I got a fresh rejection from Highlights Magazine today for a short story I wrote called The Amazing Deirdre. This was the first piece I've ever sent them, so I guess I can't get too discouraged. And I feel like the rejection was promising - one that makes me think that my writing doesn't totally suck (another reason against self-inflicted exile). Highlights' form letter lists a slew of reasons why your manuscript is being returned. A check mark indicating the reason that applies to your story gives you more insight into the whys. Reasons listed vary from: "It lacks a fresh approach," to, "It has too much narration or description," to, "It involves stereotyped roles," or "It lacks a tight focus." The reason my manuscript was rejected: "It is not suited to our present needs." Okay. I'll take that! I feel like that was one of the more benign reasons. Plus, the editor who reviewed my story wrote me a personal note thanking me for thinking of them.
So what do I do with The Amazing Deirdre now that she's been rejected from my top two picks? Hmmm....that's a good question. Well, I send her onward to the next appropriate magazine. I've got a whole list of em'. I'll wait the average 3 to 6 months that it takes a magazine to reply, and I'll work on other stories and revisions for my book Trevelyn's Shimmer - when will I not be revising Trevelyn's Shimmer? Geesh. One day that book will be all cleaned up and it will rock and you will like it! In the meantime, I'll also be continuing to repress the urge to crawl into any small, black holes.