One of the journals to which I regularly submit my fiction is the West Coast oriented Zyzzyva
, run by the dedicated and hard working Howard Junker. He has been considering my submissions (and rejecting them, I'll add) since October of 1998. Over just the past 10 months I have sent Zyzzyva
seven of my most sweated upon short stories.
Each of my submissions has received the exact same rejection letter, pseudo hand written "Onward!" and all (see images). Just a few moments ago, before sitting down to write this blog entry, I received another identical rejection. While I am ever grateful for the time it takes to consider my work—and the opportunity to submit it—frankly, Mr. Junker, I think it is about time you drafted a new rejection letter.
And while I'm at it, you can stop including the "subscribe to Zyzzyva
" insert; save the penny, I'm already a subscriber!
Now I know it is nothing extraordinary to send work to an editor for eight years. Plenty of writers are equally patient. My point here is that the exact same rejection letter, word for word, has been photo-copied and sent to countless potential contributors since the late 20th century. As an editor myself I understand the mechanics of responding to hundreds or thousands of unsolicited submissions. But come on, Howard, throw us a bone.
After all, some of us have been doing this for quite some time now.
R J Woerheide
Editor in Chief and Hardened Rejectee
Post Script: To be fair, I must thank Howard for his continued timely response to my submissions. I rarely have to wait more than a month to hear back from him. Credit must be given where credit is due.