Lucian Freud, Meisje met rozen (1947)

I’ve been in the MFA program for two and a half years, but it’s only since September (September 28, mind you) that I’ve begun sending out work.

Over the summer, I was on the elevator with an econ faculty member who asked me about my writing, and whether or not I was published. I told him no, and that I actually hadn’t been sending out work. “You have to send things out to get published,” he pointed out, in a kind of gently mocking sort of way. He told me he imagined it wasn’t far off from academic papers, and I concurred, only instead of getting revision notes back from a review committee, in fiction you just get form rejections.

I got my first form rejection this week. I was unsurprised and not even upset. I saw the email and I knew what it was. I aimed a little higher than I stand any right to go, I know, but what the hell. I figured I’d let the bigguns reject me before I begin to scale down and down and down. Someone’s going to publish me, eventually.

Right? Right?

Well. Better to have stories rejected than the novel. The novel represents a bigger chunk of time. I wrote the short story it’s based on back in fall 2007, revised it in January 2010, and then started research over the summer. So a year’s worth of work and counting.

Le sigh. It’ll be a while yet before that baby starts getting rejections.


2 responses to “REJECTED

  1. I sympathise. And empathise.
    Though as well as the non response and the form rejection, I’ve had a couple of “I don’t like/want it because…” letters. Which is great. Why can’t the rest of them do that.
    There have even been one or two “I liked it because…” Though further down there was a “but”.
    I tend not to register the positives en route to the bottom line – though they’re good to return to when the sighing/swearing stops.

  2. Thanks for commenting. One day there will not be a “but,” just a yes.

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