I Sent Out 126 Rejection Letters Today
Believe me, it wasn’t easy. I plowed through only one-and-a-half of three stacks of submissions, logging out short stories, essays, and poetry. As I worked, I read through cover letters, paged through submissions,and scanned through the editors’ comments, thinking: dang, how hard is it?
The answer: really hard.
I read submissions by writers from the Iowa Workshop, from professors at Emory and Harvard, from multiple graduates of Princeton, Yale, and all the other Ivies. There were writers who had been published in The New Yorker and The New York Times, writers whose stories had been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories or had won Pushcart Prizes—lists of accolades and accomplishments that baffled me.
There were writers who had no formal training, but had excellent stories; writers who had formal training, but wrote as if they were in high school. There were teen-age writers, writers in their 70s just…
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