Ian Golding

Seasonal Rejection
Our journal is currently closed. Please submit only when unpaid and unread undergraduates can aimlessly sift through this never-ending pile of slush.

Self Congratulatory Rejection
As one of the preeminent journals in the country, we receive far too many submissions to personally respond to your piece. Aside from reading work by Joyce Carol Oates and Stephen King, we also consider pieces from nobodies—like yourself. We do not publish them, however.

Serendipitous Rejection
We are going to pass on this piece because a drip of coffee landed on your manuscript and somehow spelled out the word REJECT. In capital letters, just like that. Weird, right? Also, your main character shares the same name as our editor’s dog and he does not wish to view his pet in that manner.

The Smiths Rejection
Your submission was good and we could publish it, but why bother?
Oh whoa, whoa, who rejects the rejecter?
Naa-na-naa-na-na
Life is so unfair, why should anyone care?
Oh whoa, whoa, who rejects the rejecter?

Soul Shattering Rejection
F. Scott Fitzgerald was 24 when he published his first novel. You’re 32 with a joke of an MFA and $72,000 of debt. Who are you trying to fool? You will never get this story accepted.

Solicited Writer’s Fall Guy Rejection
We were going to accept your piece, but decided to publish 38 Albert Goldbarth poems instead. Just for your information, every single one of them is about a cat named, believe it not, Garfield.

Sounds Like Mom Rejection
Now, just because we aren’t accepting this piece, don’t go and get down on yourself. We believe in you. You can do it. Keep on trying, little guy, keep on submitting—just not to our journal.

Spam Rejection
Don’t let all your “pieces” get rejected! Canadian Viagra available now. 10% discount if you enter the code AWP.

Standard Rejection
Thank you for your interest in our journal. Unfortunately, we are unable to use the fiction you submitted. We wish you the best of luck in placing your work elsewhere and hope you’ll consider us again in the future.

Stereotypical: Freshman Literature Major Turned Journal Editor Rejection
Though we will not be accepting your work, please keep fighting, noble writer, for the world is barren without your struggle!
It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write. ~Sinclair Lewis

Stereotypical: Mummy Rejection
Mmmmph MMMMmmmmNo! eerrrrrBad!!!! mmMMMRRrraaaa Try again next reading period!

Straight To The Point Rejection
No.

Super Strict Submission Guidelines Rejection
Had you have used a paperclip instead of a staple, we might have considered this piece. Also, your margins are too large.

Suspiciously Vague Personal Rejection
Your piece was read multiple times. We liked things about it. Some things you did very well, but because of another thing we unfortunately must pass at this time. We hope that this personal response is encouraging.

SWAT Officer Pretending To Be Teenager In Chatroom Circa 1998 Rejection
swimgurl420: im sorry about ur story :(
swimgurl420: brb
swimgurl420: Disconnected
swimgurl420: Connected
swimgurl420: wanna cum over my parents are gone
swimgurl420: i wont tell any1

Switcheroo Sales Technique
This piece is not a good fit for our journal; however, we feel as though you should try submitting it to our monthly contest. Simply resend the story along with an SASE and a $15 reading fee payment.

Symbolic Rejection
We dropped your story in the toilet and then left it there.


Ian Golding’s fiction has been selected Editor’s Choice in the Mid-American Review Fineline Competition and has appeared or is forthcoming in Juked, Pank, and Gargoyle. He is the editor of The Interrobang, and also drives a green scooter.