I’ve recently read that you should collect 100 rejection letters per year on Literary Hub. 100!? That sounds like something I’ve heard before, and it’s called crazy – “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Albert Einstein.
But after reading and marinating on it all evening, there is a method to their madness. If you have multiple pieces circulating, and then you edit the rejections and re-submit for round 2, 3, 4…it would certainly be easy to rack up rejections. Especially considering the acceptance rate for journals is well below 10%, and in most cases less than 5%.
And so well, what do you know? I received another rejection letter today. But this one, this one is quite something. It is the BEST rejection letter I’ve ever received. I have a whole folder of the standard form…unfortunately, at this time we have decided not to blah blah blah, and while this one has that in there too…trim away the fat and right there, lying in the middle of the page is the juicy meat underneath that I’ve been craving…
“We are intrigued by the idea of the table as a map of life events. However, we do feel this story might benefit from additional editing. Unfortunately, The Mirage did not receive a unanimous vote for inclusion in the upcoming issue of From the Depths. With regret, I’m afraid we must decline, but we encourage you to submit again. We would be honored to read more.”
- Editing! Editing is the easy part really. It is crucial and can make or break a great piece, but finding the story, the characters, the dialogue, a voice, and compiling it into a succinct piece of writing that is entertaining is the hard part!
- “Did not receive unanimous vote for inclusion…” That means someone liked it. Someone read my work and thought it was good enough. Isn’t that what writers call SUCCESS!? I know that is part of my definition.
- “We would be honored to read more.” Nope, never received that in a rejection letter to date. Even if they are just being nice – I’ll take it!
And so, I’ll read this rejection letter 100 more times, nibbling and gnawing on it’s bones until I know I cannot ever forget the taste of it.