Rejected!

Yesterday, I got rejected by the New Yorker. It was the best thing that had happened to me all day.

Sounds weird, right? It definitely sounded weird to the friends and family that I told this to. Who wants to be rejected?

The thing is that the New Yorker was a long shot. I never expected them to publish me. They publish Alice Munro, Haruki Murakami, and Junot Diaz. Why should they look twice at someone with three published stories to her name? Besides, it had a fantasy/sci-fi edge to it. Not really the New Yorker’s style.

I submitted it because they sometimes publish unknown writers, and they sometimes publish sci-fi. Both are rare, but I was confident in the story and I thought, why the heck not? The worst thing they can do is not respond to me.

They did respond. Here it is:

Dear Anna Lindwasser,
We regret that we are unable to use the enclosed material. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider it.Sincerely,The Editors

This isn’t the response that I wanted. It was a form letter. No specific information about my work. But they bothered to get back to me. They spelled my name right. Presumably, someone at the New Yorker read my story. That isn’t much, but it’s something, and right now, it’s enough. Now that the New Yorker is done with it, I can focus on more realistic market.
Yesterday, a few hours after receiving that rejection letter, I sent my story, Angelhands, off to Daily Science Fiction. I will certainly have some stiff competition, but they do seem to be open to new writers. We’ll see how it goes.
To my readers–would you submit to the New Yorker? Is it a waste of time, or is throwing your hat in the ring worth it? Does rejection ever make you feel good, or is it always a disappointing experience?
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3 comments

  1. liamodell1

    Great post! I can see a clear moral from this post: Never Give Up!

    I would submit to anyone, as sadly when it comes to publishing it has turned into a game of chance, and no matter if it is one of the most biggest or smallest publishers in the world, it’s worth a try. I would submit to any publisher/agent, so long as what they want matches my finished manuscript. 🙂

    • Anna Lindwasser

      Absolutely. I know that a lot of people decide that their story is terrible after it doesn’t get accepted to a few places, but if you’ve worked hard on it and done the best that you can with it, it’s probably not awful. A lot of it is up to chance, you’re right. Editors have personal preferences just like the rest of us, and a writer cannot control that. Writers also can’t control the comparative skill level of other writers who are sending in work at the same time. All you can do is do your best and see what comes of it.

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