Well… I received that first rejection letter and it was great. I realize that is an odd thing to say, but it’s true. The negative association not withstanding. I was enlightened and even inspired by this letter. The Editor/Art Director, began by thanking me for my submission and complimenting me for my goal in writing historical fiction for children. She referred to the amount of research I put into the project as impressive and added that the sketches (dummy) I included, conveyed an excellent sense of movement.
As the letter went on, her commentary began to mitigate the positives as she passed through elements of my story she described as adequate; such as the premise of the story and the inclusion of animals, which she referred to as “rather kid-friendly”. Finally, the ineluctable critique “I worry that there is a bit too much dialogue throughout the piece, she wrote, while offering the following solution: “I think providing a stronger narrative might better explain the plotline and bring further tension to the story”. She then followed with a clarifying example and closed with a succinct; “I must pass on this one. It is a rejection letter, after all and as such represents a refusal, denial, brush-off or cold shoulder.
Never the less, it was not what I expected of a rejection letter. What is more useful to a writer than consideration entailing a sincere, expert evaluation of his work, which imbues informed and focused improvement.