Here's a stumper: How to rate a rejection letter that doesn't exist? It seems like a task for one of Samuel Beckett's characters. Yet that's exactly the task I'm faced with, as FIELD, apparently having nothing nice to say, says nothing at all. What that means for me is my SASE returned, with my poems, and no explanation. It's baffling. Here's what I've got to show you:
That's right, just the empty envelope -- that's all I've got. Nevertheless, I persist.
Rating Summary: It could be ingenious: just skip the rejection letter altogether. You save some money and time and skip over all the difficult sentiment. Alternately, it could be accidental: one of the interns forgot to include the standard rejection note. Whoopsy daisies. A third possiblity: laziness and inertia. Whatever the case, the lack of any letter at all, the mute returning of poems unmarked in any way, suggests an appalling lack of respect and consideration. It's a cop-out, a mistake, or a sign the editors just couldn't be bothered. It may have enabled a faster turnaround time (six weeks, give or take), but the means to that end are brutish.
The Grade: 0. As far as I'm concerned, the folks at FIELD didn't turn in their assignment.
Click here for more about the Rate the Rejection series and links to other rejections I've rated.