Monday, November 09, 2009


I had a story rejected today. Not my story. Somebody else's. It arrived in one of my SASEs.

This rarely happens. After more than 30 years and several thousand rejections, this may be the third time I've received someone else's rejection.

It's an odd feeling of dismay to open the envelope and see the enclosed rejection, followed by a sense of relief that the rejection wasn't meant for me, following by another round of dismay as I wonder where MY manuscript went.

And there's also a feeling of Peeping Tomism because I read the rejected manuscript and study the editor's note (when there is one). What did this writer do or not do? How does my work compare? Do I agree or disagree with the editor's decision to reject? If it were my manuscript, how would I revise it?

In this case, the writer's eddress was on the manuscript. I've emailed her to let her know of her rejection, and tomorrow I'll mail the manuscript back to her so she can read the editor's note.

And I'll continue wondering where my manuscript went...


Carol Kilgore said...

I know that feeling because I've had it happen to me once. It's eerie. I'd give it a week or two, then contact the editor if you haven't heard anything.

Michael Bracken said...

Of course, because I've multiple manuscripts in this publication's slush pile, it may be difficult to figure out which one has gone astray until some of them come back.


It's never easy, is it?

Barbara Martin said...

That's a bit unsettling, though kind of you to contact the other writer. I had wondered if this ever occurred.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Happened to me four or five times over the years. And then there were the couple of times that my rejected story came to me in an envelope along with another person's story and their rejection letter. Made me wonder about the person on the other end who stuffed two stories and two rejection letters into one envelope.