I got a rejection yesterday. I've gotten lots of rejections before, and while having your art rejected isn't fun, this particular rejection was just mean. The rejection letter said something like, "We have deemed that your work is not of sufficient quality or artistic merit for our program."
Two of the pieces I submitted, mind you, were good enough to appear on the cover of a certain well-known beading magazine. But they were not of sufficient quality or artistic merit for their program.
My sister, who is an up-and-coming science fiction/fantasy/horror writer, called me and understood exactly what had happened. She said, "There's a difference between CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and just plain criticism."
What I experienced was the latter.
It got me so pissed off. How dare these people go so far as to insult me and my work like that? Being rejected is hard enough; but getting a MEAN rejection is just, well, mean.
I may write a response to their rejection letter and suggest that in the future they refrain from using those particular sentences when turning down candidates for their program. Why? Because nice matters.