An Unusual Rejection

I recently received the kind of rejection that I always want to get – one that explains why the piece was rejected. but sometimes getting what you wish for is well… read on.

I submitted my story “Intelligent Design” to a well-known journal. I thought it might be a good fit because they’re not afraid to take things that are more than a little strange, and “intelligent Design” is, admittedly, not for everyone. It’s the story of a reknowned physicist, Gerry Landis, who befriends an alien, a Sirian to be precise. Sirians are millions of years ahead of humans technologically, and as Gerry finds out, they also have strong ties to us. The story takes some surprising twists, and I think the last of those twists was too much for the folks at this journal.  Here’s their rejection message:

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to consider this one. On the first read we thought it was really weird, funny, and appealing, but by the third round we were beginning to think this one read too much like a script treatment for American Dad.
Good luck placing it elsewhere.

First of all, I do appreciate being told WHY it was rejected. Thanks for that! But, really, I’d never even watched an episode of American Dad, though I did after receiving this. I’m still a little befuddled about how this story could be related to that very popular television program, and why reminding people of a popular show is a bad thing, but, hey, it’s not my magazine!

Anyway, now I’ve got another thing to worry about – being sure my stories aren’t going to remind editors of any of the hundreds of popular shows, past and present, out there! I’ve reworked the ending, the part I suspect reminded them of American Dad, and sent it off somewhere else. We’ll see…

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