Last week I mentioned the poet who is grading rejections he has received from magazines in response to submissions of his work. It's a worthwhile -- although futile, of course -- effort. I, for one, don't like to dwell on these things for too long. But here's a little episode that is worth considering.
I submitted a story to a magazine in March. (I won't mention the magazine here, but it's in the South and there is a number somewhere in its name.) Last week I received my SASE with the tiny rejection slip for which the magazine is known. (Known to me, anyway; I've submitted several stories to them in the past.) Fine, whatever. I noted receipt of the rejection in my tracking database and thought about where else to send the story. Moving on. They'll be sorry when I win the Pulitzer, etc.
Today I received an email from a woman who this morning opened her own SASE from this magazine, to find her tiny rejection slip, her story, and -- here's the fun part -- my story.
Now, I ask in my cover letter to have my submission recycled if it isn't needed, but this isn't quite what I meant by recycling. But it does seem like an interesting idea, doesn't it? I mean, I submit stories to magazines because I want someone to read them. This magazine didn't want to print my story for whatever reason. Fair enough. But at least they did me the favor of passing my work on to someone else who may read it or may not, but at least there's the possibility that she did. It's almost a form of publication, isn't it? Limited circulation, to be sure, but the magazine released my work to the public. Can I now claim them as a publication credit?
(Thanks to Carol for contacting me about this. It's much appreciated.)