An entertaining follow up to my own little rejection story from the other day. David Cameron runs an entirely unscientific (and borderline unethical) experiment with stories published in The New Yorker:
It began as the kind of logical argument that seems airtight to anyone who has never studied logic.
If the New Yorker is the most desirable literary magazine in the world, and if the New Yorker can have any short story the New Yorker wants, then whatever story the New Yorker gets would—logically—be so intrinsically desirable that all lesser literary pubs (e.g., everyone) would pine for it. Just like the prettiest girl at the dance: the guy she picks is the guy chicks dig. Basic deduction 101.
He grabs a New Yorker published short story, rebadges it under a fictional author name, and starts submitting it to various magazines. I'm guessing most of you can guess what we're about to find out: that publishing is often luck of the draw.
Dear reader, every single one of these journals rejected my poor New Yorker story with the same boilerplate “good luck placing your work elsewhere” auto-text that has put the lid on my own sorry submissions. Not a single personal pleasantry. What’s more, the timeframes tracked perfectly. For example, if the Beavercreek Fucknut Bulletin (not a real journal, but representative) generally takes thirty days to relegate my stuff to the recycle bin, then ourNew Yorker story—which must have been thoroughly confused at this point—fared no better.
Read the rest of his experience here: http://www.thereviewreview.net/publishing-tips/new-yorker-rejects-itself-quasi-scientific-a