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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bitterness, Bitterness, Bitterness. But a Happy Last Realization: Elie Wiesel and Me

Let me see if I can set this scene. I come home and find a message on the phone. It is the editor of telling me that they love my story, One More Victim and want to publish it in their online journal, but I have not responded to their emails.

What? I sort of remember submitting that novella to a Jewish publication because the Holocaust is a critical element in the story, and it is classified as world literature Jewish in Amazon.

Long ago, I stopped keeping track of where I submit stories. Takes so long to hear back, and usually it's a rejection. Why bother? And was this publication worth it anyway? I go online and check them out. Holy Crap. Their latest issue has a piece by Holocaust survivor and Nobel winner Elie Wiesel! I could have a story in a journal that published Elie Wiesel?

I check my spam folder. Sure enough, there it is. Email saying they love the story and want to publish it, and here is the attachment with the contract.

Download contract. Read same. No pay. That's okay. But, oh, oh. Can't have been published in English in any other format. And I just have in my hand a paperback POD of the story that is the title work of a collection that contains it, another novella, and three short stories. AND it has been epublished for many months now. It even had broken through the 100 top paid downloads for Jewish literature a couple of times.

So I email back, explain, offer to unpublish from the internet. Guess what? They don't want it anymore because it's been epublished. Won't bend the rules. Even though they were offering no payment for publication. Deprive their readership of s story they loved just because I had epublished it! Bitterness, bitterness! To have been able to say I was published in the same online journal as Elie Wiesel! What an honor that would have been.

Wait a minute. I can say, with complete honesty: the same journal that published Wiesel, accepted One More Victim for publication. That feels very good, indeed, even with the bitterness. As one of my favorite authors used to say: "So goes it."

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