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

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Rough Diamond

Dear A           ,
We were excited at the prospect of reading--and possibly publishing--a comic strip. It's always nice to have a good chuckle, as I'm sure our readers agree.  Your piece, though has flaws.
For one it's not a comic strip. Upon closer reading of your cover letter I notice that you say it is merely a "suggestion for a comic strip."  We don't publish mere "suggestions!"
Number two.  I think it'd be funnier if your descriptions mirrored the scientific sophistication of the individual being described. The professor should be described as "a metastable allotrope of carbon arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic diamond lattice crystal structure."(1) Then you would be "a lumpy bit of sandstone, kinda mashed together".
As it was no diamond in the rough, your piece is rejected.
Best regards,
Caleb Emmons
(1) basically stolen from Wikipedia's article on diamonds.

Caleb Emmons, PhD
Journal of Universal Rejection
Twitter: @JUnivRejection

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Capital "T"

Dear D       L   ,

Our new editorial policy requires hiding the names of submittants unless they provide a liability waiver. We don't make up the rules. Yes, you have a funny name, but we can't tell anyone what it is. Ha ha.

Regarding your essay, "Captain Kirk and Capitalism" -- insightful work. Brilliant work. We are impressed with your liberal use of commas, creative distribution of the words "lubricate" and "fetish", and your ability to bandy about the term "Tellarite pig nose", which we mean to look up. Maybe tomorrow.

It is clear that you are a Trekie with a capital "T". As former fans ourselves (lower case) we know that Captain Kirk allowed no directive to restrict his bold application of cultural improvements to native populations. It is clear you follow in his prodigious footsteps: God and godlessness, ideology, photography, identity and reality -- our hats off to you for your refusal to limit the scope (or length) of your essay. Whatever the point might be.

Our intern just interrupted us to say that your point is that society is created by mass media rather than the other way around. He's always spouting stuff like that. We keep him around anyway.

But wait a moment. If he's right, then you're saying we don't really know what we think. We never thought about it that way before. So maybe we're wrong and your essay isn't brilliant after all. Now we're just not sure.

And while normally that wouldn't be an obstacle to publication, well, there's the capital "T" thing. We really can't be seen to be taking you seriously.


Sonia Lyris
Editor: Short Fiction, Medium Fiction, Bits of Long Fiction, Extra-terrestrial Matters, Highlighter Exposés, Iconoclast Rants, Chocolate Epic Fantasy, & Limericks
Journal of Universal Rejection

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Cake Paradox

Dear Professor Elmenreich:

Thank you for your submission, "The Cake Paradox", which has, apparently, been languishing on our Editor-in-Chief's desk for the last seven months.

"Get this handled!" he told me yesterday, slamming it down on my desk. "And no more delays!"

You see how it is around here? And on top of that I have to drink French roast. I hate French roast.

Back to your paper which seems to have something to with baking, betting, and surprising your co-workers. While your lack of sensitivity to the gluten intolerant is both typical and lamentable, the real problem here is, one, there doesn't appear to be an actual paradox (assuming we understand your math), and two, we don't understand your math.

Luck is always factor in publishing and it's your bad luck to have had your paper assigned to me, Editor of Short Fiction (which this is not), Extra-terrestrial Matters (which this is not), Highlighter Exposés (hmm, maybe) and Chocolate Epic Fantasy (which is probably why this was given to me rather than Joe who handles Math Stuff or our sysadmin, Alice. Or maybe because everyone else was at lunch. Hmm.)

Too bad we had to fire Margarite, who handled baked goods. I thought it was cheery the way she decorated incoming submissions with star-tip icing and jimmies but our Fearless Leader didn't quite see the irony.

We are, however, sufficiently impressed with your Erdös Number that we would have a beer with you next time you're in town. If you're buying.

Good luck with your baking and co-worker gambling issues.

Most sincerely,

Sonia Lyris
Editor: Short Fiction, Medium Fiction, Bits of Long Fiction, Extra-terrestrial Matters, Highlighter Exposés, Iconoclast Rants, Chocolate Epic Fantasy, Limericks
Journal of Universal Rejection