Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rejection Confection

I recently had a story accepted at one literary journal and had to withdraw a simultaneous submission from another. I won't say which magazine because not long ago someone figured out my identity based on a letter I had written (as had been predicted by many readers of this blog), and where's the fun in that? So, here's the reversal rejection minus the names:

Dear Fiction Editor: I am writing to respectfully withdraw my story from your consideration, as submitted on [date in 2007], about [number >8] months ago. The story has been accepted elsewhere for publication. I have a sense that it matters very little to you, but I thought I'd be polite anyway and get in touch to let you know. Thanks so much.

Best, Writer, Rejected

As you can see I'm geting saucy.


TIV: the individual voice said...

Good news? Bah. We come here for bad. I'll take a cookie, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Keep your damn success to yourself. We come here for your rejections.

Benjamin Chambers said...

As an editor, I can tell you your withdrawal letter wouldn't play well with me. At the journal I edit, we try to turn around manuscripts quickly, but we have a lot of submissions to get through and only so much free time. (We all have jobs, here). There's no correlation between the speed of our reply and the degree to which we care about reading any author's work.

Writer, Rejected said...

Hi Ben: Thanks for stopping by. Does it sometimes take you guys nearly a year to respond? Also, did you see that we had some fun with The King's English in a post on August 23rd? I wonder if that one plays well with you. Go to: and let me know.

Benjamin Chambers said...

Nope, we've never taken over a year to respond - we generally respond in about 6-8 weeks (which I think is pretty impressive, given that we focus on novella-length fiction and long essays), though we've had our slip-ups. I think that's still too long -- and as a writer myself, I know that waiting a long time engenders resentment, no matter how many times one might have been on the other side of the editorial desk -- but it's the best we can do right now.

As for the 8/23 post, no, I missed that. I enjoyed your revision of our standard rejection.

zumabitch said...

Sauciness is deserved in this instance. Live a little and congrats on the acceptance, wherever it may be.

What is the point of the process if it has to be so bloody serious all the time?

Go get 'em, WR.