I got a really thoughtful rejection from Derek White at Sleepingfish this morning. Mr. White kindly ruminated on his feelings about rejection and also the story I submitted to him for the top-notch web incarnation of the magazine that has been going up for the past month or two. If you haven't checked it out, now is the time to read new work by J.A. Tyler, Ravi Mangla, Shane Jones, Kim Parko and James Reich (who blows my mind every time I encounter something he has touched), among others.
As much of the world may know, Mr. White is in Nairobi for a while, and so his access to internet appears to be spotty. Much of his response was to a hypothetical rejection blog he had not seen, so I think those comments won't be of much use here. He did, however, give some much needed perspective on rejection from the side of a small editor, and told the story of someone recently taking the news really poorly. I'm sure this happens all the time, and I will reiterate what I've said before, that I appreciate any response, even if it's those sometimes underwhelming little slips of Xeroxed paper, and I think it's remarkable that we have created this strange pattern in our society in which someone writes something and sends it to another, usually anonymous, reader and then they hear back a Yes or No answer. When you think about it, this is a crazy thing we do, and the fact that it works even a little bit shows what a supportive community we are in.
I'm getting all sappy and sentimental though. Moving on.
Mr. White also gave me a sort of atmospheric reason for why he didn't like this particular piece and that is, quite honestly, the best kind of feedback for me, whose stories mostly end up being hazy little bubbles of event and language anyway.
Winner of Rejection of the Week: Derek White of Sleepingfish!
(Note: this is not a new feature. I just really liked this rejection.)