Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘rejection’

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Writer, Reject Thyself

Okay—so perhaps your take-home message from the recent Giraldi-Ohlin incident was “Oh my god, I hope that I never get a review like that.” Unfortunately, at some point, every writer usually gets some harsh feedback—in a workshop, in a review, or from a reader. (Discuss: which writer is most fortunate, and why?) Anyway, when you receive said harsh feedback, your options are: A) Lash out at reviewers (pretty much never a good plan) B) Curl up under chair with bottle of whiskey and/or teddy bear C) Develop thicker skin, keep head down, keep working on next project Should you choose […]


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Rejection Love

I save rejection slips. In graduate school, someone mentioned an acquaintance who had wallpapered her bathroom with them, and I liked that idea. There was something honest and humbling about it. So when I started submitting my own stories to literary journals, I saved the rejections, imagining I might do the same one day. It would be a necessary complement, I imagined, for a living room mantel cluttered with prestigious awards, framed reviews, and my many excellent books. I’ve long since backed off both the wallpapering and the cluttered mantel, but I haven’t stopped saving the slips. And I have […]


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Three Years in the Slushpile

On The Awl, writer S.J. Culver describes the experience of waiting three years for a response from a journal: [H]ere’s a short list of things I did with my life while that magazine was considering whether to publish my 16-page story: I grew my hair ten inches; I paid off a car loan; I did my taxes (three times); I got my own apartment; I read 131 books; I attended two weddings and a baby shower; I cut my hair off again; I drove across the country three times. Additionally: I completed an MFA in creative writing, taught five semesters’ […]



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