Saturday, February 18, 2006

A Sort of "Woo-Hoo"

Yeah, I know I said I wasn't going to post for a while, but I thought this was worth sharing. I heard back from Cicada magazine the other day about the story I sent to them. I saw that they had returned the story, so I knew they hadn't accepted it, so I didn't really look through the packet to read the rejection slip. Rejections don't bother me, that's a big part of the writing game. If you can't handle rejections, then you're in the wrong field. So today I was cleaning up the counter and decided to file the rejection letter. I pulled it out of the envelope and realized that the editor had written me a fairly long (half-page) hand-written note praising the writing but saying it was a bit too long and had a bit too much technological language for their magazine. That's about as good as it gets, folks (short of buying the story, of course), so that's call for celebration. Cicada is a top-of-the-line market. They pay about $850 for stories. I sent it out figuring I may as well shoot for the top (see my December 1 blog entry), so I was psyched to get such a positive response. The editor made it clear the writing was great, but the story wasn't quite right for their magazine. More importantly -- and as I understand it, this almost never happens -- she gave me advice on what they are looking for in a story. If she didn't think my writing had potential, she wouldn't have bothered. Much rejoicing!

So, I've got two professional editors (here and Stanley Schmidt at Analog) who have written me personal notes saying my writing was good, even if the story wasn't quite right for their magazine. I can't begin to tell you how encouraging that is. Maybe there's hope for a career in this!

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