Disappointment is buying a paperback copy of a gorgeous anthology you believe contains one of your stories, tearing open the package and turning the book over to look at the back cover, where all the contributors names are listed and not finding your own. Disappointment is opening the book and running trembling fingers down the table of contents, scanning for your name, the name of your story and finding nothing. Which is precisely what happened to me a couple weeks ago.
Disappointment sucks. It sucks so much that I decided I needed to take a step back before I blogged about it, because I didn’t want this to turn into a rant or some such thing. I’m not sure what the point of it is, actually, except perhaps catharsis.
A couple years ago one of my stories was accepted for inclusion in the aforementioned anthology. Full disclosure: I never signed a contract. As it was a non-paying market I wasn’t completely surprised by that, lots of small markets (especially ones who don’t pay) don’t seem to have contracts. Anyway, I digress.
I assumed, weirdly enough, that my story, which was accepted to the anthology, was included in the anthology. I blogged about the publication, I added it to my list of Publications on my website and I, eventually, picked up a copy of the book to add it to my ego shelf.
So, not only was my story not included, but I spent money to find that out. Not loads of money, but that’s hardly the point, is it?
Now, to be fair, the story that was accepted isn’t my finest. In fact, if it hadn’t made it into that anthology it would have been trunked, but since it was accepted into the anthology… *sigh*
Anyway. I wouldn’t have been super disappointed if the editors had dropped me an email to say ‘Hey, sorry but we’re not going to include this story after all.’ But they didn’t.
I don’t know if my story being left out was an oversight (the production didn’t seem super organised) or intentional, but either way? It fucking sucks.
All it would have taken was an email, ya know?
Anyway, since it wasn’t actually accepted elsewhere and because I’m feeling particularly… somethingy (defiant, maybe?) today, here’s the story that got unaccepted to an anthology: