on Jane Friedman site:
An admission: As I read my way through the submission queue for our literary journal, I often decide to decline a story well before its end.
It’s not that the stories are always bad. Many times the premise is interesting, and the characters as well. It may exhibit the opening tension and stakes that can pull a reader in. In fact, there may not be anything technically missing from the submission, and this proficiency is supported by the writers’ cover letters—many submitters have been published in other journals; some are contest winners or Pushcart nominees.
But for me, the stories they’ve submitted just don’t resonate.