Yucky. This story I wrote, this story I really liked…has now been rejected by 3 literary journals and 1 contest. I never EXPECT my story to be embraced, but I always HOPE it does. (There is a difference). Today I got rejected by the venue that was MOST unrealistic yet the one I MOST HOPED for. It was a contest with a big ass prize. A longshot for most people including me.
I am being more honest with my desires these days. I am not going to poo-poo the contest. I really wanted to win, I hoped to win, even though I didn’t expect my story to win. How’s that for desperate optimism? Bleah.
There are 3 more literary journals left to respond. Then, I’ll have to regroup. Revise the story, send it out to more journals or more likely, toss it into the purgatory pile of “stories I can’t bear to look at again.” Keep on submitting.
Yes, I do simultaneous submissions–I learned this from a publishing panel full of agents and litmag editors. Send your stories out simultaneously. Doing it in parallel (one after another) is going to take a year you’ll never get back. And unless you’re John Updike, the realistic chances of all litmags accepting you are slim. If they all accept you, or you get multiple acceptances? Well, as they say in business, that’s a “high class problem.” In other words, let’s hope for such a problem.