Monday, September 09, 2002

Today, I received a rejection letter from the magazine Tin House for my short story Boxes. It took 79 days from the day I sent it until I received a response. Writing short stories and sending them out to be published is a long process. Beyond the task of actually writing the story or poem, which can take anywhere from ten years to ten days, you need to find the appropriate magazine (a daunting task in itself), send out the story, then wait anywhere from two to six months for the magazine to respond. Hovering by the mailbox is not recommended.

I plan on spending tonight looking for another magazine to send my short story to. It's an odd process. It's like having a really great joke. You tell it to ten people. Six people laugh. Two people laugh hysterically. Two people don't get the joke. When you send a short story out, you never quite know how it will be received by the editor. Being familiar with the magazine itself and its tastes is your biggest ally. But sitting in an office is the editor, a real person shaped by his or her own unique set of experiences and opinions, and when they pick up your short story, reading it under florescent lights, it can go either way.

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