Queries go out; rejections return.
My writing is fabulous and should be published everywhere. That’s starry-eyed me. I know my awesome work is not appreciated by everyone nor suited for every publication, but editors don’t have to be so gosh darn rude about it. My latest rejection feels personal.
Dear D.W. Hirsch,
Thank you for submitting your haiku to [Publication] for consideration. Though we are honored that you chose to share these with us, unfortunately we are not going to publish them. We received a high volume of submissions, many of which were outstanding. We are unable to provide individualized feedback on your work, but we want you to know that this is not a reflection of its quality. We wish you the best finding another home for it.
The key line, which could have been left out, is: We received a high volume of submissions, many of which were outstanding.
I’m not outstanding? Ouch. I imagine a woman with a snooty upturned nose saying, “How dare she? This isn’t worthy of our magazine. Reply with our You Suck But We’ll Pretend That You Aren’t email.”
Of course it’s a reflection of its quality. If it wasn’t, I’d have a signed publication contract right now.
I could say, “It’s just some online publication, a specialty one at that. How many people actually read that thing?” Obviously enough people do, otherwise there wouldn’t be a need to seek submissions. I never dismiss a publication of any kind. It may be small and targeted, but it’s valuable. This publication accepts fiction, poetry, artwork and creative nonfiction. You’d think I’d fit in there somewhere.
I could say, “If you don’t like [this animal creature], you will never have an interest in reading this…unless you know someone who’s published a story in it.” Even then, I don’t know how many of my friends would humor me and read it without any interest in the subject material. They wouldn’t get my Star Trek as much as I wouldn’t get their Downton Abbey.
I do say, “Receiving a rejection means that you are sending material out into the world. Good job.” My focus is on productivity, because it’s too easy to procrastinate and watch YouTube videos rather than write.
Do your productive self.
Question quitting, quash
quandary, quiet quarreling,
quest quality, reach.