Part of this is an email I sent my best friend. I’ve submitted stories more places than I remember. International Bipolar Foundation welcomed me with open arms.
Here are two of the places that said ‘No’ more than once.
Marie Claire Magazine regarding two Eating Disorder pieces. I had them on the phone and received four emails expressing interest, only to be told they had ‘overplayed’ the eating disorder topic, which they felt was only of interest to ten percent of their readership.
The Mighty. I find them to be too self congratulatory for me. “Haaa Haaa, this saying is cool, I won the war!” life isn’t that simple and I think they s**k. I don’t even read their posts.
This one really stung:
“Stigma Fighters” They rejected me twice but when I read their 1000 word rambles, I think it’s a whiny freak show and they are furthering stigma, not fighting it. By the way, they invited me to submit a third time and when I didn’t they blocked my from receiving their posts. I wrote Sara Fader and Allie Burke asking why I don’t get their posts anymore and neither of them replied.. But they sent me a t-shirt.
Did they have an email tracking system showing them that I only read half of their posts?Back then they were sending three a day and I couldn’t read them all, I saved them in a ‘stigma fighters’ folder. I was going to read them……just to be supportive. Maybe it was my comments on the posts themselves, which I did to let the suffering writers know that I had ‘heard’ them, that someone was listening.
HERES THE GOOD STUFF
The best part of the story is this: I invited myself to write for bphope.com (Part of Bipolar Magazine). I sent two stories and was gently told it wasn’t what they were looking for. I was given the line about ‘we’ll keep your materials and next year..bla bla’ Well, I asked if I could submit again and this time it went well. I’m on a three month trial period of once a month and so far the editor is really nice and supportive.
MORE GOOD STUFF
I applied to another publication two months ago. I heard back a month ago from their content integrator and was given a thirty day deadline to write a story. I gave them two topic choices and they choose “Mindfulness.” I asked for their style manual and it had all this stuff about prepositions, non essential clauses and tautology, which is like saying the same thing twice in a sentence in different ways.
Examples of Tautology: “My first priority is” (it we say ‘first’ we know it’s a priority, right?)
“Depression casts a dark shadow over our perception.” (Well if it’s a shadow, we can presume it’s dark, right?)
The style manual was so above my paygrade that I googled ten English terms, reread Strunk and White and worked for three hours with my mom, going over every paragraph with a fine toothed comb.
We don’t know yet if they like it, and it was really hard upholding their style and grammatical standards and coming up with subheadings so that my topic could veer off course slightly, for example, going back in Mindfulness’s history all the way back to the first Buddists in 300 BC China.
It took at least thirty hours to write this story and it’s a paid position. I don’t yet know what the money is. I’ll let you know on that. It’s probably variable, depending on how you negotiate it and how much they value your work!