All writers have journals that they’d really, really like to be published in. I have several on my list but one in particular eludes me and has done for years.
Mind you, the first time I submitted anything to anyone was waaaaay back in 2002. I naively opened up my handy-dandy copy of Writer’s Market 2002, underlining potential homes for my great literary gems. I still have that dog-eared book, with the words DO NOT THROW OUT written in black Sharpie across the front. As the rejection notices poured in, I grew weary and quickly lost confidence in my dream.
A year or so later, I saw an ad in Writer’s Digest for a literary journal. I was immediately drawn to the cover; it looked clean, simple, and unpretentious. I read their submission guidelines – they merely asked for writers to send them their best work.
My best has never – not yet – been good enough. For some reason I refuse to give up. I usually submit one story a year to them which is always rejected.
There are those who would advise trying to model my submissions on those already accepted by the editors. That idea has never rested comfortably in my gut. My stories come from deep in the well; my voice is my voice. Modeling a piece just to suit doesn’t seem right.
I’m hoping they’ll eventually publish me, if not for talent, then for sheer pluck. They (like so many other journals) are not a paying market; this is purely a matter of pride. I want to be able to say that “Such and Such Journal published one of my short stories.” So there. Then I’ll blow a raspberry.
I submitted another short story to them today. We’ll see what happens. Maybe in this year of progress and publication, the editors will shout, “Eureka! Where has this Banshee been all our lives!” They will not only publish me but dedicate an entire issue to my stupendous, long-overlooked talent! Ok, I’ve driven off the road into Fantasyland now…
Am I wrong to keep knocking on their door? I don’t know. My writing has improved and evolved over the years; make no mistake, I have worked hard to improve. Perhaps I need to move on.
There are other fine literary journals out there. Being published equals not only validation but the feeling of being a solid link in the global chain of storytelling. It’s in my Celtic DNA. There is simply nothing more satisfying than passing down a story.