Tag Archives: short story rejection

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.

Rejection update: winter is still here

 Another month, another crop of rejections, and meanwhile, the groundhog, who deigns to share his birthday with me, said winter was still coming. Indeedy.

Plots With Guns professes an admiration of my prose, but considered the story I sent them to be, among other errors, too sketchy. Noted.

Included in my postal dead-tree rejection from Michigan Quarterly Review was a nice handwritten note, indicating that there were strengths in the story, but not enough of them, in a row.

(EDIT: In fact the first page of a story, edited, did not come from MQR, but from New Letters.) Also included was the first page of the story which included some editing marks which, I regret to say, indicated a certain intolerance for complicated literary syntax. Also, I am not sure why a story that was to be rejected, was edited. But hey, at least I know it got read, right?

And all the other rejections through 2/6/12 (I’ve gone 10 days without a rejection, and received an acceptance in between – hurrah) are on the Failure page.

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.


The Paris Review: so close, so close

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.

Negative progress.


Rejections #246 – 248 – A-Minor puts honesty above palhood, A Public Space pushes me to some negative progress, Fiddleblack form rejects

You’ve probably heard the old saw that you need friends to get published.  I’m here today to disprove that theory.  My pal Nicolette Wong, who often comments around here and is the new editor over at A-Minor, summarily rejected an experimental piece of mine, which I thought would be perfect for her, which I sent to her for that reason, especially after it had been rejected numerous time elsewhere.

Here’s what Nicolette had to say: “I appreciate the chance to read this piece. Unfortunately it’s not a snug fit for the zine. The story is there, but right now it’s not very sharp – it seems somewhat clogged by the writing.”

Nicolette put her aesthetic judgement above our netfriendship, and I am much appreciative.  Even if it meant another rejection on the pile.  Honesty’s the main fuel most lit mags run on.

The Literary Rejection Wiki informs me that I got a higher-tiered rejection for a piece, one that runs thusly: “Thank you for thinking of A Public Space for your writing. We aren’t the right magazine for this work, but we read it with care and interest, and we encourage you to send new work later this year.”

This is the same piece that’s been higher-tiered rejected at the New Yorker & the Boston Review and a couple others, and got a nice personal rejection from Shenandoah.  Negative progress, people.

Fiddleblack enjoyed reading my work &c.

Rejection #170, 171, 172 – Onirismes, Bete Noire, Necessary Fiction

Bit of a French theme going here.

Onirismes, which is actually in France, have studied my story.  Unfortunately, they are unable to publish it.

Bete Noire, which is not in France, found my story too political.  I found that one a little baffling since I consider my writing pretty apolitical, but okay.  I’ll bear it in mind.

Necessary Fiction thanks me, but unfortunately &tc.

Rejection #169 – Fantasy

Fantasy thanks me, but the piece didn’t quite work.

Someday I’ll crack that place.

Props to editor John Joseph Adams, though; he runs Fantasy and Lightspeed, and plows through subs at fantastic speed.  Takes 48 hours or less to hear back from him.  As compared to a few mags which as yet shall go unnamed that have had pieces of mine for 200+ days.