Random Rejection: The New Yorker

Before I came to realize that my style and subject matter were both completely unsuited for The New Yorker, I actually tried getting published there once or twice.  No surprise:  Rejected.


How can you tell The New Yorker is a huuuuuuge powerhouse of a magazine?

  • No editor’s names, just “The Editors” (to be whispered in hushed tones, like “The Gods”)
  • No phone number
  • No spot for a random faceless assistant (RFA) to scribble the rejected author’s name or manuscript title
  • No date
  • No signature, not even a fake one

Still, I’ve no hard feelings.  The New Yorker is my favorite magazine, and I’m not at all right for it, and that’s just the way it is.  In fact I rarely even read the fiction that they publish anymore (usually one story per issue), because I generally don’t like it.  No, I get The New Yorker for the articles, the reviews, and, of course, the cartoons.

Speaking of the cartoons … a lot of people are very upset about the recent cover featuring Barack Obama and his wife doing some very un-American things in the Oval Office.  This cover is clearly satire, and it is not aimed at Barack Obama.  However, many people seem to think that this cover is actually attacking Barack Obama, to which I say:  Read a few issues.  And then, if you still think The New Yorker is at all likely to attack Barack Obama, read a few more.

13 thoughts on “Random Rejection: The New Yorker

  1. I love the highly personalized rejection letter. I wonder if they have a stack of those on the desk of each “Editor.” My guess would be yes.

    I hadn’t seen the New Yorker cover, so when when I read this I looked it up. It was kind of funny covering most of the email rumors. I watched a news snippit and it said the article was basically pro Obama. Surley there is more important stuff to spend news time on than this, like how could Barbie dump Ken after 40 some odd years and take up with Blaine?

    Jim says: Just wait until Ken writes his tell-all book about Barbie’s many affairs and her drinking problem and her plastic surgery!


  2. Gee! They didn’t even send you a picture postcard, and Dennis got one of those. BTW, how do I get a picture postcard? My mom loves the cartoons in the New Yorker too!!!


  3. It is an honor just to have a form rejection letter from The New Yorker!! I don’t know how anyone could be upset about a liberal magazine doing a satire on a liberal candidate. That’s like Fox News doing a satire on George Bush.


  4. re. the cartoon, haven’t seen it (since i’m on the other side of the world) but the word cartoon says it all… all i can say is ‘lighten up people’.


  5. I would love to have a rejection letter to share because that would mean I’d actually finished my book!

    It is really odd that a big publication like the New Yorker would not include the things you said it omitted. They must REALLY not want to hear from you! (joking)


  6. Yo, Jim. Why is there not a copy of Dragon Stones in my mailbox? Hmmmmm???

    It’s been too long. Write me. Email me. Call me!!!!!



  7. I got a rejection from them once, too! Little did I know they were cool to get – I threw mine away. I know what you mean about submitting to a magazine you’re either not right for, or whose fiction you don’t really enjoy. I did the same thing with Glimmertrain, got rejected over and over again. I finally read their journal one day and stopped submitting immediately.

    Jim says: I’m pretty sure I have at least one rejection letter from Glimmertrain in my file — maybe I’ll pull that one some day. 🙂


  8. Heh, I never tried the New Yorker but I had short stories rejected by all the major SF/F magazines a few years back. The best I ever did was selling a couple to obscure anthologies and e-zines that paid about $10 for a story.

    Needless to say I’m sitting on my novel until I get motivated to build a site for the characters. Then the short stories go there.

    I say, build the fan-base and mailing list first, then negotiate with agents. 😉


  9. I still do not know how long the New Yorker takes to review cartoon submissions or whether or not they send some sort of rejection. It is in their interests to do so. If the contributor has no idea of the fate of his work for some time, he may submit it elsewhere. This may result in the submission appearing in two periodicals at the same time. Very embarassing for them.


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