Tuesday, July 17, 2007

This is Personal

If you are a teacher reading this post, be warned: it has nothing to do with journalism.

A short story I wrote got rejected this morning. This is my second rejection, by the way; Black Gate Magazine rejected it first.

I wouldn't mind so much if it weren't for the way this editor, Mr. L, said no: he said that they didn't "like" my story enough to publish it. "Like"? How does "like" matter that much?

Black Gate rejected it because they couldn't follow some character motivation and there was too much back story. I appreciated the fact that they took the time to critique my story and they said "there was some good writing". Mr. L is under no such obligation. In fact, no editor is. But Mr. L's response was tactless if it's not intended to help me; a better usage of words consists of, "We're sorry, but this isn't right for us".

He also said that they don't accept simultaneous submissions and that the other editor to whom I sent the story probably doesn't accept sim. submissions either. I did research using Storypilot, a story magazine search engine, and I made sure to only submit to three magazines that accepted simultaneous submissions. I've been submitting for three years now with only one published short story, several retired ones, and plenty of rejected ones.

Finally, he didn't bother to check that I had included my real name in the email and instead responded to me using my pseudonym, which is my email username. I made it clear in the letter that my pseudonym was a pseudonym.

Has anyone ever had similar rejections? What is your opinion on such lack of care?


Grace said...

Priya, I think you should post one of your short stories like in a link or something. Maybe you could post the one you got published.

Also, rejection is the way of the world. I haven't ever tried to get anything published, but I know that some movie stars have said in interviews that they would get rejected from many auditions, and then finally someone saw their potential and they got their big break. That could happen to you too. Perseverance is key.

Jaya Lakshmi said...

I'm not so mad about the rejection. That is normal. I'm mad about the way he rejected it.