A first- I had to tell someone last night we didn’t want to use a story they had already written. No beating around the bush. I said it just “wasn’t for us” but that he now has a story to shop around to other publications. The writer kind of freaked out.
The publisher said I should have been more gracious, citing business concerns that were out of my hands. I don’t know. Being clear and direct, there is no confusion we would want him to write for us in the future, thus preventing the extended hurt of continual rejections. At the same time, my directness caused ill will, which may come back to bite me later.