We appreciate your submission. Unfortunately I had trouble keeping
interest. It just didn’t roll me up in a rug and carry me around on
its shoulder, which is required. Sorry, and good luck with it
elsewhere, and please try us again sometime.
-From a journal called Pequin, which I don’t think is around anymore. The story was terrible. It was one of my very first submissions. I didn’t know the rule about dead dogs then.
This is one from Eyeshot, which I don’t think is around anymore, either. It’s for a story called The Hamburger Story, which appeared in Wigleaf (yay!). It includes a reference to the narrator throwing a hamburger at the subject of the story. I argued that the hamburger was, in fact, a flying animal in search of human flesh. I did not win that argument.
Hi – thanks for sending this – I think it’s maybe too clear, too easy, for Eyeshot at least? Not that ease and clarity aren’t good things, but it’s a simple boy-girl system, 2nd person, without being disturbed by any flying animals in search of human flesh. Thanks again and sorry-Lee
The acceptance, from Scott Garson at Wigleaf:
I like this story more and more. There’s a great schizo-ness to it, makes for a great read.
Thanks for considering > kill author for your work. We hugely enjoyed reading “There Was Nothing We Could Do” – it’s a mesmerising, unsettling piece with some wonderful yet minimalistic use of language. Exactly the kind of work we’re looking out for to include in our journal.
We’d be delighted to feature this story in our upcoming eighth issue. This will be going online sometime during the first half of this month, though we will of course let you and all other contributors know when it’s available.
Thanks again for giving us the chance to publish your wonderful words.
(On a separate note – thank you for your thoughtful comments and your continued support of what we do. When so much of the literary scene is male-centric, it’s hugely important to us to feature as equal a balance of female writers as we can in each issue without, of course, compromising the type of work we accept or that we instinctively feel fits with the style of our journal. If that means putting out open calls for more pieces from women, as we did a while back, then so be it.)
> kill author
There are other, more straightforward rejections (and acceptances) I love and hate, but these stand out in my memory.
Lauren Becker is editor of Corium Magazine. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review, Wigleaf, Juked, Annalemma, Hobart, and elsewhere. Her collection of short fiction, Things About Me and You, is included in the anthology Shut Up/Look Pretty (Tiny Hardcore Press, 2012).