Thank you for your submission. Having read it carefully, we don't feel it's the right fit for XXXX. Although we will not be publishing this piece, we appreciate the opportunity to read your work.
Do I think it was read carefully? I guess. Ok, yes, probably. I don't know. Sure.
In my darker moments, I think that my story was probably read by a few undergraduates who have nothing in common with the middle aged me and liked nothing about my story because it wasn't about drinking or suicide or having anonymous sex.
In my lighter moments I think someone read it who appreciates good writing but it wasn't, as they said, a right fit.
The other rejection - this is the one I like a little better, although, well - still a rejection.
Here it is:
Thank you for sending your work to XXXX. We are always grateful for the opportunity to review new material, and we have given "Wonderbread" close reading and careful consideration. We found many strengths to recommend your work and, overall, much to admire. We regret, however, that "Wonderbread" is not quite right for us. We encourage you try us again in the future, and we hope that you will.
First, you'll notice there's no name. Won't somebody take responsibility for dashing a struggling author's dreams?
Secondly, Do they mean it? Do they really encourage my submitting again in the future - do those editors really "hope" I will. At least here they mentioned the name of my story. I have so many stories out to magazines right now, I have no idea what the first Journal is rejecting. At least they let me believe the fiction that someone actually read my story and enjoyed the way I used language
Thirdly, the second rejection is better written. It actually reads like a story. And they are polite - Jane Austin polite: we are always grateful for the opportunity to review new material...So, there you go. But, once again, no one taking responsibility for breaking my heart.
I'm clearly being a melodramatic. But I'm a writer, you know? - Supposed to dramatize...