At least when the robots take over they will be much quicker in rejecting one of my stories…

Robot Editor

You know, seeing how we already have robots writing poetry and composing music, I assume we will soon have robots taking over as reviewers and editors, as well.

I yearn for that day…

You see, months and months ago — essentially an eternity in our hyper-paced, brain-frazzling, tele-connected, continually-morphing-right-before-our-eyes day and age — in an effort to enhance (establish?) my writing cred, I submitted a couple short stories to various literary journals in the hope that they will get selected to be published so that when I self-publish my short story collection I can add a highfalutin aside within the book’s front matter that gives a self-congratulatory thank you to these literary journals for their wisdom and insight in selecting my work to be published.

Can ya dig?

I bet you can…

As I’m sure you suspect, I subject myself to the subjective and contrary literary values of these human reviewers and editors because, just between you and me, I (like most other self-published authors I suspect) would like to someday be an unself-published author and be recognized as a “real writer” within the old slow (really, really slow) world of traditional publishing. (A good read on the question of whether one should self-publish or not can be found here.)

But man* let me tall ya that from all the brain-scattering hyperlinking/twittering/buzzfeeding** I’m now addicted to, I’ve become a very impatient man***, which is why back in 2011, after experiencing how long it took agent after agent to reject my highly exceptional queries (that, and because back then I wasn’t sure I would be of this world too much longer) I began all this ego-degrading self-publishing and self-marketing nonsense in the first place.

And which is why now, months and months after submitting my highly exceptional short stories to these good-fortuned literary journals I am getting extremely impatient with their less than expeditious responses and am once again beginning to rethink my strategy for literary fame and wealth, all of which is causing me to consider withdrawing my submissions and just go ahead and publish the damn short story collection minus the self-congratulatory front matter aside.

Big sigh


Off I go to my Submittable account for the third time this morning to see if the status of any of my submissions have magically changed to something other than “In-Progress.” At this point, I would celebrate even a status of “Declined” just so I can move on in certitude and vigor.

And, while I’m (over-)indulging in my self-inflicted publishing pain at Sumbittable, I invite you to indulge in a short piece of mine that was actually selected to be published by a highly respected (at least by me) though highly unknown independent publisher, and which can be found by click clicking right here.

Right on?

Yeah, write on…

*non-gender specific
**included for dramatic purposes only – I’ve never actually been on buzzfeed…no, really
***gender specific


28 Replies to “At least when the robots take over they will be much quicker in rejecting one of my stories…”

  1. I think it’s sort of like hiring someone to take your used car to the scrap yard and sell it for you. Agents are really salesmen, er, I mean sales persons. Really, unless you are famous or infamous and complications ensue around agreement on a publishing contract for the agent to play attorney and smooth out for you, they sell. The scrapyard wants a shiny BMW they can polish and detail and turn around for a nice profit. But mostly they get dented Fords that probably will sit on the lot out front with soaped numbers on the windshield that change downward as time moves on. And the agents tell us that offers on hundreds of crappy cars come to them every week. Too many to deal with and not a shiny BMW in the bunch, only that six year old Taurus now and then mixed in with all the “had to be pushed onto the lot” junkers. But we all think our writing is that BMW and send off to New York to the Ivy and near-Ivy League graduates sitting in tenth floor offices sifting through their three month backlog of e-mails and hitting the form rejection button or just ignoring it all. But alas, times change. Now anyone with a Dell or a Macbook can be their own car lot and put it all out there for good or no. And now that the price of gas has lowered and Kindle is paying by the page, well, we’ll all be in Armani and eating filet before you know it!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Kurt, Kurt, Kurt. Where do I begin?! Okay, agents. Not needed. Self publishing is no longer ‘inferior’ to traditional publishing; I’m vegetarian, but I’d kill that particular sacred cow right now! Let the readers make the judgements, not the editors [who often have an agenda if employed with publishing houses]. And behold the contempt that you have been treated with, Kurt, having to wait this length of time for feedback on your art. I guess the question is this: from whom, as writers, do we seek validation? Readers? Check. Ourselves? Check. As writers, we’re living in hugely exciting times; never has there been so, so much opportunity to make a good living from writing. And self publishing – or, as I call it, independent publishing is a fantastic movement and we should embrace it fully. I don’t see it as inferior to trad. publishing in any shape or form. It’s about mindset, essentially.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, three Kurts in one sentence – I must be in trouble. Rest assured, it’s all in good fun, my friend, as I don’t take this subject, or just about any subject – including and especially any subject pertaining to me – too seriously, if at all. That said, you offer some very sound advice, Robyn, Robyn, Robyn… :)


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