Saturday, April 23, 2016

Unrequited Love

I've written a lot of short stories and even managed to sell some. I've also abandoned stories that just didn't feel right for any market or because I just got tired of dealing with them.  My hard drive is littered with these latter fragmentary attempts.  They reside nestled among the layers of early drafts of their better brothers and sisters. There are even, down there among the buried dead, abandoned, and rejected, stories that I love beyond all measure, stories that excited my emotions, or which satisfied some literary need.  Well written (IMHO) for the most part but sadly unable to find a market.

What is one to do with the stories that receive rejection upon rejection despite the massive effort it took to craft them?  I could follow the advice of my peers and keep sending them around until the electrons wear off or some hapless editor decides to take it, if only to prevent seeing it again and again. On the other hand I could put it on the web to see what happens, but my past experiences with web publishing have come to naught.

So, do I keep sending it out to the same editors or submit to some unsuspecting innocent who might, just might, have the discerning taste to appreciate the craftsmanship or just embrace the point of the story? These are the questions that haunt my dreams and, when those visitations become unbearable,  I select one and submit, fearing further disappointment.   Is it stupid to believe in and love a piece so much despite the rejection of every editor?  Must I resign myself and think only of how great these will look in my post-mortem collections?

I wish I knew.



  1. Bud, I have the same dilemma -- stories I believe in that don't go anywhere. I've placed a few of them in my short story collections. That way they're a bonus, new material for anyone who's read all my stories in their magazine appearances. In fact, after reading one of those stories in a recent collection, one of the SF magazines ended up requesting to reprint it. A win for everyone!

  2. Hello!

    Maybe not in context of this post, but I haven't found any other contacts.
    I think you know that recently your story Forgiveness was published in Russian magazine "Esli" ("If"). If you want to get a copy of magazine - let me know. In the middle of May I plan to visit Annapolis, MD and I can give you a copy or two of this magazine.


  3. As addition to my proposal about magazines.

    Sorry, I forget my contact e-mail: (replace _ with @).


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