Monday Rewrite: Rejection Letter

Dear sir,

Thank you for submitting your short story collection for possible publication. We very much enjoyed reading the collection but regret to inform you that it is not right for our list. Many of the stories do not end conclusively. The one about the manager misspending his master’s money is just plain confusing. This comment about using money…  what are you saying about this person – that he should use money to bless poor people? Isn’t that naive business practice? And who’s the hero here? We don’t even know if the manager really was stealing from his master. The top guy only heard rumours. Are we supposed to just work it out? Suppose we misread it? You take a risk telling such open-ended tales.

Your widow and the judge story is clearly unbelievable. A judge like that, powerful, rich, self-satisfied, cowed by a poverty-stricken, inconsequential, marginalised woman? Just because she won’t stop messaging him? What were you intending to say? And frankly the farmer leaving 99 sheep just to go and find a single lost one is highly unfeasible, would one be worth so much to him? Can you imagine taking a risk like that? It’s ridiculous. As is the tale of the woman searching high and low for lost money only to go spending it all on a party to celebrate finding it. And we hardly need point out that no builder worth his cement would ever construct his own home on a windswept sand dune. I take it there’s some hidden meaning here? Yet surely no one constructs their way of life on such flimsy practices, do they?

Plus any father who welcomes home a rebellious son so generously and heartily, after the boy has treated him with such disrespect, is frankly supremely naive. What are we supposed to believe? That there’s a father somewhere who loves his children so much he will make himself look the biggest fool in the world for them?  Throw good money after bad in laying on a sumptuous party as if the despicable boy is some kind of hero? It’s surely beyond implausible.

There is a certain simplistic and surprising  charm to these tales but one cannot imagine them lasting long in anyone’s memory. I doubt if anyone will still be discussing them a few centuries down the line. If you have anything about wizards at school, or globetrotting superspies, or giants who are big and friendly then we’d be glad to take a look. But in the meantime we suggest you consign compassionate, risk-taking Samaritans and reckless seed sowing farmers to the slush pile. We certainly will.

We wish you every success with a lesser publisher. Or perhaps you might like to consider self-publishing. We hear that Dave Hopwood has had moderate success going down that route.

Yours,

Miss Ing-Thepoint

Religious Writings Inc.

(Luke 15)

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