I had no idea, but apparently, there is a hard rule that you don’t staple submitted manuscripts.
Or, at least there once was. We mostly email it all now.
That first rejection letter is such a right of passage for a writer.
You put yourself out there, offering your work for acceptance, and you are told that you aren’t good enough.
It can be devastating for some.
The rejections don’t get a lot easier to take – but keep writing – because that’s what writers do.
Thanks goodness there are infinite ways around the gatekeepers now.
After a long time spent studying the markets in my beat-up Writer’s Digest, I sent “Happy Stamps” off to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. It came back three weeks later with a form rejection slip attached. This slip bore Alfred Hitchcock’s unmistakable profile in red ink and wished me good luck with my story. At the bottom was an unsigned jotted message, the only personal response I got from AHMM over eight years of periodic submissions. “Don’t staple manuscripts,” the postscript read. “Loose pages plus paperclip equal correct way to submit
copy.” This was pretty cold advice, I thought, but useful in its way. I have never stapled a manuscript since.
-Stephen King, On Writing