The author responds:
Dear Dr Chicken:
I sincerely regret your decision to reject my prospectus. The following version has been sent to the Journal of Innocuous Poetry and was accepted within a day. These guys have vision.
There once was an editor called Chicken
Who feared that his chicks could not thicken
By rejecting this act
Chicken was sacked
Whereafter his chicks quickly would sicken
The associate editor politely responds:
Congratulations on finding a suitable journal for your work! While JofIP has somewhat looser editorial standards then JofUR (after all, they have accepted at least one more manuscript than we ever did) all of us at JofUR are very happy for you.
As for my being sacked, I'm used to it. Just this week I've been sacked, bagged, boxed, plucked, shutout, shut up, tied up and tie-dyed.
Thank you for submitting your prospective research program entitled “Every black sheep needs a scapegoat” for review at the Journal of Universal Rejection. I read with interest your plan of combining animal literature, philosophy and poetry. However, I fear that this melding of research topics has already been exhausted by generations of limerick writers.
You make a claim that my personal doctoral students (my “chicks”) might find this topic interesting. Let me assure you that at the moment my chicks are mainly interested in keeping my car clean and fueled, my lawn carefully mowed and my shoes well shined (this last being no easy task since I prefer running shoes). To a lesser extent, they display some interest in generating research.
I encourage you to begin work at once on your proposed research, but please find an alternative venue for publication because we don't want it.
Your prospectus is rejected.
Journal of Universal Rejection