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Rejection letters, correspondence, and miscellanea from the otherwise empty annals of the Journal of Universal Rejection.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Splitting the Difference

Dear NW,

Let p denote the proposition "JofUR should publish your paper."  You hold the opinion p.  I hold the opinion ~p.  Assuming that we are peers with unimpeded judgment, and you are a believer in Feldman/Elga/Christensen's "split the difference" (SD), then it follows that you must now have no opinion about whether JofUR should publish your paper.  I, however, am not a believer in SD, so I retain my opinion ~p.  Therefore we shall not publish your paper, and you can sit there quite indifferently.  Everyone is happy if you believe in SD, so I've got my fingers crossed that you do.  I shan't tire you with the detail of my belief in ~p.

Best regards,
Caleb

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Octo3.14159...

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your submission "What do octopuses eat?" to the Journal of Universal Rejection.

Your poem showed masterful use of syntax, punctuation, commas, typing, English words, pretty much everything; unlike this sentence here.  Also I learned a lot about octopi. 

We are rejecting your work, because everyone knows it's octopi.  Oh wait, I just learned it's octopuses.  No, wait, octopodes.  Here is a video interlude:




So I am rejecting because, as a mathematician, I've decided it should be spelled octoπ.

Best regards,
Caleb

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lyrisist: The Finale

Dear Ms. Lyris,

Rarely do we see such talent. Your provocative characters and intense drama kept us deeply engaged until the brilliant ending, after which we felt the need to plant forests and work at soup kitchens.

To be blunt, your stories have brought us the personal transformation and transcendence we might otherwise have spent a lifetime seeking.

On behalf of the Journal we must reject your submission on the grounds that our readership is simply not mature enough for this sort of insight. We're sure you understand.

Should you decide to submit again you might consider something more light-hearted.  We understand that Dr. Isaac Asimov wrote limericks in between Nebula and Hugo acceptance speeches.  Perhaps you can do likewise.

Sincerely,

Sonia Lyris, Editor

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Crack Teams Investigate Weed

Dear Dr. V,

Thank you for submitting your abstract on the nomenclature and taxonomy of Croton glabellus L.

I asked our crack Botanical Research Team for their input. They went right to Google and found some photos of what looks to be a rather drab weed with no apparent medicinal or industrial value whatsoever.

I then referred the matter to our crack Orthographic Special Ops team. They pulled out their Scrabble tiles and worked around the clock for a week anagramming Croton glabellus L. Here is the most provocative term they came up with: TROLL UNCLOGS BALE.

It’s not immediately clear what this means, but I think we’re definitely onto something. If our OSO guys come up with anything that justifies publication in the JofUR, we’ll be in touch.

Karl M. Petruso
Associate Editor

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chuck Norris I

Dear Sirs,

I am wondering if Chuck Norris' papers can be accepted in your journal

Best,
Nikos

Dear Nikos,

That is a very important--and very frightening--question.  To you I am tempted to say, "No," we would stick to our principles and not accept one of Chuck Norris' papers.  However, were Chuck Norris to actually make a submission....  Hm.  It is like when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.  I am a little worried it would create a singularity.

Best regards,
Caleb

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lyrisist, cont.

This post was up a few days ago, but seems to have disappeared?!  I am reposting.

Dear Dr. Emmons, 

After reflecting on both your new and standing requirements and struggling with various revisions, I present to you my -- I cannot help but think of it as "our" -- newest version. I struggled with how to provide the needed verisimilitude without including any description whatsoever, which provided me with a stumbling block until I remembered that the heart and soul of a story resides not in the words but in the reader. 

This story, perhaps my greatest effort thus far, is, in typical fashion, below. This letter. Below this letter. 

YOS, etc, 

Sonia Lyris 

P.S. I'm eager to hear back about my start date. 


A Woman and a Fish 

Fish: Mollie. Fish. Done? Go plop. Repeat Fish. Plop. Big kiss. Whap!  Ahhh...! The End.

Dear Editor Lyris:

Welcome to the Showboat, a.k.a. the Editorial Board.  I am forwarding you your first assignment (see message below).  Please carefully review and reject this submission directly to the submitter.  You may cc me on the rejection if you think it is blogworthy.
Best regards,
Caleb

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Dear Dr. Emmons, 

After reflecting on both your new and standing requirements and struggling with various revisions, I present to you my -- I cannot help but think of it as "our" -- newest version. I struggled with how to provide the needed verisimilitude without including any description whatsoever, which provided me with a stumbling block until I remembered that the heart and soul of a story resides not in the words but in the reader.

This story, perhaps my greatest effort thus far, is, in typical fashion, below. This letter. Below this letter. 

YOS, etc, 

Sonia Lyris 

P.S. I'm eager to hear back about my start date. 


A Woman and a Fish 

Fish: Mollie. Fish. Done? Go plop. Repeat Fish. Plop. Big kiss. Whap!  Ahhh...! The End.

GATTACA

Dear Dr. C.,

Thank you for your submission entitled "An efficient method to generate a single- or double-site DNA mutation" to the Journal of Universal Rejection.

Although your piece provides a thoughtful look at the mise en scene of the movie GATTACA, I am afraid we do not publish movie reviews in the Journal.

Therefore your submission is rejected.

Best regards,
Caleb

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spotlight on Associate Editor: Sonia Lyris

We are very please to welcome our first editor from the real world, Sonia Lyris.  She will be our editor for works of short fiction.

 
Biographical sketch for Sonia Lyris:

Sonia Lyris showed an early aptitude for rejection when Tony Lockman refused to tie her shoes in kindergarten so she asked him again. Growing up brought the usual cruel jokes and mocking laughter of school chums but somehow it wasn't enough. Only by running for school office, trying out for cheer-leading, and auditioning for roles in the high school dramatic production was she able to achieve the rejection she sought.

Years of success as a software engineer left her feeling that something was missing, so took up the pen to write fiction, gathering rejections at a prodigious rate from respected publishing houses and major magazines. She is most proud of her rejections from prestigious publications like Playboy, The New Yorker, OMNI, and -- her greatest triumph -- the Journal of Universal Rejection.

Sonia brings a unique perspective to the Journal. She believes that
her extensive rejection experience, being rejected so many times in so many ways, both personally and professionally, gives her special insight into the rejection process and an ability to fashion rejections that provide the recipient the best possible chance of getting more. Depending on a daily regime of tango dancing and Internet dating to hone her ability to take and dish out, she feels that she has finally found her calling at the Journal.

"Fear of rejection destroys the most brilliant and creative among us," she says. "If, instead of running away, we could turn and embrace this angel of darkness, we could move beyond fear and finally give not the slightest of flying figs or the smallest of damns."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Spotty

Note from the Editor-in-Chief:  It's crunch time, and vacation time, so posts may be a bit spotty for a while.  We'll get back up to speed here in a bit.  Try to not be too sad in the mean time.   -Caleb

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

There Was a Pregnant Pause Before He Said "OK"

Dear Mike,

Thank you for submitting a poem.  It was very very very very very clever.  And your vocabulary is really off-the-charts.  You even used the word 'gravid' that this editor felt compelled to look up.  Kudos.

Despite the sense of wild success presaged in the previous paragraph, we must let you know: your submission has been rejected.  You should know better than to be so clever.  It's not good for you.

Best regards,
Caleb

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Readers Reject III: The Results

Congratulations Quintopia for winning our 3rd installment of Readers Reject.  You had the good sense to respect the Editor-in-Chief (more or less).  The winning rejection follows.

Martins-Coelho et al:

Your review of rejection is too limited in scope. You rejected every paper in a single database, but there are many works worthy of analyzing in regard to systematic rejection outside of this database. The "Merriam-Webster Dictionary" is one such work. By citing this work you tacitly accepted it, and therefore I must conclude that your systematic rejection was not nearly as thorough as such a worthy study would call for. In order to improve this work and make it as thorough as it deserves, you should, as my colleague Bob O'H (ghost-writing for Frau Emmons) has pointed out, pre-reject your own submission. Please make these minor revisions and promptly fail to resubmit your paper. If you do not submit it again, I can guarantee that I will recommend to the editorial board that it not be rejected.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Peerless Review

Dear Dr. M.,

Thank you for your submission "The Publishing Paradox:  Appropriate Methods of Peer-Review."  We have decided finally to reject it because we were not able to find an appropriate peer-reviewer for it.

Best regards,
Caleb

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection

Monday, May 2, 2011

The POEM from POEM

We received a POEM entitled POEM from someone named POEM.  You might guess what the text was.

Dear POEM,

Thank you for submitting POEM to the Journal of Universal Rejection.

We read your work POEM closely.  The text was brilliant, frankly.  When you used the word 'POEM' it was quite a crescendo.  Your work transcended meta.  It was transcendmetal.  Also transcendmental.  I was left breathless, before breathing in again, as a new person.

Sadly I must let you know that we cannot publish POEM

Sincerely,
Caleb

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection


I was so inspired by POEM's POEM, that I had to write again:

FYI, I was inspired to write

REJECTION
by REJECTION
REJECTION


You may regard this as a second response to your piece if you wish.

--
Caleb Emmons, PhD
Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Universal Rejection