After waiting for 70 days with bated breath, a rejection from Fireside came for me at the end of June:
Thank you for sending us “Malebolge”. Your story reached the highest level of consideration, but we’ve decided not to accept it. We’d love to see more stories from you in the future.
Thanks again. Best of luck with this.
Fireside Fiction Company ”
Not exactly what I had in mind to end the month. I know we writers flounder in the sea of rejection all the time, and all you can do is suck it up and keep going…but not gonna lie, this one hit pretty hard. I had my hopes up, a side effect of the long wait. “Malebolge” is an Own Voices story, so it couldn’t help feeling personal. What takes the sting out of this a bit was that I didn’t do too shabby for a 1st time submitter to Fireside, I suppose. Landing a pro sale from Fireside would have been a really awesome milestone, though at least I fulfilled my goal of getting a story within their 4k word limit: a big challenge for me, considering most of my work runs over that. Can’t mix up my goals and milestones! I’m grateful for my friends and followers on Twitter for supporting me and soothing my bruised feels after this news.
I keep getting these second round/close call rejections, those “we really like this because of x, but…” and I’m trying to figure out just what is that push to get me from a no to a yes.
I won’t give up on this story; I’m quite proud of it and though I haven’t written original stories for that long, I feel that this is my best to date. I’m excited to see what other stories I can come up with, hopefully ones I’d feel good about like with “Malebolge.”