Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Buried Treasure, New Yorker Style

I was searching through a stack of papers when lo and behold I found another New Yorker rejection, which prompted me to make a separate blog category for the venerable magazine. This one is from 1995 and has a scrawl from someone called DGG that says: "Well written, but, alas, not quite distinctive enough for us in the end." Don't you love it when the word "alas" appears in a rejection? It happens surprisingly often, as if melodramatic exclamation were an acceptable part of the literary world. Cute, right? p.s. This is my ninth NY-er rejection. Should I send them something new just so my career can die peacefully with ten?

11 comments:

zumabitch said...

It seems that "alas" has been exorcised and replaced by the more au fait (but no less melodramatic) "sigh."

By all means you should submit to them again. Perhaps DGG is gone. Perhaps one man's lack of distinctiveness is another man's distinction. I rather liked that Hari Kunzru story they ran, but wondered if it would have been published had he not been...Hari Kunzru.

I liked that DGG signed with initials, as if you two were college cohorts.

the individual voice said...

They have clearly had the woe-is-me-damsel-in-distress mode down pat for years, up and down the avenues of Manhattan and elsewhere in publishing, males and females alike. Poor overworked me. Alas. You writers don't know what hard work is. By the way, noticed no editors stopping by your site lately. Wondered if we are getting too tough and hard-assed for them. They are running scared.

zumabitch said...

Our small but happy clique belies the truth: WR's Technorati ranking indicates that this blog is rather popular indeed. One wonders how much of this popularity stems from other writers who just are too busy getting published to comment, or whether there exists an eye-in-the-cyber-sky stealth component.

Literary PsyOps! Search and destroy!

Writer, Rejected said...

I also think there was more disturbance in the air when there were daily rejections with a naming of names. That seemed to be most perturbing to the publishing set. But I've nearly run out of rejections, though I do have other correspondence with agents/editors I could post. (I'll think that one over.) Meanwhile, I'm happy talking amongst ourselves; it was more what I envisioned this blog would be before the firestorm hit: a place for writers to sort it all out.

zumabitch said...

I'll keep ya fueled, WR. I have two clay pigeons out there now and am sculpting a third.

Writer, Rejected said...

Gracias.

the individual voice said...

I feel guilty. Threw out all my fabulous rejections and haven't sent anything out in, oh, a good year. But when I do send, I send Multo Multo submissions and so generate a hefty pile of rejections. I just haven't felt like being rejected in the last year. I'm a binge mailer.

Writer, Rejected said...

I absolve you, my child. Write three stories and two poems, and send me your rejections after the next binge. Go in peace.

zumabitch said...

TIV, I'm guilty of bingeing also, especially around the holidays. I had been good for the last year, since last December, but then I found dear WR out here in cyberspace and lost control. I have now gained three rejections in a week, a new record.

Anonymous said...

I received a similar rejection from the New Yorker years ago. It was a satirical piece and the rejection said, "After several reads we found that it was, alas, not funny enough for us."

So "alas" must be popular there.

J

Anonymous said...

There's an interesting and revealing thread about this right now on Absolute Write. Some of the vets there claim that the New Yorker will never buy a story from the slush. If so then this, alas, is pretty much as good as it gets.