Thursday, March 11, 2010
I Aimed High
I submitted a story of mine to the two literary publications I read the most: The Sun Magazine and Narrative Magazine.
I like submitting to Narrative for a couple of reasons. I can submit online; that makes it easy. And until I receive the rejection email, I can check on my submission, where I see "Under Consideration" by the title of my story. I like to think they're at their office, considering the various merits of my story. More likely though, is that some intern read the first line and moved on.
The Sun is another story. You must submit via snail mail and you hear back the same way. I have submitted one photograph that I thought might work (pictured above; I tweaked it in the darkroom) and the rejection for that was fairly immediate. But stories can take months to be accepted or rejected.
I need to quit being lazy about submissions. There are other places that I think might accept my work. But I've aimed high, and that took some nerve too.
Last month I heard Janet Burroway speak at Meredith College. She encouraged a young writer to submit her work to Narrative. I see names like Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Bausch, and Ann Beattie, and it seems almost impossible that they would accept the stories of an unknown. But she said they like to publish new writers. She also said she had been rejected by them. Both of those facts were comforting.
I'm not giving up. In fact, I think I'll double my efforts: four submissions this month. The odds are bound to be better, no?