Rejected from The Magazine

A few weeks ago I put the finishing touches on A Crying Shame. Rather than posting the article here though I submitted it to Marco Arment’s The Magazine for consideration in a future issue, hoping to one day open the app and find my own words alongside the work of those I hold in high esteem. Within a few days I received a brief response from The Magazine’s executive editor Glenn Fleishman requesting more information, and I sent him the entire piece. Bolstered by his apparent interest my confidence ran high during the ensuing weeks. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

Late last week, as the temperature continued to drop outside my hotel room on a characteristically cold Duluth night, my phone vibrated. Slightly apprehensive, I opened my email to find another brief message. Stripping the obligatory courtesies out, Glenn Fleishman’s email rejecting my article from The Magazine read as follows:

“We’re looking for work that’s less philosophical and 10,000-foot view and more rooted in narrative: a good beginning, middle, and end with growth along the way.”

To say I was crushed would be a vast overstatement: the possibility of such a turn of events had always existed in my mind, and the rejection did not come as a particular surprise; to say that I was disappointed, however, would be an understatement. I was not so much disappointed that my piece had been rejected though, but because I expected so much more from The Magazine: I expected to walk away from this experience, regardless of the outcome, inspired to create better content more often; instead, I found a publication imposing the same restrictions my teachers force me to adhere to. This shining example of what I once considered real writing — the important writing, the stuff that actually mattered — had suddenly performed an about-face, turned to me, and shoved the same criteria my English teachers force upon me in my face; and I recoiled violently, disappointed and disgusted.