Friday, March 23, 2012

A funny thing happened when I got my first rejection letter

I am a down to earth girl. I never expected my short story would get published the first time out. I did dream a little and hope a lot--but I said I was down to earth, not a pessimist. I was fully prepared to be totally cool about it.

I am actually a little relieved that I got any letter at all. Because at least my suspense is over. My story isn't being held hostage anymore. Now I am free to submit it elsewhere, and start the whole thing over. Yay! But in the letter I got a surprise.

First let me fill in the back story a little bit. In June, I decided that I would put aside my novel and try to get a short story published. This is very common for me to find reasons to put my novel aside. I told myself that a published short story would look good on my resume, not to mention be really fun (just to be able to say I had submitted something for publication at least once in my life).

I wrote my story, edited it, had some more people edit it, and then tied it up in a neat little bow all ready for the next big step. The consensus among my friends was that the story was best categorized as "women's lit."

Enter: MsLexia, a UK publication looking for submissions with a Women/Female Issues theme (at least according to their listing on Duotrope)

Submissions at MsLexia are judged by a mystery guest editor each issue. So it's a little bit like a contest. I am sure competition is fierce.

Now comes the surprise. I would have had a better chance of being selected if my story was not written from a woman's point of view. "It was something our judge commented on as a potential problem," said the kindhearted rejection lady.

I suppose I could understand that reading a hundred stories all from the POV of a woman could get dull....

I suppose I could understand that they are really just trying to give me a better chance next time by telling me this....

But there is just something in me that cannot take that without at least blogging about it.

I am not angry. I actually find the whole thing kind of funny. And I have chosen to have a kind of philosophical outlook about the whole experience. I may not have gotten published, but there is some woman half way around the world who read my story. She didn't think it was the best, but she did read it. How cool is that?

So as usual I might be back tomorrow to write a post for you, dear readers, or I might not. In fact, I actually might be too busy trying to find another publication to hold my story hostage for a few months!

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