Cold Hard Dis
My McSweeney’s list submission got turned down, which bummed me out a whole lot more than it should have. The rejection email wasn’t even from Mr. Eggers himself (not that it really would have mattered).
However, the email was very nice, and said, “I’m sorry to say it isn’t for McSweeney’s, and unfortunately, with these lists, it’s always hard to say why they don’t work.” Valid point. It went on to offer suggestions for the sort of writing they were looking for, including, “Writing that is flat-out good, not writing that you think McSweeney’s will like because it’s writing that bears a strong resemblance to something that’s already appeared in or on McSweeney’s.” This I find a little suspect, but what are you going to do? I wrote my piece and then thought it seemed McSweeney’s listish, not the other way around. Although I have to question the published list that was merely someone’s last name put in spellcheck.
I think what really bummed me out was reading the last suggestion, which read, “Tight, descriptive, well-told pieces from people traveling. Or just writing about specific places. Not travel writing necessarily and not what I did last summer, more like, say, So-and-So: A Letter from Sumatra, in which someone who happens to be in Sumatra for something or other writes an engaging piece about some event she saw or took part in while there. The place needn’t be all that exotic.”
Off the top of my head, I have no idea where Sumatra is.
I am a tiny little person, a tiny pathetic little person who has no business even inquiring about joining the ranks of the cool kids of my generation who are involved with cool magazines! Sumatra! God, do I ever suck.
I do have excellent handwriting, though.