Rejection Letter from Our Stories

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.

7 thoughts on “Rejection Letter from Our Stories

  1. Sorry you felt that we brushed your story off after the “runners” confusion. I hesitate to assume that this was the only feedback we had for you on the story, though I’ll have to take another look. Generally I’ve found that when this happens, yeah it becomes hard to move past it, was it essential for the story to keep it? I don’t know. I’d like to take another look at the story if you’re willing to give us a shot. We’re in a free submission period right now until the end of March–that is, if someone hasn’t picked it up yet.


    Alexis E Santi

  2. Sally, I am hoping to convince Rob to take a trip out your way this summer. We have other extended family out that way (Shelley’s family) who have extended offers of places to stay and such and I really want to see the coast. I will keep you posted.

  3. I like your attitude about this story: that it hasn’t yet found the right reader. I hope it does soon, so the rest of us can read it, too.

    I totally sympathize with your take on smokers, too. Victoria has just approved a by-law prohibiting smoking in entranceways, too (we have been smoke-free indoors for many years). My lungs are challenged enough without having to cope with cigarette smoke in random places.

    When are you guys coming for a visit?



  4. Kristie, yes, I agree, that there isn’t room in the writing world right now for stories that don’t depress or appall or both. I can/do sometimes write things like that but this particular story is just sweet and shall remain so. Thanks for the encouragement.

    You as well, Rob. And I would say I am assimilating at an alarming pace.

  5. I call it “Oprah Book Club” syndrome. I read a few of her suggested selections, and most of them I walked away from. Evidently, if someone wasn’t molested, raped, or otherwise emotionally tormented in the course of the story, it isn’t worth reading.

    To some people. You keep at it, Annie.

  6. “The White Boots” is a great story. I was amazed when you wrote that from my little anecdote. You do have quite the talent my dear.

    And French too! You really are assimilating here, aren’t you? 🙂

    Love you.

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