I have, it seems, officially graduated from my MFA program, months after I announced my passage here. I’m done, I’m officially an MFA. A letter came in the mail and told me so. Talk about really anticlimactic! My graduation was delayed further by the fact that there was a bit of a paperwork glitch–one of my grades (for my thesis) was not turned in, though I’d definitely finished and turned in that stack of papers.
There was a quiet, very pregnant pause after I turned that thesis in–what next? How would I move forward? How would I celebrate? I felt I needed…a PRODUCT, somehow. In the wake of that moment, I decided to submit short stories to various litmags. I submitted three stories to various publications…with all my hope and prayers. (I also decided to go to AWP, which was another good decision for my writing, or at least, my writing life).
Here is the progress report so far…
Story 1: Submitted to 11 litmags…so far rejected by 2.
Story 2: Submitted to 8 litmags…so far rejected by 4. 2 of the rejections were accompanied by a note or letter that encouraged me to submit again, stating that “this is not our customary rejection slip.”
Story 3: Submitted to 13 litmags…so far rejected by 4. 1 of the rejections was accompanied by a “this is not our customary rejection slip” note.
Maybe it’s odd of me to talk about my rejections so publicly–I’ve gotten used to it now. I see it as thickening up my writing skin. I still ache with hope when I get a letter in the mail, self-addressed, in my own handwriting. A letter with either a rejection or an acceptance! And that hope gets dashed for sure. But it’s just part of the landscape.