The rejection slip can be a work of art even though it might be de-motivating for would-be authors. This one beggars belief

Having been on the receiving end of more than my fair share of publisher’s rejection slips, not to mention having sent a fair few myself, I know what a fine art it is to say a firm no in the kindest possible way. The trouble is that if you’re too kind then the writer will try again with another take on how to knit your spinnaker or crochet your sheets. And if you’re too firm you might be putting a potential Booker prize winner compeltely off the idea of writing.

I have received, from a somewhat bemused reader, a copy of a rejection letter from another sailing magazine which shall remain nameless, as will the author of the letter. What the reader had proposed was an article on how to make a sextant. It goes:

‘Dear Mr Reader,

Thank you for your letter and diagrams of a sextant.

It’s a great idea! Unfortunately, we are not able to publish any ideas which may involve looking at the sun, owing to Health and Safety legislation.

Best regards

Mr Anonymous’

The reader adds succinctly ‘let us hope that the fat controllers never switch off the satellites’