Monday, January 17, 2011

Another Rejection

Sigh. I'm not sure reading rejection letters will ever get easier, but today's rejection letter gave me some hope  the editor's final decision to not publish my story was a difficult decision. A couple of lines past the rejection part of the email I received was this: "You should know that there was considerable discussion here at Stymie about the piece, but it just wasn't quite the right fit. I really hope you'll submit again in the future. For my part, I'd be interested in a shorter piece suitable for our web content." The usual sting of rejection didn't hurt quite so much after reading that.

The part about "right fit" I don't totally get. I do know that finding the right target for a story can be terribly difficult. My particular piece is about a boy playing basketball but is told through the eyes of his mother. Stymie is a sports lit magazine, and like many other sports related mags, it gives more space to baseball and golf. In the four issues I've read, I saw two short stories about basketball, so I figured I'd take the chance the editor might go for another basketball piece since the mag hadn't published many at all. The old saying "the smaller the ball the more lit there is about it" seems to still hold true, for Stymie offered way more stories and poetry about golf and baseball than any other sport. Of the stories I read, I would consider them to be "mainstream," pieces that appeal to the masses, and I would consider mine to be mainstream, as well. My story, I think, fit quite well with the types of stories offered in the magazine.

In any case, all I can do is try again. The piece accepted for publication a couple of months ago was rejected once, the editor saying he did enjoy the theme of the story and hoping it found a home for publication. It did the second time around. Maybe the same will happen for the basketball piece.


Natalia said...

Ah, how I feel for you! In the dark distant past I submitted a couple of papers for publication and they were returned with "suggestions" and other comments. I took it extremely personally at the time. Now I realize that I want to do a different kind of writing, for a different audience.
But it is also true that editors have bad hair days. Maybe you should resubmit the same piece in a few months time, or to a different magazine. It's their loss - we want to read that story! In the meantime, write another.......

JK said...

I'll definitely find another target to send the story to, after tweaking it here and there. Like you, I tried writing that was very different from the kind I do now. What I do now is my first love and it feels wonderful to be back at it again. The rejection doesn't bother me all that much; it's the cryptic reasons for the rejection that make me go hmmmmm.