Tag Archives: literary magazine failure

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.

Rejections #203-209: Dirty Noir, Shimmer, South Dakota Review, Jobbed, Electric Spec, Black Warrior Review, Pulp Modern

Doc O’Donnell, Senior Editor at Dirty Noir, looks to be the reigning king of personal rejections.  8 full paragraphs about why my latest submission wasn’t going to work at Dirty Noir.  Eight!  That’s some fucking overtime, man.  Needless to say, I’ll be taking another shot at it soon.

Shimmer, damn you, continues to tantalize with another nicely worded personal rejection.  At one point, E. Catherine Tobler referred to one section of the story thusly: “This felt like a skillet over the head.”  I appreciate the honesty, and I can handle it, believe me.  Given that I’ve got 209 rejections in under a year, no doubt she’s not the only one.  I really like Shimmer.  I’d really like to be in.  I’ll keep working on it.

Pulp Modern ain’t buying what I’m selling, but asked for more.  So I complied.

My story does not meet the needs of Electric Spec at this time.

Black Warrior Review has read my submission &c.

Jobbed will pass.

South Dakota Review thanks me &c.

Negative progress: Rejection #200 – Boston Review (plus bonus Rejections #201 & 202)

Rejection two-hundy was a doozy: a longish personal note from the Boston Review.  Boiled down, they said that while the story was imaginative and inventive, it could be restructured.  Not sure I agree, but their point is well-taken.

This is the same story that has received personal rejections from The New Yorker and Shenandoah.  Negative progress, I like to call it.  Being on the cusp.

Someone will take this story.  It’s still out at 10 places (and has been rejected at 13).

Crazyhorse took 7 paragraphs to tell me that this particular manuscript (which, obviously, had no particular resonance for them) wasn’t &c.

Fantasy got the same job done in 3 succinct sentences.


Rejections #193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198 – Intergalactic Medicine Show, Onirismes, Dirty Noir, Smokelong Quarterly, Clarkesworld, Not One Of Us

They’ve been piling up.  Two more, and I’ll be at 200 rejections in just under a year.   I’ve got more good news in the next post, though, so I’m going to get these out of the way.

The editor at Dirty Noir sent me the most congenial rejection I’ve ever received, three paragraphs long.  The next thing to being accepted, really.  He encouraged me send again, and I already have.

(I should note that I once received a rejection from Flywheel that was just as congenial, actually; David James Keaton, the editor, said he was arguing on the phone with a co-editor about the piece.  That’s not only congenial, it’s downright heart-cockle-warming.)

Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show thanks me &c.

Onirismes studied my story, then sent me a rejection with someone else’s name attached.  I will say that when I notified them of this, they acknowledged the mistake.  Though they didn’t take the story.

Clarkesworld thanks me, but &c.

Smokelong hopes I find a better fit elsewhere.

Not One Of Us wins the brevity prize – one line that they won’t be using this story.

Rejections #192, 193 – Hayden's Ferry Review & Onirismes

Onirismes sent along a rejection with someone else’s name attached, though the right story title.  They feel the story should be fleshed out more.

Hayden’s Ferry Review appreciates the opportunity &c.

Rejections #192, 193 – Hayden’s Ferry Review & Onirismes

Onirismes sent along a rejection with someone else’s name attached, though the right story title.  They feel the story should be fleshed out more.

Hayden’s Ferry Review appreciates the opportunity &c.

Rejections #188, 189, 190, 191 – Glimmer Train, Eclectica, Revolution House, Glimmer Train

After careful consideration, Eclectica have decided &c.

Glimmer Train appreciated the opportunity &c.

Revolution House sent me a very strange rejection, to the effect (I think) that it touched on too many “big issues.”

Glimmer Train appreciated the opportunity &c. (Yup, submitted there twice, to the same result.)

Rejections #184, 185, 186, 187 – Contrary, Redivider, Bete Noire, Shotgun Honey

Contray was so fond of my submission they invited me to submit again.  To the next issue.

Shotgun Honey encourages me to take another shot, with another story.

Bete Noire didn’t think my piece was very engaging.

Redivider thanks and appreciates me and my writing, but &c.


Rejection #183 – Word Riot

I have this little game I like to play with Kevin O’Cunn at Word Riot.  I send him a story, he rejects it.

He did give a comment this time, though, roughly: more story, less artifice.  I can feel that.