Posts Tagged rejection
I’m half pretending not to be part of Facebook anymore, but one reason I don’t want to totally be off of it is that many of my friends find and post blogs and articles I’d never see otherwise. Here are some links that might be of interest to writers. Possibly they will result in longer posts when it isn’t almost Christmas and I still have lime-cardamon buns and apricot cookies to bake.
The poet and writer Claudia Putnam, author of Wild Thing In Our Known World, posted an article from another writer on the role of privilege and connections in the struggle to be published. And today, Dec 26, I found another article Claudia posted written by the artist and writer, Molly Crabapple, whose take is similar but slightly different than the first one.
She also recently posted this little bit by author Chris Orcutt about responding to rejection, while another online friend, Mitch E. Parker, editor of Camera Obscura, posted what might be called the Duotrope of Rejection Letters. http://www.rejectionwiki.com/index.php?title=Literary_Journals_and_Rejections. It appears he actually posted this same link in the comments to the aforementioned blog. The Rejection Wiki contains the copy of various rejection letters sent out by numerous journals. It can be both interesting and somewhat informative to compare what you received against what is reported here.
Just this morning Nathan Bransford, past literary agent and current social media guru, posted about creative fatigue, something many of us may be facing as the new year steamrolls our way.
Any thoughts on any of these blogs/posts? I hope some of them provide you with something to mull over this holiday season.
I was working on this story when I decided to enroll in The Literature of the Vietnam War class at Colorado State University, taught by John Clark Pratt. I hadn’t been an English major in college and only subsequently did I take a few undergraduate literature courses and graduate writing classes. This was one of the best classes I ever took. We read numerous books I’m sure I wouldn’t have encountered if I was reading on my own, such as Into A Black Sun. (Takeshi Kaiko)
We also read The Quiet American (Graham Greene), a novel by a Vietnamese officer, which, to my knowledge, is not available. We did not, notably, read Going After Cacciato. I don’t remember if there were any veterans in this class, but there was a woman who had been a nurse who brought orphans our of Vietnam. One of the requirements of the course was to write a paper. I asked if I could instead submit a short story. Dr. Pratt agreed, and I think I can say with assurance that he thought highly of the story. He encouraged me to join his graduate workshop the following semester, which I did.
When the story was ready to send out, I decided to start at the stop. Why not? So I sent it to the New Yorker. And then many more until finally, not quite twenty years later, it was accepted at this now defunct Internet journal. http://noneuclideancafe.com/issues/vol3_issue2_WinterSpring2008/cole.htm. Although I was happy to finally have it find a home, in many ways it was a comedown from my New Yorker submission. The text of the personal rejection follows. I since changed the title.
June 12, 1989
Dear Ms.—–, A very natural, appealing, modest story, but I’m afraid the parallel between the brother’s war fixation and the narrator’s divorce seemed to us at once a bit unconvincing and a bit heavyhanded. But there’s a lot in SOLDIERS to admire, and I thank you for the chance to consider it. Try again.
Partial Reading List, Literature of the Vietnam War
The Quiet American, Graham Greene
Into a Black Sun, Vietnam 1964-65 Takeshi Kaiko
The Laotian Fragments, John Clark Pratt
Parthian Shot Loyd LIttle
The 13th Valley John M. Del Vecchio
Paco’s Story Larry Heinemann
No Bugles, No Drums Charles Durden
One Very Hot Day David Halberstam
One to Count Cadence James Crumley
Bridge Fall Down Nicholas Rinaldi