I don’t often talk shit on the magazines that reject my work–that isn’t the point of this blog–but here I will make an exception.
Seriously, Playboy, get it the fuck together.
From the half-assed letterhead to the weatherbeaten text to the cheap sheet of computer paper it’s printed on, everything about this letter screams: SINKING SHIP.
Every single person I show this rejection letter to says the same thing: “That came from Playboy?“
Because, the truth is, Playboy has a rich history of publishing the most exciting and important fiction writers alive, from Joseph Heller to Roald Dahl to Margaret Atwood to Kurt Vonnegut to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and on and on and on. That old saw about “just reading Playboy for the articles” is not entirely facetious. I’d like to think that with the accessibility and normalization of hardcore pornography–when it’s instantly possible to stream a video of a pregnant woman getting rammed in the ass by an Irish Wolfhound while servicing a fleet of Dominican refugees with her hands and mouth–it would be in Playboy’s best interests to double down on the one thing it has been able to do better than every men’s magazine than perhaps Esquire … but what do I know, I’m just a guy with a blog, and I wouldn’t even begin to be able to tell you the ideal breast-to-hip ratio of a bottle-blond would-be actress with a dossier of discount glamour photos, a bottomless thirst for attention, and a gaping dearth of self-respect.
I also find it amusing that Playboy’s editorial staff considers the tedious process of reading and rejecting slush to be an effort necessitating “man power.”