Here’s what I came up with in the shower this morning:
Dear Ms. King:
It is with deep regret that we write to you today to inform you that we are unable to publish your recent fiction submission, “The Best Thing You’ll Ever Read, I Guarantee It.” It was indeed, which, you see, is the problem.
After considering everything else we’ve published in our 81-year history, we realized that publishing your piece would ruin us. Compared with your work, everything that has appeared in the past looks like utter rubbish. We were left wondering, “J.D. who? What did we ever see in that guy?”
So since we can’t offer you publication, for reasons I’m sure you can understand given the circumstances, we’d like to offer you something else: the position of editor-in-chief. To accommodate your current geographic location, we’re happy to change our name to The Formerly-From-New-York-But-Moved-To-Virginia-er, and of course we will relocate our offices immediately to whatever location you feel will be most appropriate just in case you ever wish to grace our undeserving staff with your presence.
Ms. King, we sincerely hope you will accept this offer and not hold it against us that we cannot publish your work. Our hands are tied. But we feel confident that with you at the helm, we can steer our ship in a new and better direction. We eagerly await your reply.
The New Yorker
And this, my friends, is why it’s a bad idea to make enemies in the publishing business. ;]
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