Bob Sorensen writes about...
I read Jerry’s recent editorial on rejection and agree with him completely. I felt compelled to add my two cents particularly since an editor mentioned was Stanley Schmidt at Analog. Mr. Schmidt typically sends me the best rejection letters I ever get: they are instructive, encouraging, and make clear exactly what he want to see in his magazine. And we all need to remember, it is his magazine. The simple fact is, issues of quality aside, even the best story may not be the best fit for a specific publication, and that is solely the decision of the editor.
Thank you, Bob. I feel compelled to add my farthing’s worth, too. Of course we’re all in agreement that a rejection notice doesn’t necesssarily mean that a story is baad; it may just not fit the scope of the publication. Analog does its thing, Asimov’s has its own bag, and the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction marches to its own drummer. But that has always raised questions in my mind. Those three magazines each have their own focus, but aren’t they somewhat... similar? One has to wonder: is that it?
Of course that’s not all there is, and that’s what led to the conception and founding of Bewildering Stories. We’ve proved time and again that truly exceptional writing exists outside the “big three.” And why is it outside? Because it’s a little too unconventional.
We seldom decline to publish a story simply because it doesn’t fit our editorial philosophy. Rather, we ask, “Is the story good enough that our readers ought to be interested?” Jerry and I will have more to say about that in an interview that Lewayne L. White has volunteered to conduct. It will appear as a special feature in the Second Quarterly Review.
The only thing I regret is that a rejection notice from Bewildering Stories gives authors more feedback than an acceptance does. Once a story appears, that’s when the readers have a vital role to play, and we give them opportunity aplenty.
Copyright © 2006 by Bob Sorensen
and Bewildering Stories