Wooing Brevity

May 16, 2014 § 6 Comments

imagesSandra Gail Lambert, author of the recent Brevity essay “Poster Children,” talks about the long process of wooing Brevity‘s fickle editors:

It all began with a piece called “Horror in the Okefenokee” which I thought was irresistibly funny what with that part about my butt looking like a bad comb over.  Brevity didn’t laugh, and in 2006 our relationship began with a straight out rejection.  I was undeterred and in 2007 submitted again – this time with an essay immersed in loneliness and exhaustion.  My angst was rejected.  What the heck did these people want?  It wasn’t until 2010, after dallying with other journals and taking a few writing classes, that I wooed Brevity again.  And this time my essay “made the final rounds.”  I imagined a future for us.  I saw our names printed together in Helvetica, sometimes in Trebuchet.  2011 – another “made the final rounds” rejection just made me impatient.  When was Brevity going accept our shared destiny?  Then in 2012 I received the best rejection ever.  It had editorial advice.  It said I could resubmit.  No one getting dressed for a first date dithered more than I did on that essay.  I pulled out sentences and left them spread out at the bottom of the page.  I rearranged paragraphs.  I put sentences back in but with the phrases reversed.  And in 2013, after seven years of pursuit, the e-mail said “yes I said yes I will Yes.”  (Okay, maybe that was just in my mind, but it did have “yes” in there somewhere.)

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