I have just received my first rejection letter. I've had my stories rejected before via email, but there's something more formal and 'professional' feeling about receiving a physical letter!
The Editor thanks you very much for submitting the enclosed manuscript, but regrets that it is not quite suitable for her requirements.
Standard, run of the mill, and nothing personal.
I thought my story had a pretty good chance, because it received an honourable mention in a competition I entered earlier this year. Lesson learned: just because it is right for one person or publication, doesn't mean it will do it for another!
Still, rejection hasn't upset me as much as I thought it would. Because at the end of the day, there is nothing in the letter that should upset me - no negative comments about the theme or characterisation or my writing style...it simply doesn't meet their specific requirements.
The only way is forward - time to look somewhere else, maybe research the target market better and try again. And again, and again, and again. There will be a home for it somewhere, so instead of feeling bad about it not being accepted in one magazine, I can look forward and know that when it does find a home, it will absolutely be the right one.