Random Rejectance: “Storyteller” Magazine

So since last week I posted a rather depressing update on my Blue Roses progress, I figured that this week, I would cheer everyone up by dipping into my vast pile of rejection letters. 😁👍

On this occasion, the Gods of Randomness told me I should look in the “S” folder of my expandable file, which, as you can imagine based on the prevalence of “S” in the English language is one of the more well-populated ones. And what should I find on top in that section but two letters from the Canadian magazine Storyteller, of which one was, as expected, a rejection, but the other was one of those rarer beasts, an acceptance. So in the interest of inducing a little mood whiplash, I scanned them both. First, let’s do the rejection:

Although this rejection letter lacks any information about the name of the submission, I can tell from the comments in “Other” that the story in question was “The Magician’s Finger“, which, yeah, was one of my longer stories. In fact its length is the main reason cited for its rejection by “Glimpses” magazine in the story’s previous appearance on this blog. I’m not entirely sure I truck with the rest of the commentary in the “Other” section, though. For instance, I mean, yes, technically, “free != dead”; this is no doubt a reference to one character’s swearing on her soul to free another one in exchange for a thing of value, but then proceeding to kill the other character, as well as herself, in what amounts to a suicide bombing. The explanation here is that SHE WAS LYING. That’s not exactly hard to figure out. So I suspect that whoever picked this story out of the slush pile and read it was maybe not so good at things like context and character motivation analysis …

Next up, we have the acceptance from “Storyteller”, which is for a short story called “Silkscreen”:

Contributor copies! I do, of course, still have them, because I not only kept all my rejection letters, I also kept all my payments, at least when such payments were in the form of copies. (When such payments were in the form of money, I of course spent them.) The full text of “Silkscreen” has previously appeared so I won’t reproduce it here, but in a nutshell, it involves a woman named Amelia who, after a tragedy befalls her family, replaces them with dolls who have her family members’ faces printed on them. (This is not a thing I made up. You can actually obtain such things.)

“Silkscreen” got rejected a number of times until I went in and changed the ending, which, I must say, vastly improved it. Let’s just say that things work out differently for my Amelia than they do for other people named Amelia who get involved with unusual dolls

Do not watch this clip when alone late at night. You have been warned.

10 thoughts on “Random Rejectance: “Storyteller” Magazine

  1. Congratulations on your acceptance of “Amelia,” the short story. It must feel heart warming and encouraging. And congrats on your courage to submit. Rejection hurts. I don’t submit any more. I self-publish. No more gate keepers.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Congratulations on having the 2nd story accepted to be published James! Doll stories are always very intruging.
    I have my own story from “Amelia: The Doll”.
    My 1st husband & I watched “Trilogy of Terror” when it came out. I can honestly say the 3rd story scared the “BeJesus’ outta me…Wesley calmed me down & over the course of work as days lapsed I forgot about “The Doll”.
    Fast forward to 2 weeks later. I am at a friend’s place & come downstairs to our apartment. It is so quiet in there you could hear a pin drop……even the dog is silent…..I think nothing of it….I walk thru galley kitchen into dining room & then into living room. There was a loveseat that divided dining area from living room.
    So there I am standing in middle of the room calling “Wesley are you here?” & outta nowhere comes this flash of a naked man with a BIG knife between his teeth from the kitchen! He came sailing NAKED over the sofa screaming “A-Bougee-Bahgee” like “THE Doll”……all 6’2” long lean muscular Wesely with sandy blond hair & piercing hazel eyes!
    I screamed & screamed & screamed & screamed………& screamed………….I REALLY thought I was gonna die so I kept screaming!
    I was so terrified I did not recognize Wesley til he dropped the damn knife!!!
    I collapsed on the floor sobbing my heart out. (There my Seizures were born).
    Poor Wesley when POLICE came to our door. He threw on a housecoat & I heard him explaining the prank he played on me! The Officers thought it was hilarious!!! Yeah what a Laugh Riot! And Thanks for calling an Ambulance! NOT!
    I spent a total of 3 days in bed so shaken (I was only 18 & Wesley 19) I could barely talk. He spent the next 3 months sending me flowers & chocolate & doing chores & generally **kissing** up to me!
    So much for playing a wee ‘prank’ on me! He NEVER did anything like THAT again!
    Watching what you posted brought it all back….but NO screaming…..
    And People wonder why I never watched any “Chucky” movies!?!?!!?
    Thanx James!
    ((hugs)) Sherri-Ellen

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, that’s really taking a prank too far! It reminds me of a story somebody once told me about pranking her husband by splashing a lot of blood around the kitchen and on herself and then lying down on the floor with a knife as if she had been stabbed multiple times. Not the sort of joke I would appreciate! (And that doll was scary enough when it was tiny, let alone being 6′ 2″ …)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice having the acceptance, but I would argue that each rejection letter is a badge of honor too; especially since you obviously soldiered onward. Would’ve been nice to send them a rejection letter back based on their lousy payment…

    Liked by 1 person

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