Yep, just got it half an hour ago, from West Branch (it looks like at least a few literary magazines will reject you in less than a month). Not sure if I have too much commentary on this one. I actually got three rejections today*, so that makes 901 rejections from 190 markets on 136 stories. Since getting my eight hundredth rejection, I’ve sold four stories, so that’s not bad. As you can see from looking at the dates of my previous milestones, I’ve finally reached an inflection point in terms of rejection milestones.
- 300 – August 8, 2008 (401 days to next milestone)
- 400 – September 13, 2009 (282 days to next milestone)
- 500 – June 22, 2010 (268 days to next milestone)
- 600 – March 17, 2011 (208 days to next milestone)
- 700 – October 11, 2011 (185 days to next milestone)
- 800 – April 17, 2012 (197 days to current milestone)
For the first time in my submissions career, it’s taken longer to get to the current hundred than it took me to get the previous hundred. My submissions volume has remained fairly constant over this time (if anything, it’s increased), but my stories do seem to be getting held longer for consideration nowadays. But, in any case, it still amounted to one short story rejection every two days.
I think it’s no secret that I’m proud of these numbers. There’s no way to control whether stuff gets accepted or not, but these numbers tell me that I’m still upholding my part of the bargain. After almost nine years (I sent out my first submission on or around December 20th, 2003), I’m still assiduous in my submissions: I still revise stories and send them out; I still keep submitting them even after they get rejected; and I still don’t let rejection bother me too much.
However, I will say, to all the aspiring writers out there, that my rejection count is alot higher than most peoples’. I think this is because I submitted the first story I ever wrote and I’ve rarely written a story that I did not submit. Basically, over the years I’ve been the source of a substantial amount of the really bad stuff in the slush. If you’ve already been writing seriously for a few years, then it’s likely that you’ll start above that. It seems to me like it’s more typical for writers who’ve reached my career-stage to have something more like 100-300 total rejections.
*Actually, it was two rejections and one story that I’ve been meaning to write off as a non-response, since it’s been well over a year since I sent it out.