A while back I mentioned that I was going to start submitting to the venerable Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, a market I haven’t submitted to since 2005. With a back catalog of around 50 pieces that I think are worthy of publication I decided to start mailing them off, one by one, to Mr. Van Gelder, editor over there at Old Iron Side. I sent out the first piece on the 18th of April and was pleasantly not at all surprised to have received my rejection in just eleven days. The text of the rejection was… to the point:
Dear Mr. Porter
Thank you for submitting (your story), but I’m going to pass on it. This story couldn’t hold my interest, I’m afraid. Good luck to you with this one, and thanks again for sending it our way.
Stephen Mazur Assistant Editor
Ouch. I mean ouch. It couldn’t hold his interest. I read that as “I made it to page four out of sixteen.” Well at least he said he was “afraid.”
The part of this process that makes me ask the perennial question, “Why the hell do I do this to myself” is the fact that for paper submissions you have to send a sase so that your rejection letter comes to you in an envelope addressed in your own hand. Today, as I addressed my next submission and accompanying reply envelope, I thought, “I’ll be seeing you soon, little dude.”
But onward and upward. I’m afraid that another asst. editor at F&SF is going to be reading four pages of my work. Suck on that!
It’s still nice to have a rejection with the F&SF letter head.
Well back to work. Stories don’t write themselves… very often.