My First Rejection Slip
December 6, 1966
5232 B.H. U.S. Naval Academy
Annapolis, Maryland 21412
Dear Mr. Smith:
Thanks very much for letting us see these examples of your work in verse and short fiction. They did interest us, although not quite enough for publication.
I want to say we see some definite promise in your work. It hasn't, I'm afraid, yet reached the standard we set for acceptance, but this is one of the discouragements most young writers face for a few years.
A young writer submitting fiction to Playboy has to remember that he is competing with many well-known professional authors who have had years of experience and many publications - and he shouldn't feel too downcast over the first few rejections.
If I have any word of advice, it's this: most magazine editors prefer to get just one or two submissions at a time. And those submissions (I exclude poetry - which we almost never print) should be in the form of a well rounded short stories of some 3,000 words or more.
Comment on Smith's poetry...
e mail smith at smithcrimes @-sign yahoo dot com