I had a goal: to get 50 rejections in 2019. The idea was that this would make me get my work out there more, and maybe drive up the chance of a stray acceptance coming my way. This has only half worked. So far this year I have submitted 30 times. This is more than my previous three years combined, yet has not yielded a corresponding number of acceptances. So far, I have 25 rejections, halfway to my goal. The month of May alone has seen 7 rejections, which may explain why I’ve been so grumpy lately.

Most of these were impersonal “form” rejections. Those tell you nothing, so I try (and try and try) not to think about them. But I did get a couple of nice rejections this year, so I’ve decided to share some lines from my favorites with you. They’re like blurbs, except the people who wrote them aren’t trying to sell my work.

I can’t tell you who said these, but I swear they’re real.

About my verse novella, Sternendach:

“We very much enjoyed reading what you sent us, and felt it was engaging.”

“Well-written and original…”

“It is an astonishing piece of work…”

About my Child Ballad-style “Rochambeau”:

“Although I could not stop laughing while reading it, I don’t think it’s the right fit.” (The poem is meant to be funny, so this is actually very nice.)

About my short story, “An Exile and an Orphan, I”:

“It’s a well-written story, but…”

“Your writing is beautiful, but…” The person who said this to me at the Muse went on, but I’m just holding on to the “beautiful” part.

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