The majority of my rejection letters are form letters. Last week I received an unusual one. I don't know if it was a personal rejection letter. It began with the typical thank you for submitting my work. I thought it was a form letter until I read the second sentence, “While your work is engaging, it does not quite meet all of our criteria for publication.”
My five haiku were almost, but not quite good enough. I wish I could spell the engaging sound I made. I think it was in Japanese.
The next two sentences contributed to my confusion. I had a strong urge for Saki.
“The submission period for the fall issue is between June 1 and August 1. We look forward to seeing more of your work at that time.”
Look forward to seeing more of my work. Encouraging, but what work? A re-write of the not-quite good enough haiku? Or would they prefer new, engaging haiku? I pondered these questions for several days. I decided to write the editor and politely ask if he wanted a re-write or new material. He shot back a form email about not having time to comment with a long, long list of the dos and donts of haiku. He forgot to include, don’t contact me about my confusing rejection letter.
This particular haiku journal is one of the largest outside Japan. The response I received is probably their standard rejection letter. If so, I give them kudos for originality by matching the tone of the letter to the nebulous art form of haiku.
Causes Jules Jacob Supports
CASA of Southwest Missouri, Master Gardeners of the Ozarks, University of Missouri Master Gardeners, Missouri Court Appointed Special Advocates Association...