Howard Junker is the editor of ZYZZYVA, a literary journal based in San Fransisco, and as such receives a steady stream of submissions from writers eager to see their work published in his magazine. Understandably, Junker sends out a standard form letter when rejecting work. An example can be seen below, complete with the handwritten ‘Onward!’ that adorns every single one.

For more rejection-based documents, I suggest a look at Literary Rejections on Display.




Manuscript logged in: MAR-2 2007

Gentle writer:

Please forgive me for returning your work and for not offering comments or suggestions. I would like to say something to make up for my ungraciousness, but I don’t think a few quick remarks would really help. The truth is I have so little space, I must return almost everything -99%- of what’s sent to me, including a lot that interests me and even some pieces I admire. (Also, I make mistakes; my taste is erratic, my judgment flawed.)

The important thing is this: Do not be discouraged by this or any other momentary setback. The road is long; the struggle must go on.

Then, too, the ways of the Muse are strange. When she does visit again, I hope you will give her my best regards.


Keep the faith.


Howard Junker