It’s been a while since I reached into my giant stack of rejection (and a few acceptance) letters, so I figured it was time to totter off to random.org and ask them what letter I should choose. They told me “V”, but I already did the only V in my pile, so I asked them for a different letter and they told me “W”. As it turns out, nearly all my “W” rejections are from Weird Tales, or, as indicated in the scan below, “Worlds of Fantasy and Horror”, which is, uh, not quite as catchy a title as Weird Tales. (The astute reader will not be surprised to learn that this temporary title change involved the legal system.)
It’s been a while since I reached into my giant stack of rejection (and a few acceptance) letters, so I decided it was about time to visit random.org and have it pick me a character to represent the name of the agent, magazine, or publisher who had rejected (or maybe accepted) a submission. When it came back with a Z, I pretty much knew that it was going to have to be a rejection from Francis Ford Coppola’s magazine Zoetrope, as I couldn’t think of any other venue starting with that letter to which I had ever submitted. Although I did find a letter in the “Z” section from one of my cousins, who had read my story “The Short Route” and sent me back a note that it should be expanded into a novel, a movie, or both. (Maybe someday, Susan!) But of course I couldn’t use a letter from a cousin for a Random Rejection, and so, Zoetrope it is!
So having finished up Queen of the Tearling, which was about as good as the scathing reviews suggested it would be, though it was just like The Hunger Games insofar as the heroine’s name started with a “K”, and it was just like Game of Thrones insofar as … um … oh! There’s a “red” sorceress in it.
It’s been a while since I did a Random Rejection, so this week I thought I would reach into my giant file folder of writing correspondence and pull something out of it. But instead of either a rejection or an acceptance letter, I drew this instead:
Well it’s been a while since I reached into my vast trove of ancient publisher response letters, so I figured it was about time to do so again. And what did I find this time? An acceptance letter from the old ‘zine “Mindmares”, for my old story “Rush Hour”. (See, it’s not ALL rejection letters in there.) Nothing to do with Jackie Chan or Chris Tucker, this is the story of a man who is stuck in traffic, reading the paper, and failing to notice that there’s a Very Bad Thing heading his way. Whoops.
Yes, I’m still here! I’ve been reworking my fantasy novel Shards, AKA “The Big Book”, since mid-December. At this point I should have Part One available within a few months, to be followed (in another ten or twelve months, based on how long it has taken me to rework Part One and on the fact that Part Two is longer).
Why is it taking me so long to finish editing Shards Part One, you ask? Well, I finished Shards quite a while ago (“quite a while” being at least a decade) and when I finally went back to edit it … well, when you go back and read something that you wrote that long ago, what immediately strikes you is that it’s terrible. That’s what happens to me, anyway.
I’ve been hoping to pull this rejection out for a while, as it’s one of my favorites, but I haven’t. So I took matters into my own hands and went looking for it:
It’s been a while since I reached into my stack of rejection letters, so today I dove in and pulled this one out, from Maelstrom, for a short story called “Pinch Bobby ‘Til He Bleeds”.
Today I reached into my massive pile of rejections and pulled out a relatively boring one from Clocktower Fiction’s webzine. This one was for “Love and the Tides of Darkness”, a short story that I originally wrote specifically for an anthology called On The Eighth Day. I really liked this story and tried to sell it to a bunch of different markets, but once the year 2000 rolled around, it was pretty much obsolete.
I haven’t done a Random Rejection in a while, so I reached into my giant accordion file and pulled out a letter. This one is from the Seymour Agency in upstate New York (not far, in fact, from where I went to college). Their opinion is that the manuscript I sent, A Flock of Crows is Called a Murder, needs work; fortunately, they’re here to help.