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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The rejection letter

Being yet another selection from the correspondence column of the Girl's Own Paper ...

CLYTIE:--"The real name of Mark Twain is S. L. Clemens, and the reason why he writes under a nom de plume is, we suppose, the same that induced you to call yourself Clytie."

WISHING TO KNOW:--"Judging from your style of composition, spelling, and handwriting, we would not encourage you to send any MS to a publisher."

EMILY LEWIS:--"We are much obliged for your poem, and regret to decline it."

NANNIE:--"We do not know why four verses, all dissimilar in metre, the emphasis falling on the wrong syllables, and the rhymes so unusually incorrect, were sent to us. 'Hard' and "fold,' 'clasped' and 'past,' and 'together' and 'heaven' certainly do not rhyme respectively one with another."

INQUIRER:--"We cannot say if you could earn a living by type-writing in England as ladies do in America."

KARL:-"Your letter was of the class that should have gone into the waste-paper basket."

AN IRISH GIRL complains that "Irish girls never by any chance are awarded the prizes even though their compositions are much better than those awarded the prize." If the Irish girls who compete for prizes be usually as impertinent, we are not surprised that they failed in obtaining them. We advise her to mend both manners and pen."

CHRISTMAS BERRIES:--"We should like to please our little friend by telling her that her verses were 'poetry,' but grieve to say they are not.  Still, she has our best wishes."

E.C.:--"Your writing is so bad we could scarcely read your letter, and we regret that we are unable to make use of the verses you enclose. The rhythm is incorrect, and they lack any new idea."

MOSS ROSE "is thanked for offering to write a story for our paper.  We do not encourage our girls to send us their first attempts, as we regret disappointing them. We employ experienced writers, whose stories and articles are of value in the literary market. It would not be fair to our readers, nor to the success of our magazine, to do otherwise."

MANUKA:--"The verses are not up to our mark, but as you have doubtless felt pleasure in writing them, like most young people, they have answered a purpose. They show, however, that you are quite ignorant of the rules of rhyming, and also that you have read little poetry, as you appear to have been guided by no rules of any kind as to the construction."

And, at last, some encouraging words...

AN ONLY DAUGHTER wishes to know "what she is to do with her old diaries," reports the editor of this fine magazine for girls, and goes on to muse, "Perhaps she might induce some publisher to purchase the copyright, and so do good service to herself, and possibly to him and us."

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