Random Rejection: E-scape, “Comfort”

I got started submitting to online magazines way before they became mainstream, and had a number of short stories published by e-zines. E-scape, however, was not one of them, as they declined to accept my short story “Comfort”.

This is of course a form letter, but on closer inspection, it is actually quite a good rejection. The impersonal “Contributor” is crossed out and replaced with my name, and there are extensive comments. This is what I like to call a “rework and resubmit” rejection. But I never did; as per usual, I liked my story the way it was, and continued to submit it elsewhere.

Ultimately, “Comfort” was picked up by Amazon.com as part of their “Amazon Shorts” program, which sells stories, not underwear. I have a feeling Amazon would be less than amused if I posted the story here, so unfortunately, this one is not going to appear on the blog for a while. You can read a (very) short excerpt on my Short Stories page, though.

By the way, am I the only one who finds it odd that an electronic magazine sent me back a hard copy rejection?

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12 Comments

  1. This letter reminds me a bit of the various books I’ve read regarding how to get your work published. Every one of those how-to books had slightly different advice–to the point where, after reading about four of them, I felt like I couldn’t write anything at all without breaking some of the “rules” set by at least one of the books. I spent two weeks in a sort of paralyzed state, scared to write, until I went to the library and checked out a romance best-seller (I don’t usually read romance but this one was super popular and I wanted to know why). Well, that “cured” me of my fears right there; I figured, if this junk can get on the best-sellers list, someone will take my mediocre scrawlings! 🙂 The moral I came away with is the same as what you indicate with all your rejection letters: keep trying. Someone will like it.

    I really like reading your stuff because it’s encouraging to us wannabe writers–even the rejection letters!

    Jim says: Thanks Jennifer! 🙂

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  2. It was pretty good advice on that rejection letter – people pay hundreds to get that feedback in a writing course. Maybe that’s why he sent it to you: to cover up the cyber trail of rote rejection forms 🙂 !! I’m glad to know that other people sometimes stick to the stories they love and still get them placed.

    Jim says: This is true about the feedback. I always enjoyed getting a rejection letter with lots of writing on it — if you can’t get an acceptance, it’s the next best thing (and sometimes it’s even better).

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  3. LOL! At Gina’s comment! I wish I was a fan of horror, I would buy and read ALL your books! Unfortunately it scares me to death. I slept with the light on for weeks after reading the Exorsist (I’m catholic go figure). And scary movies? Forget it. Even worse, the last one I saw was Halloween (the original). The only reason I went was I was on a date and didn’t want the dude to think I was a wimp.

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  4. I love it, a check list rejection letter. Do you love me? Check Yes or No. HAHA

    I actualy have Comfort at Amazon. I also have the others of yours, Cuffs and The Crying Room. I liked all three with Cuffs being my favorite. I love it when bad guys get theirs.

    Sharon (Rusty’s mom)

    Jim says: Thanks for reading my stories, Sharon! “Cuffs” is a nice little story, isn’t it? For those who are wondering, it has nothing to do with the old Christian Slater movie!

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  5. Thank you for this. I read through your other rejection letters. What fun! I especially liked that you pointed out THE NEW YORKER didn’t even include a signature on theirs. It is nice to know I’m not alone. After receiving my 136th rejection letter, I posted a blog on Living with Rejection. I’ve racked up several more rejections since–sniff, but also a few publications as well.

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  6. Pingback: Random Rejection: E-scape, “Pinch Bobby ‘Til He Bleeds” « James Viscosi’s Scribblings

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