Tag Archives: failure

300 REJECTIONS

BOOM! 300 REJECTIONS. Didn’t even take two years.

But enough about that. There’s good news in town.

I’m still gathering my thoughts on how best to express how I feel about the end, in some respects, of a long, hard ride. (And the start of another, no doubt.) But the news is no secret. Have yourself a look at the new page up above (the one in ALL CAPS). And of course you already know the news if you  follow me on Twitter (@courtmerrigan), or we’re buddies on Facebook. Why aren’t you following me on Twitter? Why aren’t we buddies on Facebook?

I’m going to post on my upcoming short story collection in intelligible fashion in the very near future. Along with other good news, too.

I’d just like to note here that these 300 logged rejections don’t include the rejections that flowed from my first bout of short story-itis back around 2003-2006-ish. I wasn’t keeping track of things back then. I’d guesstimate the true number is around 500. Give or take.

But whatever. 300 rejections ain’t nothing, man, if it gets you where you want to go. Neither is 500. For the last week I’ve truly, finally felt that I’m on the way.

Head on over to the Failure page to see the damage, though.

March Maudlin – Rejection tally nearing 300

297 rejections. Count ’em. Redstone Science Fiction says, “This was a well-done post-apocalyptic piece, and while it isn’t quite what we’d like, we definitely hope that you’ll submit other work in the future.  We like what you did here.”

Oh, I’ll submit again, believe you me. Meanwhile I’m stuck in the literary friend zone.

The others in the newly updated Rejection list had nothing to say their auto-reject form couldn’t say better.

Ringing in the new year with a rejection-o-rama

Since its last update, I’ve been rejected an additional 14 times. Most of them have involved that same long story that The New Yorker and Paris Review liked but didn’t take. That one has been rejected 30 (yep – thirty) times so far, and is awaiting dismissal at 8 other places as we speak. When some editor finally sees fit to grab hold of this story, it’ll rate its own post on its own long strange journey.

Not going to go relive all the rejections, except to say that the turn-downs from Needle (I WILL CRACK THAT MARKET SOMEDAY, GODDAMMIT) and Shimmer and The Pedestal and Unstuck and CutBank were encouraging. Not nearly as encouraging as an acceptance, but hey.

The Failure list has been updated.

Rejections # 258 & 259

I did a rewrite for Pulp Modern but it still didn’t make the cut.  AC over there digs the dealing with other cultures but not the narrative structure.  He did invite me to send him more, though. Frustrating with a dash of hopefulness.

Hot Metal Bridge regrets &c.

Rejections #249 – 257: formology

Form rejections every one:

Clarkesworld thanks me &c.

Quarterly West appreciates &c.

Fence took 318 days to appreciate &c.

Gettysburg’s Review mailed rejection failed to arrive, but the office manager confirmed it via email.

Lightspeed will pass.

Los Angeles Review enjoyed my writing but &c.

The Journal thanks me &c.

It took Iron Horse 334 days to discover my story didn’t meet their current needs.

 

Rejections #227 – 236

Too many to list in the title.  And worry not: acceptance news is forthcoming.  2 parcels of news, actually.  (You can take a sneak peek in the Published Short Stories page, if you’d like.)

Needle wanted something more developed.  This one stung.  I really wanted in that mag; and now they’re posting on FB that they’ve filled the next two (!) issues.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies sent along a long personal rejection, but a rejection nonetheless.  This one also stung.  I worked for weeks on the story I sent them, and had them in mind all along.   To the point where I am actually reworking the story, to send to them again.

Hey another one that stung – Shotgun Honey wants me to keep ’em coming.  Just not this one.  This one from a mag that’s already published a piece of mine.  I’m not going to lie – it’s a little maddening.  I shall persist.

Flashquake tells me I made it to Round 2, but no further.

Minnesota Review thanks me &c.

Esquire appreciated &c.

Ellery Queen thanks me but &c.

Southeast Review took 290 days to decide the piece didn’t fit the needs of their journal.

Lit took 180 days to decide likewise.

Southern Humanities Review cannot be bothered to use their full name in a form rejection email, preferring SHR.  I cannot be bothered to type out any portion of their form rejection (even though my not bothering took more characters than it would have to abbreviated their rejection.  Look, I have to have some standards.).

Acceptance news forthcoming.

Rejections #223 – 226: Hunger Mountain, ChiZine, Frigg, Frigg

Soon after I withdrew a flash from Frigg because it was picked up elsewhere (more on that later) I got a chatty personal note that the remaining 2 flashes I submitted were “not quite right” for Frigg.

Hunger Mountain thanks me &c.

My story does not meet ChiZine’s needs at this time.

Rejections #213-222: Ellery Queen, Ideomancer, Apex, Bull, Unstuck, Word Riot, Plots With Guns, Pulp Modern, Storyglossia, Barrelhouse

Hey, did you know there is a Rejection Wiki out there? Well, there is.  I’ll be adding all my rejection letters there from now on.  If you’re a writer, and you’re being rejected (I repeat myself), head on over and contribute.  I’ll all for lifting the shroud of secrecy that hovers over this submitting stuff.

Okay, on with the show.

Plots With Guns kindly considered a story that was 1000 words below their usual minimum requirement, which I appreciated.  Unfortunately, they found it to be a little too elliptical.  Not to worry, though – since I submitted the original piece, I’ve written a sequel, and good-hearted Sean O’Kane, editor, agreed to look at the two in tandem.  I’ll keep you posted.

Pulp Modern still ain’t buying what I’m selling, but I’ve submitted again because it’s an inaugural issue, and dammit, I want in there.

Ideomancer was “intrigued by the situation set up, but found the ending’s implications more interesting than the story itself.”  That hurts, a little, but I appreciate the comment.

Unstuck enjoyed the story and hopes I will submit again.  Okay.  Maybe I will.

Apex’s letter reads like a next-of-kin letter: We regret to inform you &c.  Don’t worry, Apex.  I’m not taking it that seriously.

Kevin O’Cuinn of Word Riot and I have played our last round of I-send-’em, he-rejects-’em for a while.  As with elimae, I don’t have any more stories coming down the pike that he’s likely to appreciate.

Ellery Queen gave my story careful consideration &c.

My story isn’t exactly what Bull is looking for.

Storyglossia appreciated &c.

Barrelhouse thanks me &c.

Rejections #211 & 212 – Digital Science Fiction and Pedestal

Digital Science Fiction has bad news.  Regretfully &c.

Pedestal – one of those places I’m going to crack one of these days, dammit! – enjoyed reading but &c.

Rejection #210 – elimae

elimae liked the writing, but it just wasn’t right for the mag.

Too bad, too, because it’s the last straight literary story I have the in the pipeline, so it’s unlikely I’ll be submitting there again in the near future.  I’m on to crime, fantasy, and SF.  Probably should pick a focus, but they’re all so damn fun.