(Almost) Good Rejection from Crazyhorse

Dear Jackson Bliss,

Thank you for sending your manuscript " . . . " number 30679, to us here at Crazyhorse via the online submission manager.

We are sorry this particular manuscript was not selected for publication in Crazyhorse. We hope you will send us another soon, though. We could not publish Crazyhorse without the fine writing submitted to us. While we regret that the large number of submissions we receive makes it difficult for the editors to respond personally, we want to emphasize that an editor personally read your manuscript. Devoted reading is part of the Crazyhorse editorial mission; it is also our own personal one.

Thank you for supporting the journal with your reading, writing, and subscribing,
The Editors

Rejections, Meet Undaunted Writer

I'm not gonna pretend I wasn't disappointed with my recent rash of rejections from the Indiana Review, Ploughshares, One Story, Crazyhorse, New South, Colorado Review + the Calvino Prize where I wasn't even a finalist (ah yes, licking my wounds from that one).

But yo, rejection is the name of the game in this industry. Rejection is the rule + acceptance is always the beautiful exception. We all know that. And since I still have other manuscripts on the burner, really, it doesn't get me down too much. Sure, I get snarly + pissed off sometimes. I frequently tell fiction readers + editors to fuck off out loud when I get rejections, but I also know it's not personal. People are controlled by both aesthetic preferences + taste. We pretend it's about literary merit, but mostly it's about what we like.

Anyway, to appropriate SC's slogan, I'm gonna fight on motherfuckers. I'm a talented writer like thousands of other fiction writers in this country, but I'm also fiercely determined. Stubborn too. And I'm just gonna keep on writing, submitting, revising. Though I only got 3 stories accepted in 2009, they were also my best pick-ups since I started submitting short stories to journals. And recent submissions to the Missouri Review, Quarterly West, BOMB, Witness, Alaska Quarterly Review, Quarter Past 8, Mid-American Review, Threepenny Review, Black Warrior Review, North American Review + Harper'
s helps keep the faith alive. I write big, I dream big + I submit big. And every now + then, these three worlds converge for a brief moment.

Rejections, come again, son. I remain battle-tested + undaunted by you.

What Universe Am I In?

These past two nights, i've been doing strange shit RIGHT before i go to bed. Why do I do this? For example:

Last night, i was just about to close my little polar white Macbook when i suddenly decided to write three novel query letters to literary agents and try to pitch my novel to them, even THOUGH i'm waiting to hear from Mcsweeney's, Simon & Schuster, and my friend, BDG at Hachette promised she would read The Amnesia of Junebugs and talk to two of the greatest agents in the history of literary representation on my behalf, after a gentle push email, that is, and the strange thing is it just happened, just like that.

And tonight, i was about to go to bed, Erika was badgering me to fall asleep with her like she always does, and i was just about to follow her into the bedroom, and then the next thing i know, i uploaded a short story to Crazyhorse's 2007 fiction prize contest, wrote up a quick cover letter, and signed a check that's ready to be mailed off tomorrow. sometimes, i can be so random.

Strange thing happened in the course of 10 hours: one of the queries i sent at 2 in the morning was to Miriam Goderich at the illustrious Gystel & Goderich, and i got this rejection email from her ed assistant later this morning that began with "Dear Author". that's a rejection in less than TWELVE HOURS. that has GOT to be a record in some time zones. the strange thing is, this lit agency hates generic queries but they sent me a generic rejection. there's a word for that.

There's a word for that. It's lame. L-A-M-E, lame.

I also discovered last night that the Writers Post Journal, the small indie magazine out of pittsburgh that was about to publish "Hula Dancing in the Bronx" suddenly shut down for good, without any real explanation. They didn't even email me to let me know. In fact, all of my follow-up emails got bounced back. Somehow this is worse than getting rejected. Putos.

Anyway, onward then.

Lastly: I sent out 19 more submissions for my last push of 2007 to journals like playboy, the virginia quaterly, the atlantic monthly, fiction international, iowa review, fugue, tin house, and many more. i think i have sent out close to a 120 manuscripts in the past 7 months. it's gotten so bad that the clerk recently asked me if i wanted to open up my own private account with the post office, complete with a free post office box and complimentary USPS cap. okay, that's not true. but it might as well be.

Literary Journals

Here are the journals that have sent me rejections recently:

The Seattle Review
The Hudson Review
Kenyon Review

And yet, after collecting enough rejection slips to pad my entire apartment with, I feel good about my writing. Call it delusion.

Recent journals I've submitted to are:

One Story
Indiana Review
Our Stories
Double Room
The Missouri Review
Tin House
Mcsweeney's online
OV Book anthology
Quarterly West
Black Warrior Review
Iowa Review
Story Quarterly

Really, these journals are out of my league. not because of talent, but because i'm lucky if readers look at more than one paragraph, but that's fine because i believe in apprentissage. and i feel like things will work out, and when they do, and when they have, i appreciate it even more.