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Monday, April 30, 2012

I Must Be in a Bad Mood

I've had writers block before, but this HuffPo thing bugs me a little bit. Not much, but a little. In other news, I'm starting to think about my novel again. Also, I'm a little depressed about publishing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's Your Subtropical Opinion?

Dear Writer: Thanks for giving us the chance to read "Title." Although this piece isn't going to work for us, we like your writing and would welcome the chance to see more from you. Sincerely, Editors, SUBTROPICS
The submitter of this rejection asks you a question about this rejection. "I've gotten enough rejections from Subtropics to know that this isn't their standard version, however they've sent it a week after their submission period has ended.  I'd be crazy to assume they're inviting me to submit before they reopen, right?"  Please say what you think.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Third Coast, No Place

I think we once discussed where the Third Coast is located, didn't we?
Dear Writer:

Thank you for entering "Title" in our 2012 Fiction and Poetry Contests. We had some amazing submissions this year, but there can only be one winner in each category. This year's winners have been chosen: Jaimy Gordon has picked CJ Hauser's "Abandoned Cars" for the Jaimy Gordon Prize in Fiction, and Major Jackson has selected Maggie Millner's "Fish Story" as the winner of the Poetry Prize. Below are a list of finalists.

Thanks again for allowing us to read your work, and we hope you'll submit again next year. In the meantime, enjoy your one-year subscription to Third Coast!

All the best,
The Editors of Third Coast

2012 List of Finalists:

Fiction Finalists:

Karin C. Davidson for “Two Girls Laughing”
Dana Fitz Gale for “Cousin”
Joe Hiland for “Ronnie Cordova’s Amazing Mustache”
Sequoia Nagamatsu for “The Silence of the Third Inversion”
Steven Trumpeter for “Looper”
Maggie White for “The White Skirt: An Adventure in Nine Parts”

Poetry Finalists:

Laura Behr for “Hetaera” and “A Wilderness of Wildwoods and Roadblocks”
Jadyn DeWald for “Triptych for Morgan, Bird, and Brown”
Kate Rutledge Jaffe for “From the Soft Fingers of the Highway”
Corey Van Landingham for “Hermetic”
Maggie Millner for “Equus”
Brad Modlin for “Tonight We Remember that Some Time Ago, We Were Snatched from the
Cornfield and Crumpled on the Cement Barn Floor” and “Pine Cones and Lightning Rods”
Michael Schmeltzer for “Dear Jane”
Nancy C. Thomas for “Hearing Cicadas”
Mark Wagenaar for “Blue Arabesque” 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Oh to Be Young, White, and A Harvard Sport's Man...

There's a long rejection story behind the novel, "The Art of Fielding," which involves starving (I didn't say rich sport's man) and ultimately a bidding war ending in $650,000.00 advance. Who doesn't love gay baseball?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Finest Fuck-You Prose At the End of the World!

A letter from Norman McClean (author of the short story collection A River Runs Through It) to an editor at Alfred Knopf, after said company started come around to see if he might have a manuscript for them.  With thanks to anonymous for pointing it out in a post, and to Letters of Note:
Dear Mr. Elliott:
     I have discovered that I have been writing you under false pretenses, although stealing from myself more than from you. I have stolen from myself the opportunity of seeing the dream of every rejected author come true.
     The dream of every rejected author must be to see, like sugar plums dancing in his head, please-can't-we-see-your-next-manuscript letters standing in piles on his desk, all coming from publishing companies that rejected his previous manuscript, especially from the more pompous of the fatted cows grazing contentedly in the publishing field. I am sure that, under the influence of those dreams, some of the finest fuck-you prose in the English language has been composed but, alas, never published. And to think that the rare moment in history came to me when I could in actuality have written the prose masterpiece for all rejected authors – and I didn't even see that history had swung wide its doors to me.
     You must have known that Alfred A. Knopf turned down my first collection of stories after playing games with it, or at least the game of cat's-paw, now rolling it over and saying they were going to publish it and then rolling it on its back when the president of the company announced it wouldn't sell. So I can't understand how you could ask if I'd submit my second manuscript to Alfred A. Knopf, unless you don't know my race of people. And I can't understand how it didn't register on me – 'Alfred A. Knopf' is clear enough on your stationery.
     But, although I let the big moment elude me, it has given rise to little pleasures. For instance, whenever I receive a statement of the sales of 'A River Runs Through It' from the University of Chicago Press, I see that someone has written across the bottom of it, 'Hurrah for Alfred A. Knopf.' However, having let the great moment slip by unrecognized and unadorned, I can now only weakly say this: if the situation ever arose when Alfred A. Knopf was the only publishing house remaining in the world and I was the sole remaining author, that would mark the end of the world of books. 
Very sincerely, Norman Maclean
        (Source: Francis Burr, via Al Pinetree, via Letters of Note)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Here Comes the Sun....Editor

I love it when an editor comes around and leaves a nice encouraging note for readers on Ye Old Blog. In this case, it's an editor from a fine literary magazine about a funny rejection glitch. Makes it all feel so much more human, doesn't it? Here's her comment:
My title is really Manuscript Editor. I was a reader a long time ago and when the Art Director was making new rejection letters, he put Manuscript Reader and they were printed that way. Not wanting to be wasteful and thinking nobody would really notice or care, I used them. However, if anyone receives a rejection letter these days from The Sun, you'll notice that the form has changed and now it's from The Editors. I love this blog, though, even though it was strange to come across my name in this way. I really do try to encourage writers and the main thing that keeps me working at The Sun is the fact that we go out of our way to respect the writer. And we pay them. All best, Colleen Donfield

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rejection that Fell From the Sky

This story about how all the editors thought no one could possibly be interested in a biracial book about a young woman, half-Danish, half-black, just goes to show that it's hard to tell what's going to be popular and what not.  No one seems to have the formula. Good for you, Heidi W. Durrow.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

BLR Rejection

They're crazy there, you know:
Thank you for submitting your work to the Bellevue Literary Review. We appreciate the efforts that have gone into this piece. Unfortunately, given the volume of submissions we receive, even quality work often has to be declined. Please be assured that your piece was read thoroughly and given careful consideration by our editorial staff. We wish you luck in placing this elsewhere, and apologize for not being able to offer a personal reply. Sincerely, The Editors, Bellevue Literary Review NOTE: Please do not reply to this e-mail -- we are unable to respond personally to messages sent to this address.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Ki-Ki Rejection from the New Yorker

Well, well, well, and hubba hubba! Someone we know--well, actually it's someone we "know," meaning a person who reads this blog--received a personalized e-rejection from the New Yorker and sent it in for posting.  It looks like this:
We regret that we are unable to use the enclosed material. The first pages are strong and very funny. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider it. Sincerely, The Editors
Makes you wonder how the second pages were, doesn't it?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sorry, No Take backs

This was sent to a writer who had already withdrawn the submission due to acceptance for publication elsewhere:
Dear Writer: We appreciate your willingness to entrust us with your writing. Unfortunately, we have decided that your submission does not meet our needs at this time. We do encourage you to continue submitting your work to us. Please check our website for upcoming announcements and submission guidelines. Best of luck to you in your writing life. Sincerely, The New Madrid Editors

Monday, April 2, 2012

One Among Thousands

Thank you for considering Bayou Magazine. Unfortunately, we have decided that your work is not a match for us at this time. Because we receive thousands of submissions each year, we must reject many fine stories and poems. We thank you for the opportunity to read your writing, and we wish you the best in placing it elsewhere.