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February 6, 2009

The other week I got a rejection from Barrelhouse – seven months after submitting a short story online.   While there are no official rules on turnaround time, standard industry protocol is about one to two months, longer only if otherwise stated by the journal/agent/your boyfriend.

I nearly forgot about that submission.  With everything I’ve piled on my plate, short stories and journal submissions have been relegated to ‘appetizer’ status: fine if I have room, but otherwise not part of my meal.

The hardest rejection to deal with is no rejection.  Just silence.  I would rather be rejected 17 times a day than have to live in limbo.  The suspense, as they say…. I exist on a ‘need to know’ basis, i.e. I need to know.  I don’t handle uncertainty well, I like confirmation for good or ill.

Which is what I’m not getting from my job queries these days.  I get bupkis.  I realize I still have to work on my follow-through, but honestly is it that hard to toss off an e-mail saying, “Thanks, but we’re just not that into you“?  When you don’t even get an acknowledgement from some uber-casual posting on Craigslist about blogging for iPhone apps, it kind of stings.

Thus far I’ve applied:

No answers.   I also e-mailed one of the writers of Leverage after tracking him through his blog to see if he’d do an interview with me for Starpulse.  I got nothin’.

I’m still waiting for someone to discover my blog and realize that I’m the person they’ve been looking for all their lives.  Business or personal – I’m not picky.

It was actually entertaining to get the standard form e-mail now that I’m on the other side of the rope and enjoying the power.

Thanks for letting us read your work. Unfortunately, we’ve decided this one’s not quite right for us, so we’re going to pass. We wish you the best of luck in finding a home for your work elsewhere, and in your continued writing.

All the best,

A very nice brush off, though I’m amused by the, “so we’re going to pass,” like there are others just waiting in the wings to snatch it up.   I used to live in fear of rejection, but these days I welcome it.  At least it’s confirmation of my existence.

It looks like I’m going to have to try, try again.

Quote of the Day:

“George Orwell, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein and almost any writer you could name received rejection letters, … Margaret Mitchell got rejection letters from 38 different publishers before anyone finally deigned to publish her novel, ‘Gone With The Wind.’ How many talented writers are there who gave up without ever making it into print because of misguided rejection?” – Bob Young, founder and CEO of

Link of the Day: The Rejection Show – a collection of rejected material or material about rejection.  See?  It really does happen to everyone.

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