The Editor Who Rejects Everything

The editor shakes his head and mumbles.




His red pen scribbles across the page and comes to a halt. He picks the page up and tears it in half.


For him, words are bullets aimed at the little scabs who forget the Oxford comma.

He rolls his chair forward and dusts off his name tag. “Nathan Nipick

A new paper slides across his desk. After a couple of moments, he crumples it up.

They didn’t read how to apply… it was only a 47-page,, clause heavy, Latin-forward document.

He scratches his beard. A new paper. Something deadly catches his eye.

So you like using colons?

He shakes his head.

“We’re em-dash only here.”

Another paper. Another disappointment. 

The editor tears through 100 more entries, moving his pen like a surgeon. Each paper more uninspiring than the last like a short man who lied about his height on a dating profile.

When suddenly the editor pushes himself away from his desk and paces around his office. He’s grabbing his head like it’s threatening to explode when his eyes fixate on a framed diploma.

It reads. “Grammar Nazi Association” With a little paragraph that says, “Protecting the innocent from the misspelled.” He salutes it and feels restored in his namesake.

The editor gingerly walks back to his desk and picks up his coffee. He sniffs it, breathing in refined appreciation.

Nothing like a French press to make my opinions more pressing.” When suddenly a brick comes shattering through the window.

There’s a thick rubber band holding a note attached to the brick.

It reads. “Without you, creativity might even thrive.

The editor mumbles.

That sentence is too short for this publication.”

30 thoughts on “The Editor Who Rejects Everything

  1. I’ve actually heard of this guy! Does he help? I hired an editor a few years ago. She was very nice, a little helpful, but not very informative.

    1. Just want to note that I have a sister who when we were growing up would say things like “I don’t know what you are saying.” This infuriated me.

      “You might be the only one!”

      Anyway, some people live for correctness, but not everyone! 🙂

      1. Hey! I don’t know if you or anyone you know might have time to look at a story. I’m having trouble finding anyone to read it. I don’t know if it’s common. A lot of people I know are actually too busy to read anything. I’m just looking for flow ideas, characters, general non technical thoughts. Technical will come with the actual edit. It might sound like I’m a prima donna, but I don’t think she got me that well, which might explain her lukewarm comments.

      2. If it’s on your blog I’ll take a look! Send the link – in my experience it’s hard to get people to read your work in a timely fashion – it is what it is

      3. Sounds good! I’ll probably read it in chunks when I can fit it in – I had some friends that used like online writing groups to exchange books and give notes too – it’s worth looking into

      1. Right! When I started out as a cartographer, thirty years ago, I was at odds with the editor until I realized that he was saving me and the company from embarrassment. As I writer, I was braced for the same treatment. But for whatever reason, she didn’t express much about the quality or how I could improve my project. Her big thing was to tell me to rewrite it. It’s what she does. I don’t know if that’s a universal cure. I know some people do this. But I’m already on the next story.

  2. This reminded me of all the rejection letters I get and I think editors like this are behind the rejection. Rejection doesn’t make us better writers, does it? But that’s why blogging is nice, you control your own voice without someone there to say you’re not saying enough. I thoroughly enjoyed this post.

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