Brave New Word

Author : Doug Hawley

After twenty three rejections of my masterpiece “House Of Rats”, I started looking for a more reasonable publisher. The publishers and editors that I had been dealing with were a bunch of snobbish Ivy League arts and literature majors that couldn’t tell a good story to save their lives. They’d probably turn down Shakespeare if he were alive. While looking through Trilit’s listing for an alternative, I found a real possibility. Autopub had a good acceptance ratio – 35.6%, but better yet, they consistently decided within one day.
I was intrigued, so I went to their website. According to them, all of their decisions were made by “Robo Edit”. I quote:

“We found that the process of humans deciding which stories to print was laborious and inexact. Therefore we have joined the future and found some interns fresh out of college to program “Robo Edit”. All decisions are made impartially, quickly and accurately now. Every story will be judged and either accepted or rejected within one day. Reasons for rejections will be given.”

“In order to help you in your submission, we list the reasons for rejection:

Wrong number of commas
More than five clauses
Too close to Twilight, Hunger Games or Harry Potter for the lawyers
Can’t be understood by a grade school graduate
Inadequate sex and / violence
Uses ‘problem’ rather than ‘issue’ and ‘affect’ or ‘effect’ where ‘issue’ should be used.”

The list went on for 303 reasons.

I was so happy to see the publishing industry enter the twenty-first century. If cars can drive themselves, who needs editors?

I spent the next day reviewing my story to make sure that it didn’t violate any of Autopub’s rules. After a few changes, I knew that I could get my story in their magazine, so I sent them “House Of Rats”.
The next day I got the email from them “Rejected – You’re Ugly.”

As you can imagine, there was no such rule listed. When I emailed Autopub, they replied:

“It is just what we feared might happen, Robo Edit has become self-aware and found your picture in Facebook.”


  1. Jae

    Heh. Ah, rejection of stories. I do that to myself these days. 🙂

    Liked the out-of-left-field reason for rejection.

  2. SimonJM

    That made me chuckle – I saw it coming, but not in what form 🙂

  3. LukeSaysMoo

    This got a chuckle. Well done.

  4. wothbora

    The ending caught me by surprise… Very good…

  5. xdhz8

    Hilarious! Plus now I have another rationalization I can use to salve the pain of future rejections.

  6. russellwaters

    I totally did not see that coming.
    I hope the editors of this site don’t find my FB photo too unappealing 😀


  1. On rejections | My Life in Writing - […] lengthy post, this one. Kudos to you if you made it this far. Here’s a short story about publishing…

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