You receive a rejection letter from a magazine you don't remember sending anything in at least two months! That's exactly what happened the other day when I opened my email and noticed the following message from an editor:
Christopher-- Thank you for your submission to [our publication]. Unfortunately, your story does not meet our needs at this time.
Fair enough. As I've written before, rejections are part of the process. And Lord knows I've received enough acceptances recently to weather the occasional perfunctory "no." However, this particular magazine hadn't received a submission from me since January and that story was roundly rejected; I have since gotten the impression they just aren't my market. Needless to say, I was a bit taken aback by this email and, initially, was ready to reply angrily. Instead, I waited a day and wrote the following:
Dear [Editor], I am a bit confused. I haven't submitted anything to your publication since January and a rejection was already sent to me for that story. Would you happen to know which story this is supposed to be for? Sincerely, Christoper Nadeau
The editor's response was nice and seemed a bit sheepish. I appreciated it and was glad I hadn't given in to the Dark Side:
Across the Pond? I'm sorry if it was a duplicate, I got a note saying I hadn't responded.
Mystery solved. And it turned out the story in question was from even longer ago than I'd thought. I replied:
Oh wow that was quite a while back. I did receive a rejection but thanks for being thorough. Ironically, that story is slated to appear in an anthology sometime this summer. Thanks again. -Christopher Nadeau