A momentous event occurred yesterday — a significant moment in my burgeoning career as a professional writer. A rite of passage, if you will.

I got my first form rejection letter.

I sent a short story to a magazine, and they sent it back with a lovely note addressed to “Dear Contributor,” explaining that they were just swamped with submissions and couldn’t possibly consider my story for publication right now.


I know, that doesn’t sound like good news. And I suppose it isn’t. However, I’ve read a few biographies of writers in my time, and I can’t think of one that doesn’t reminisce about this moment in their writerly lives. It’s really exciting. Stephen King got letters like this once. So did Tom Robbins, and George R.R. Martin. And now I’ve got one, too.

Of course, I won’t be a real writer until I have a big thick stack of ’em. But it’s a start. Now, I need to take a look at that story and see if there’s anything that really needs changing, and then send it somewhere else. And I’ve got to keep writing new stuff until I come up with something they just cannot afford to turn down.