Friday, July 15, 2011

Subtext: Rejected

Q. Dear New Yorker, will you publish my writings in your magazine? Here's a sample.
Thank you,
Ask Mark Elliot

A. Dear Ask Mark Elliot,
We will not publish your writings in our magazine. (This is not a direct quote. Their email had some legal stuff at the bottom so I didn't copy and paste it.)

Response to Rejection letter:

Dear Shouts,
Thank you for responding to my submission. It was the saddest email I ever got. My wife keeps telling me that I am a good writer. And I believe her because she is so good at reading. So I think she knows a lot about words. I thought I kind of did too. At least in a way that made the reader feel like they kind of knew what I was trying to say. That perhaps there was something kind of familiar and comforting felt between the words- Is that subtext? You see. You were right to decline printing my submission. I think a good professional writer wouldn't have to ask about subtext. Or irony. Or when to use a coma or a super coma- isn't that a semicolon? And I'm pretty sure the kind of writer you would pay to fill space in your magazine wouldn't start most of their sentences with "I". But it's already been established that I am not that writer.  I am the kind of writer that uses "I" with reckless abandon, as well as over used word pairings. I write from the heart and with passion because my brain is too busy trying to tell my hands to stop typing and go watch television.
I may have been wounded by this response, not physically- I'm quiet healthy, but wounded in my ego. (I'm sure there is a writers term for this. If there is, I know it not.) I may be sad today. And I will probably be sad still next week... I just had so much riding on this. Massage school is really expensive and the markets super competitive. I know that's not your fault. It's just that I keep hearing about how gifted my hands are. Everyone who knows me can confirm this. But no one I know pays me for my gifted digits. I'm sorry. I'm sure you have stress too. I can't imagine what it would be like to crush dreams every day. This is a nice form letter. But I can read the subtext. Dear Sir or Mam, we don't like your stuff. We only read three lines, knew it was bad and went to lunch. It was Drew's birthday and we wanted to have a few drinks and some cake... Ugh! I can't believe how great that sounds. I've never met a Drew I didn't like. Or a cake for that matter. And drinks at lunch. What a treat. You Sirs or Mams are so lucky. so lucky. Please don't take it for granted. Live it up for the rest of us. Give Drew an ironic High-Five from me. I know it's a bit late but that makes it even funnier sad.
In case you are wondering. I won't give up writing forever. But I won't darken your email in box again. But if you ever want to invite me to the next lunch social, I'd be really happy. I can't come of course. But it would just be nice to hear from you again. Oh gosh, I'm so needy. Look we're cool. This can be it. Let's just part ways and enjoy this brief passing moment.
All the best to all of you out there at the New Yorker.
Mark Elliot


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