A “Nice” Rejection Letter for An Odd Story


I received this last night from the editor of Thrice Publishing.

Dear Helen,

Thanks for sending “The Mustache: A Social Experiment”.

I’m going to pass on this one Helen, but am honored by the opportunity to see work of merit. Sometimes it only comes down to the direction we’re taking at the moment, more than a judgment on the quality of a writer’s efforts.

There are three reading periods every year and I hope we see you again. Thrice Fiction is 99% unsolicited material, and the continued efforts by good writers is what keeps us alive. I hope to see more from you down the road.

RW Spryszak
Thrice Fiction

I wrote back:

Dear Bob,

Thank you so much for that encouraging rejection. I somehow feel heartened despite the news.

Much appreciated. I will submit again for sure.

Helen Leatherwood

Rejection letters are part of the writing process. I can never tell when my work might fit or not with a publication. Still, I thought this was a very nice rejection. I think it’s an art to reject and encourage at the same time.

I will take this rather odd piece and look around for another venue. I might find it a bit difficult to place this story since it is about a teenage girl who wears a false, but very convincing mustache around her small town specifically as a social experiment. Yes, off-beat, but what the heck!

I am encouraged that Bob referred to the story as “a piece of merit.” Not bad for a girl with a mustache!

Off to bed I go. I hope everyone has a good evening.

If you’re curious, there’s the link to the flash fiction piece:


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Nice to receive a gentle rejection.
    BTW, the link doesn’t play nice. 🙂

  2. Weird. It worked the next time. Had received a message about not being allowed to make changes. Huh.

  3. ladywinfred says:

    Wow, Len. Frame it and put it on the wall. Gotta’ be one of a kind. Think I love that gentle person. Thanks for sharing. Hugs.


  4. Yes, a gentle person, indeed. Very nice for a change!

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