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.
I was looking forward to having my very own slice of dead tree upon which my Paris Review rejection would be printed. I waited and waited but the thing never arrived. So I emailed the editors; they had this to say:
our reply must have gotten lost in the mail, as we did send you a note back to thank you for your submission and to say that we were unable to accept it for publication but remain interested in your work and would like to see more of it.
Jesus Christ. So close, so close.
If this story were a hand grenade, whole battalions of the enemy would be lying bleeding on the battlefield. It has now been rejected 20 times, by every top-tier mag I can think of; meanwhile, it awaits imminent rejection at 5 more.
We’re sorry to say that this manuscript is not right for us, in spite of its evident merit. This is very confident writing here. Unfortunately, we are receiving so many submissions that it is impossible for us to reply more specifically. We thank you for the chance to consider your work.”
Does that “hallo” indicate a personal touch, or just the intern making a typo on the auto-send list? What “obvious” merit, I’d like to know. And isn’t all writing submitted to The New Yorker, aka The Holy Grail of All Things Writerly, confident?
Who knows. Also, it doesn’t count. Rejection #150 it is.