Being a writer, self has quite a thin skin. Each rejection feels like a judgement (“They don’t like me! They really don’t like me!”)
She’s had super-quick rejections. One came about five minutes after she paid her $3 on-line submission fee (She’s decided not to reveal names of these super-quick rejectors. Blog readers will just have to do their own research. It is good for the soul)
The one from Prairie Schooner cut deep because two good friends had been published in a recent issue, so self figured … WRONG! Since that time of humiliation, PS’s rejections to self now come in more stately fashion: never less than a month. Success!
Last week’s quick rejection was from West Branch. They’re way over on the east coast, but geographic location doesn’t count anymore, since 80% of literary journals now use Submishmash.
Today, she heard back from Word Riot, four days after she sent them a piece. This is a record. From her lengthy research on Duotrope, Word Riot has among the fastest turn-around times of any literary journal. Some people say, “hours.” So, self sent in a crazy story, and waited to hear back that day. Nothing.
On to the 31st, more peeking at Submishmash. Nope, nothing yet.
New Year’s Day, nope! Self’s heart fills with esperanza!
January 2 — DAAAAARN!
Here you go, the letter that is probably the “less enthusiastic” version of the nice rejection. Self wishes she had archived the earlier rejection so she could compare the two. Is this just wishful thinking, or is there just a smidgen of encouragement in this letter? Read:
Thank you for sending your work to Word Riot. We’ve read it carefully. Unfortunately, we didn’t feel it was quite right for us. If you have something else you think is right for our magazine, please feel free to try us again in the future.
Word Riot Editor xxxxx
It’s the “If you have something else” that really gets to self. Of course she has something else. She has tons of “something else”! In fact, a whole filing cabinet full of “something elses”!
* * * * *
This story does have a happy ending.
In Fall 2012, Word Riot gave her one of her fastest acceptances ever. In fact, within an hour. For “A Dictionary of Devotions.”
Moral of the story: Never give up. And don’t take anything personally, self you wuss.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.