Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The New Yorker Respects My Writing! (And Then Rejects It)

So I'm in a grad class right now related to magazine writing, and on a whim late one night I decided to submit my most recent piece to the New Yorker. Well, today I got this in my inbox:
Dear Brian South,
We're sorry to say that your piece wasn't right for us, despite
its evident merit. Thank you for allowing us to consider your work.

Best regards,
The Talk Dept.
"Evident merit?" The New Yorker thinks my writing has "evident merit?!" Well, turns out that the New Yorker sends this response out to pieces that are a cut above the rest, but not good enough for the final dance.

If you're not a writer or artist of some sort, you probably don't get what all the fuss is about. I got rejected. That may seem to be a weird thing to get excited about. Hell, it is weird thing to get excited about. But I and most other writers receive SO many rejection letters that one that actually compliments your work does seem special. And the fact that it's coming from the New Yorker, about a dream rejection. (Actually, I've never heard the phrase "dream rejection," but it seemed to fit there so I'm going with it.)

I don't mean for this post to brag at all, I'm just trying to highlight that there is so much failure associated with this line of work that a momentary bright spot can light the whole room. In all its pathetic glory.


Bone said...

"I see that Ziggy's back at the complaint department again.

The New Yorker is stealing my ideas."

Brian South said...

YES, Bone! How could I leave out this all-important Seinfeld reference when talking about The New Yorker?! I am ashamed.