How do you when you have submitted to the same editor one too many times? When Gmail has defaulted "Editor" to your chat list. Four weeks have passed since my submission to the NY Time's Modern Love column and I suspect I am probably not going to hear back from them. Or, I may just receive another one of these:
Dear Sarah Caouette,
I'm afraid we've chosen not to use your essay in Modern Love, but we appreciate the opportunity to consider it. The volume of unsolicited submissions we receive prevents us from responding personally to each writer, but please know all essays are read and considered, and in fact we discover most of the essays for the column among these submissions. Thank you for your interest and best of luck.
Modern Love editor
The New York Times
Yes, the specifically-formatted, apologetic, rejection letter. A letter that most writers, get very familiar with.
According to my mother, who also just submitted to the column a couple weeks ago, today's Modern Love was about "frozen sperm". We have a running joke that if its not about drug addiction, trans-genderism, beastiality, or abuse, it's just not interesting enough to make the cut for our beloved Sunday column. And if you think about it, the average profile of someone who reads this column, let alone the New York Times, probably can't relate to the obscure, isolated cases that the editors seem to favor for publishment. Maybe it has become a bit of a "pissing contest" for the out-of-the-ordinary, leaving little room for the truly, relatable relationships and stories, to compete.
I have one last pitch, then it is time for me to throw in the towel. But I will sit on this one for a while, really foster it, maybe push the boundary of absurdity a bit. You never know, maybe the column will be able to pull at the heart stings and inspire once again, acknowledging those with genuine passion and story-telling capabilities. Until then, we will continue to be entertained by meth-addicted, cross-dressers, who are obsessed with their pet parrots.
Today's Modern Love: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/06/fashion/06love.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=modern%20love&st=cse
RECOMMENDATION: My Heart Vs. The Real World, by Max S. Gerber
"a photo documentary volume that explores the lives of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) through striking black–and–white photographs and interviews with subjects and their families." - Cold Stone Harbor Laboratory Press