Like all writers, I get far more rejection notes than acceptances. It’s just part of the process of being a writer, and nearly all of them, regardless of the words, are just a way of saying “no, we’re not going to publish this story”: mark it in the submission log, find another potential market for the story, and move on. Today, however, I received a very surprising rejection. The first two paragraphs are just standard form rejection, but then the editor appended this third paragraph:
Personal note: This was a fascinating and experimental piece to read. It was unpredictably and beautifully eerie. Your prose succeeds at building and sustaining the tension driving this story.
Other than the in-person rejections from friends, this is the nicest I’ve ever received. In the long run, it doesn’t really matter: the story still hasn’t sold, and the rejection isn’t going to make it any easier to sell the story, but for a few moments today, it feels nice.