New Yorker Editors Respond to Old Message. . . Again

Here's the letter:

Dear Jackson,

We’re sorry that you have not received the appropriate responses from our editorial staff. We have a rotating group of fiction readers managing what you correctly identify as an “avalanche” of slush. While we cannot respond more specifically to your request for a status update on your story, it is safe to assume that since six months has passed since your last submission you can consider your work free to submit elsewhere.

As for your statements about your need to believe that the New Yorker isn’t “stacked against the emerging writer,” a perusal of our back catalog will prove that we have discovered and nurtured the careers of many new and exciting voices in literature.


The Editors


And my response:

Dear Editors,

I didn't mean to touch a nerve, I just wanted to be honest. I'll keep plugging away until I'm one of those new and exciting voices in literature you speak of.


--Jackson Bliss

My Civilized Letter of Frustration to the New Yorker

Here is an email I just sent the New Yorker:

Dear Hard-Working Fiction Editors at The New Yorker,

I know you get a gazillion manuscripts a year and I know the slush pile is a constant avalanche. But as an emerging fiction writer who is trying to make it in literary publishing in small steps, I have to admit, I'm getting kinda upset here. I haven't received a response from your magazine for the last two manuscripts I've sent you, a time-frame of over two years, and I'm not asking for much, except an editorial response. I know this email is gauche, I should probably delete it, sublimate it into my next cover letter, possibly abandon the delusion that I'd ever publish one of my short stories in your iconic glossy until I score a top-notch literary agent, or become Pinochle partners with the editors. But I want to believe--I need to believe--that your magazine isn't so stacked against the emerging writer, at least one without connections, that with the right intersection of editorial taste, aesthetic temperament, and a manuscript with fresh language and a strong voice, eventually things will work out.

So it's with this blowhard first paragraph that I ask you to please update me on the status of the short-story I submitted on 7 August 2007 entitled "Otra Chica," with a follow-up email sent in March 2008. Thank you in advance for your understanding and response.

Yours Truly,

--Jackson Bliss