tough week

But I’m a tough guy, right?

After a long period of quiet, I received two rejections this week. One was a form rejection, and I guess I didn’t have as much of a shot at the publication as I thought. Well, it was a story only 100 words long, and I’ve already mentioned here how I generally consider that kind of thing stunt fiction. That, or I’m just no good at writing the really compressed stuff. But maybe I can flesh it out and make a more conventional short story out of it.

The other rejection was for my story “Travel Light,” which is not light itself; it comes in at a hefty 5,288 words. I got something like a personal rejection for this one. I had submitted it to the lit journal of a university, having read its description and thinking my piece might fit. (It’s regionally focused.) I had sent it back in January, but the email address on the site was invalid. In late April someone there wrote to me asking that I send it again. (If they knew it hadn’t reached the right destination, couldn’t they have just sent it along?) So I sent it in again. Now, three and a half months later (or eight months if you count the original submission date), they said no thanks. Okay, that’s the nature of the biz. They sent a form rejection email, but at the bottom they put a brief P.S. saying how much they did like the story — just not the right fit — and that I should submit something to them again when their window opens. I’ll take the warm fuzzzies however I can get them.

And then yesterday I got something between a rejection and an acceptance. I had sent my Fathers and Sons story “When we were young and life was full in us” to another lit mag that called for stories about pleasure and its consequences. There are both in my story. That was in early June, and I sent it to the email address their site had provided. Yesterday I received an email from them saying that their submission process has changed and that my story has been added to my Submittable account. Okay. Then they said that they looked forward to reading my story. Now I realize that such a statement is nothing more than a canned response, but I guess I was a little surprised to find that they hadn’t read it at all yet. I don’t suppose I ought to be. There is a deadline for the pleasure call for submissions, and I suppose they won’t start reading any of them until that date is reached. (It’s September 1.)

So I persevere.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Humble efforts

One Comment on “tough week”

  1. Jess Lahey Says:

    Responses are responses, and I cherish every one. Well, except one mean one I got years ago on a children’s book submission. That one I burned.


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