Finally heard back from the online magazine, Our Stories, today. It was a rejection, and I am not that surprised. Like most magazines, they see themselves, and their authors, as being “unique” but what I read was pretty run of the mill stuff. Nothing that pushed artistic envelopes and a lot of the authors were very young people, and it shows in the choices of topic and themes. However they offer to do a personal critique of all submissions and that made it worth the effort to submit. So I submitted a piece called “The White Boots” which I wrote from an anecdote that Rob told me about Shelley. It is a very short piece, but the editor at Our Stories felt it didn’t get to the point fast enough within the first two pages (not “tense” enough is how it was phrased) although he/she (Alex is kind of a gender neutral name) granted that I am good with dialogue and a good sense of language. He/she was confused by the reference I made to my main character wearing “runners” which is the Canadian term for running shoes. I make this reference early on and I guess the editor was so distracted by it, he/she never was able to get back into the story. Still it was a good exercise for me and I will go back through the story to see if I can tighten it as he/she suggested but my gut feeling is that the story is done and this person was just not the right person to read it. I have that problem myself. It was my downfall in workshopping classes because I had a hard time reading and critiquing other people’s work if I wasn’t able to connect to it (that and a lot of people fancy themselves writers and they clearly are not.)
I was issued the standard invitation to submit for a contest they are running (Matrix – my last rejection asked me to submit for their next issue. Something macabre – the sicker the better. Yeah. I’ll get right on that.) It was good to finally hear back. Now I can stop obsessing and find another possible home for this story. It’s one of my better ones, so there is a tiny bit of annoyance here, but Our Stories is really looking for angsty stuff, I think, based on what I read and is not the best home for me. C’est la vie.