A lot of meaning is imputed to what is often a form letter: the art isn't good; the artist is a bad artist; the artist is an idiot for having submitted artwork in the first place; the person who sent the letter is stupid and biased; that person expressed the considered opinion of the entire world.
I blame my grandmother on my mother's side. She's the one that started all this. Sure, she's been dead for nearly 50 years but that doesn't get her off-the-hook. She knows what she did -- she's the one that put the curse on this family's creativity.
Dear Big Chance Book Awards: My question is, why didn't I even make the semi-final list of over 8,0000 aspiring writers? Are you kidding me? I want my entry fee refunded or I'll report you to the Attorney General. Yours, sincerely, etc. etc.
My 5-year-old son, Boaz, received two thin envelopes in the mail (in Los Angeles by the time a kid is 2, it's not unheard of that he's fielded enough ding letters from private preschools to wallpaper his playroom).
Big rejection numbers in publishing are not important. Big numbers in general are not important. No, the number to worry about is one. One. That's how many sentences you have to impress an agent or editor.
I'd wager that more rejection letters are being received in this country than at any time in its 234-year history -- rejections for big jobs and lowly internships, for mortgages and small business loans.