David Stevens

Posts Tagged ‘rejection’

Flip a coin

In Uncategorized on September 15, 2018 at 3:09 am

It is quite possible you can learn something from feedback accompanying a rejection. I’m sure someone has. A recent rejection of a story of mine was accompanied by feedback from two of the slush readers for the magazine:

“… really strong narrative voice and prose control.  …  it’s all developed and described quite well”

and

“This piece is unfocused and almost stream of consciousness and difficult to get a sense of what it’s about”

Guess what I learned?  Flip a coin.

 

Advertisements

Well, that wouldn’t get through the slush pile, would it?

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Julian Barnes’ review in The Guardian of William Trevor’s final collection really inspires me to get it now and read it, despite the toppling pile of books my puritan-self (who the hell is that? I’ll fight him!) says I have to read before I can buy any more. Here I steal, not from the stories of course, which I have not read, but from the review, which I have:

There are also slippages of identity and function to be endured.

And there are doubts and ambiguities at every turn.

Trevor’s fiction is full of precise evasions – and evasive precisions.

And:

But it is the reader’s pity too, as we go back over her story and better understand …

Hmmm…

Trevor does not make a point of being demanding or obscure; but he is very subtle.

This relates to an incident whose significance escaped me for two readings.

Mr Trevor certainly was not writing for any slush pile! Thank goodness. And how generous a reader is Mr Barnes.

The theme is set, and odd it is

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2018 at 5:46 am

Sorry, but this one is a little too odd for us

Two days in a row? Are you guys talking to each other about me behind my back? 🙂

Life is short. I am never going to have a career or find celebrity as a writer. Don’t want to. In the little bits of time that I have, my magpie eye picks up on crooked shiny things, and I play with them for a while. I ignore the ordinary, because I spend enough time with it the rest of the day. The strange bits and pieces from my own tiny corner of the universe, these are the things that I want to share. The characters I have met and had fun with. The man whose mind spent too much time in the brain of a lizard, and is having trouble unpacking into that of a human. A cosmonaut heading to the land of the dead. Neil Armstrong, trapped in a child’s bedroom. A spider woman and an insect man dancing the dance of death – and love! A man who never dreams, except of blackness and things shifting around a little bit, and what he finds near his back fence. The secret true history of Lawrence of Arabia, with djinn and ghouls.

If my little oddity catches the eye of an editor, as it sometimes does, and gives some pleasure to a reader, what a bonus. A little affirmation, and a joy shared, before heading back to the mundane world. And that, dear reader, is what it is all about, for me at least.

(“Why I write”: sheesh, now he thinks he’s George Orwell.)

Having said all of that – after something of a pause, there is a new edition of Three-lobed Burning Eye magazine appearing this month, and it is extremely important that you keep an eye out for it, burning or otherwise.

Does that mean you don’t love me?

In Uncategorized on May 2, 2018 at 6:29 am

This is a strange story that is oddly written start to finish.

Why, thank you!

The story is crowded with observations that seem unnecessary and bizarre

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2018 at 8:43 pm

Quite. Otherwise, what would be the point?

Cutesy

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Have I mentioned that I cannot stand a cute rejection? It doesn’t make me feel better, and it makes me think I wasn’t taken seriously. I dislike them even more than normal rejection. At least I am used to normal rejection. Cute rejection is worse than chirpy morning people. I think I like rejections that aren’t really rejections, they’re acceptances. That’s the kind of rejection I like! Now I’m getting cute. And I don’t like it. (Do they have hand puppet rejection – now, that would incite violence.)

Lucky Number 113

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Just worked my way through 113 e mails, quite liked this one 🙂

Hi David,
Thank you for submitting your work to XXX, and our apologies for taking so long to provide you with a response. We were saving the acceptance emails until last.
Yes, congratulations! We’d love to publish your story, pending the editorial process.

Details to follow …

Needy as anything

In Uncategorized on December 7, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Story J*:
From Daily Science Fiction – “PS This was an almost for us”.

Story E*:
From someone else – “Probably your best attempt. Very well written, and I loved how descriptive it was, but, frankly, the competition is tight here, and I’m forced to turn down otherwise good stuff”.

Thanks heaps! Great to get some positive feedback. Still, you wouldn’t want to be doing this if you didn’t enjoy the whole process! That reaching feeling, almost there, but not quite …

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent as they travel from slush pile to slush pile

An encouraging word for a hypocrite

In Uncategorized on November 12, 2013 at 2:09 am

I ranted commented previously about one line dismissals of stories, and how hard it can be to work out what they mean.

I am such a hypocrite. I get another one line critique with a rejection and I am very happy about it.

I like the mood this piece evokes, but overall I felt it just didn’t do quite enough with itself … I wanted another layer of story here.

Though we aren’t taking this one, I shall look forward to your next.

I understand this critique. I was trying to do a particular thing with this story, mostly to do with mood though I thought with sufficient narrative, but this magazine wanted more, and that is fair enough.

Oh, you hypocrite! Oh you needy swine! Oh yes, this one you understood. Your sanguinity, your contentedness has nothing to do with the last seven words, does it? Shame on you.

(Give me a hint of praise, and I’m ok with everything. Please don’t tell me that’s a character flaw … )

A very good month

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2013 at 10:25 am

Hello David,
Congratulations! Your story ‘Avoiding Gagarin’ has been accepted for publication …

That makes me a very happy old builder. Second acceptance for the month … year … century … Details to follow …