On February 15th, 2012, I received an e-mail from Fred Schepartz, the Executive Editor of Mobius Magazine. It was the first submission response I’ve receive that didn’t contain any of these words or phrase: ‘sorry’, ‘but’, ‘unfortunately’, ‘good luck placing it elsewhere’.

The e-mail from Fred had only one word that mattered to me.


Three days later, I received another e-mail, also devoid of any verbal gut-kicks. This time, a notification that my story, FOR WANT OF A CHILD, had progressed to the second round and that I’d hear back in a few months on the final decision.

Then, February 20th, another e-mail. The subject read “re: Submission: TWO ZOMBIES WALK INTO A BAR.” I’d sat there, looking at the message, not sure if I should open it. Was it a rejection, come to break up my little party? I bolstered my will, reminding myself that I’ve weathered dozens of rejections, and that more seasoned authors had weathered hundreds.

My eyes honed in on the word in bold. Accepted. And this time to a paying market.

It was a wonderful week of validation. I’ve received a rejection letter for another story, one I consider to be my best work to date, but it doesn’t matter. After the first publication, after the first sale, rejection doesn’t sting so badly anymore. ¬†With every rejection, I repeat the mantra, “Rejection In, Submission Out”.

Regardless of how many rejections or acceptances I rack up in my lifetime, that first acceptance will never be forgotten. VOICES FROM THE CORRAL is available in the current issue of Mobius Magazine.

I’m very pleased with this issue’s artwork (the post thumbnail, which I’ve used with the artist’s permission), “State of Emergency”, by Aunia Kahn. The artwork on her website is as beautiful as it is haunting. Be sure to check it out.

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