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The Three-Minute Rejection

 01.21.16 -- Call the Guinness people! I think I just set a world record by having a freelance story proposal rejected in three minutes.
            As a writer, I have vast experience with rejections. Over the years, my book manuscripts, movie scripts, short stories, kids’ tales, article ideas and other queries have been shot down by hundreds of publishers, editors and agents via personal notes, form letters or postcards, email and simple non-responses. Usually they take weeks at the least, on rare occasions a few days, but never minutes.
            However, that all changed when I queried You&Me Magazine, a Web-based entity dedicated to posting the “most compelling stories about the human side of any kind of medical condition.” I thought the story of how an alternative healer helped my son recover from an acute asthma attack that had baffled mainstream docs would be right up their alley, and I had it mostly written from a testimonial I’d penned for the healer a decade ago.
            I spent about an hour transforming the testimonial into a gripping narrative and another 15 minutes composing a query email, including an excerpt from the piece, as requested, that ran about 500 words. I sent it off at 11:39 a.m., figuring if they took the bait it was an easy $200. I then went to the kitchen and fixed myself a bowl of cereal, which I brought back to my desk in my home office. Lo and behold, a missive from You&Me editor EW Oates was already awaiting me.
            “Hi Mr.Greenberg,” it said. “Thank you for considering our magazine for your work. Unfortunately we cannot use your queried submission but we do appreciate your taking the time and effort to get in touch with us.”
            It was sent at 11:42 a.m. The fact that it was not a robo-reply makes the feat even more remarkable. EW Oates was able to receive, process and personally respond to my query in under three minutes. So I’ve managed to take rejection to a new level. Although I must admit my marketing skills may need a little fine-tuning, it feels good to be best at something. Let's call the folks at Guinness. What's the worst they can do?

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