On Rejection

Over at The Kenyon Review, there's a lovely and funny essay on rejection, by Brian Doyle, called simply "No."

Rejecting work is by far the worst part of editing Barrelhouse, and getting rejected is obviously one of the worst parts of trying to publish your writing. I don't think anybody likes anything about it, other than the fact that it can, sometimes, open a dialogue with folks who you're pretty certain you'll be working with in the future -- I know that our latest issue includes a few writers that we've rejected before, for one completely subjective reason or another.

Still, it's a necessity, a shitty but basic fact of the open submissions process. And Doyle's essay captures better than my jibber jabber the give and take of this situation. If you're a writer or an editor, check it out.


Mike said...

Speak for yourself, Housley. I love writing rejections. Now that local wildlife authorities have cut off my supply of baby seals to club, it's pretty much my only remaining joy.

Anonymous said...

Dave, I forbid you from calling any essays "lovely and funny" forthwith.

Thanks to BH, I now know that there is a tiny element of sincerity to the phrase, "not for us."

Hungarian Great Bela Tarr. said...

The Kenyon Review seems to have a lot of good stuff on this subject. Roger Rosenblatt had an essay last year on rejection that was sort of soothing to me.