tell you about myself: I graduated from the University of _________ with an MFA in Creative Writing degree. The lessons learned there were invaluable and the workshops were as enlightening as they were reason enough for my psychiatrist/mentor/occasional lover to recommend a ‘script for Zoloft—a prescription made affordable thanks to my Warren S. Hadley Scholarship.
And how exhilarating it was, receiving my diploma! My parents never thought they’d see the day I graduated with a Master’s degree, which I suppose was a correct prediction, considering how, a few months before I defended my thesis, they died (helicopter/piano mishap). Some might say they saw me graduate from heaven or something like that, but that’s not for me. I don’t believe in God. My cousin Joel’s a real Jesus freak and he asked me one day, “When did you lose your faith?” and I told him, “I don’t know, one minute I had it in my pocket and the next minute it was gone.” Then he called me a fucking skank-whore. I asked him if he accepted the body of Christ with that mouth. We haven’t really spoken since.
I should mention my publishing credits, of which I have none. I’ve been told that this is okay, to not have any publishing credits. We’ll see about that, won’t we?
Anyway, it’s about time I wrap this thing up. I know cover letters aren’t supposed to be more than one page, but I already blew that, didn’t I? Oh well, it’s like what father said to mother and me the day after he told his boss to suck it: “You can’t turn back the clock!” Mother corrected him the day he said that, explaining how, actually, it was the end of Daylight Savings Time and you could turn back the clocks. That’s when father cried and stabbed himself in the leg with a pen.
Please note I’ve submitted the enclosed story to other publications for their review.
Every night I cry myself to sleep.
Whoops. Sorry about that. It just came out. What I meant to say was, Thank you for your time and consideration.
Various Interpretations of the Rejection Letter
Thank you for sending “Snake Bite” to ________ Review. We regret that we are unable to accept it for publication at this time, a later time, and every time thereafter. In fact, we would never publish something like this and, if we were you, we’d reconsider trying to become a writer. Better yet, based on the 12-page manuscript you sent, we’d recommend staying away from anything that involves the alphabet.
Best of luck placing it elsewhere, because that’s what it will take.
We have carefully considered your submission, “Snake Bite”—a story exploring the romantic relationship between a man and a woman—and we were wondering how much research you put into the story, as there is no way someone of the opposite sex would find a writer with such little talent like yourself attractive.
We have carefully considered your submission, “Snake Bite,” and regret that we aren’t your mother’s oviduct, as, if we were, we would have rejected the sperm that made you in an effort to help prevent editors of other magazines from wasting their time reading “Snake Bite.”
Thank you for sending “Snake Bite” to ________ Review. We regret that we are unable to accept it for publication at this time due to our editor purposely getting bit by an actual snake so that the physical pain from the deadly viper replaced the mental pain she received while reading your work.
Assistant Fiction Editor
WHAT YOU SHOULD REALLY TAKE AWAY FROM THE REJECTION LETTER
Keep writing. Know that people who actually do become published authors are the ones who keep working at their craft. And, of course, who keep submitting. It’s all about continual improvement and tenacity.