Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rate the Rejection -- Shenandoah

Just days ago I wrote about Shenandoah's novel approach to subscription solicitation and noted--though not with a great deal of optimism--that my rejection fears had not materialized. Yet.

Sadly, I was right not to expect too much. But in the interest of science I'll put aside my disappointment and carry on. Let's assess:


Rating Summary: Shenandoah's rejection slip is printed on card stock and nicely formatted. It fits neatly into a standard envelope, which I realize isn't saying much, but it beats the carelessly folded and wrinkled rejections of some other journals. I think it's clever that they have left space on the slip for an editor to write comments. It's not visible in the image above, but the card is also printed on the back, with a short description of the journal and additional space for notes.

The content of the pre-printed note itself is mediocre. It's hard to get around the awkwardness of starting out, "Although the poems, story or essay in this submission...." They might as well have put a check box next to each possible genre. Why not just keep it to "your submission"? Also, though I appreciate that they appreciate my "fine work," I wish that they would have left out that particular adjective, which clearly is not sincere. I'd prefer to see something that recognizes that what I wrote took effort and a certain commitment, without making any claim as to its quality -- after all, it's a rejection, so that's already been done.

I can't tell from this note whether the penned "Thanks for trying us!" comment is actually or only apparently personalized, but I think that it was inscribed by a real human being. I suspect the hand of an intern at work, but I'm okay with that. I much prefer it to a blank pre-printed note, which is far more common.

As for turnaround time, Shenandoah was fast, responding to my submission in just four weeks. I appreciate that more than anything else.

The Grade: A-. Shenandoah got just about everything right. They lose a few points for the quality of the note's content, but give me little to complain about overall. See? It's not that hard.

Click here for more about the Rate the Rejection series and links to other rejections I've rated.

12 comments:

Waldo said...

Lick the tip of your finger and try to smudge the handwritten note. If it smears, it's for real. If not, it's printed.

Years of receiving "signed" letters from politicians have left me jaded. :)

David said...

Very crafty! Turns out it's for real.

Tocky said...

Hate to burst your bubble, but I got a rejection letter from them which also has "thanks for trying us!" printed across the bottom. :(

Nathaniel said...

Yes, they appear to have an intern handwriting that on every note, as I got one also, though with different handwriting. But at least the intern's labor is real!

Cory said...

Yep, I got the same text, except in cursive. What, did we all take our rejections and rush to the internet to see if the message was standard? :p

Don said...

ZYZYVVA's Howard Junker writes "Onward!" on every rejection slip. I always google rejections with handwritten notes to see if that's typical.

sports handicapping services said...

I think it has a different writing

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