Sadly it's time for another episode of Rate. The. Rejection! Today's contestant: Tin House, the pretty magazine from Portland. Someone responding to a previous Rate the Rejection mentioned that the House was particularly loathsome in its refusals, so I was (morbidly) curious to see if that really was the case. To the slip, shall we?
Rating Summary: Well. Where to begin? Let's start with the paper. I'd say it's somewhere between Kinko's cheapest and prison-grade toilet tissue. Classy. That it's poorly cut out only adds to the elegance. Editors, listen up: If you're going to skimp on paper by printing multiple rejection slips on 1-ply, how's about at least investing in a decent paper cutter? Just a thought. And you know what else? Twenty-one words doesn't cut it. I spend a lot of time putting my submissions together. I think about where they're going and I write short, careful and respectful cover letters. It's fine with me if you're going to print out the same rejection note for everyone, but put just a modicum of thought into it. Try to avoid being utterly spineless. That goes for the name at the bottom too. "Sincerely, Tin House Editors." Sincerely my ass. If you're sincere, man up and put your name on it.
Any upside here? Well, to their credit they responded quickly, with a turnaround time of about 6 1/2 weeks. That certainly counts for something. Other than that, no.
The Grade: A solid D. It's a fine example of what makes trying to get your writing out there such a lonely and dispiriting endeavor. And I thought people from Portland were so nice.
Click here for more about the Rate the Rejection series and links to other rejections I've rated.