Got my rejection for the 4th quarter of 2005 back in January. Form letter with "Send more soon!" hand written at the bottom. Licked my wounds and got on with things. Then today I get a letter from the contest folks. "...one of the semifinalist entries, though it did not place in the final selections for the 4th quarter.... Due to the close proximity to a win of your entry, you will receive a certificate of Honorable Mention.... Enclosed is a critique of your story by coordinating judge, K.D. Wentworth..."
Yes. It's a very useful critique, actually. The story is currently in the slush at Aeon, but whenif it comes back, I think I will see what I can do before subbing it elsewhere.
So, that's nice, as in, it really did put a smile on my face :-). Though *cough* a win would have been way better.