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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Rejection Reversal

Very rarely does one get the pleasure of the reverse rejection.

This amazing moment occurs when your story is accepted somewhere, and you get to write and announce this fact to all the other literary journals where your same story is simultaneously under consideration, so that essentially you are rejecting them. I sent this reverse rejection to the editors of The Boston Review. It says: "Please note that a story [title of story] I submitted for your consideration was named as a runner-up in the [title of fancy literary journal] fiction contest and will be published in those prestigious pages later this year. I'm not sure who exactly needs to act on this information to make sure my story does not needlessly take up your time and energy. Perhaps Junot Diaz (of whom I am a big fan. I'm actually kind of sorry that he won't be reading my work.) Either way, please note that I must respectfully withdraw my submission. Thanks so much and congratulations on your first-rate publication. I'll submit more stories at later dates. Best, Writer, Rejected P.S. Would one of you be so kind as to write me back and let me know this information was passed along to the appropriate party?"

Brad Plumer, Editorial Assistant at the Boston Review, wrote back: "It's all taken care of. Thanks for letting us know, and congratulations! (And by all means, feel free to keep submitting.)" It's a little bit too bad because I think I would have liked being rejected by Junot Diaz.


Anonymous said...

Your letter is a model for keeping a good relationship with journals you end up rejecting due to acceptance elsewhere. Nowhere is there any guilt, shame or apology for breaking the old taboo of multiple submissions. You are inspiring me to once again go back to sending out twenty submissions of the same story at a time and then just keep a version of your letter as a form letter in case I get an acceptance before someone else has the chance to reject me. You even maneuvered a personal response to your rejection letter, something you may not have gotten for the actual manuscript. Brilliant strategy.

Tragediarista said...

I love your blog. I have never been entertained so much by a man-vs-self-vs-man kind of story.

It makes me want to balls up and write again.