Rejections: Toasting Confidence

I think the best rejections are really just flawed acceptances.
Photo Credit: DieselDemon via Flickr
The best rejection I ever received was an email from Speer Morgan at The Missouri Review. It pertained to a piece that I was really proud of, and one that I was hoping would find its way in at one of the tougher markets and help me to reach the next level as a writer. Here is the email:
Joe: I want you to know that I appreciated the inventiveness and complexity AND topicality of this story but finally it just didn’t seem quite real to me. I wanted there to be more effort put into making it less free wheelingly speculative and more simply believable. We do occasionally publish stories with science fiction or conceptual overtones, so it isn’t the story type that bothered me, but they do need to be awfully good. This one is good enough, and I imagine that it will place somewhere. Please keep us in mind for future stories. Speer Morgan
For the first time ever, a rejection made me happy. I mean, first of all, it’s from Speer Morgan, right? Second, he told me exactly what he liked, and what he didn’t like that prevented him from accepting the story at TMR. Third, it’s chock full of hope.

I had a beer and toasted Mr. Morgan and TMR and immediately sent the piece out to a new batch of tough fiction markets. I’m happy to say Speer was right; the piece was accepted by The Cincinnati Review this past February and appears in their current issue, 9.1.

I think the best rejections are really just flawed acceptances.

Thanks and best wishes,
Joe Kapitan

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