When I first started submitting stories, I thought I’d get one of two possible responses: an acceptance, or a form saying “never send us a story again.” (Luckily, that’s not actually what a rejection means.)
Eventually I realized there were other options. My least favorite is the long wait followed by my sending a “hey, remember that story I sent?” followed by their “we never got that.”
Far better is the rewrite request. That’s when the editor likes the story, but sees some problems and asks the writer to try to fix them.
So far, I’ve always rewritten my stories as requested. There’s no guarantee that they’ll buy it, but they already expressed some interest–and while I’ve heard horror stories of crazy suggestions, so far, all the ones I’ve gotten have been good ones. It helps that by the time they make the suggestions, I haven’t thought about the story in a long time, and I’m less wedded to my original version.