I originally wrote Feast as a submission to a Biblical Horror anthology open call in 2008. I spent a week googling Bible passages and looking for something suitably horrific. I ignored all the SO's suggestions and found a section in Kings II that called my name. So I expanded it, added a spec fic twist, and sent the bugger in.
And got rejected. The total text of my rejection was "Thanks. I'm going to pass on this one. Good luck."
I was so depressed. I thought it was a fantastic story. This was only the second short story I'd submitted post-pirate-antho publishing streak. And, like the story before it, it got rejected. So, apparently my luck ran to getting published by invite anthologies, not open calls. Still, Viable Paradise taught me a few things and I buckled down, did a little rewriting, and-per a promise made to Uncle Jim (James MacDonald, author and VP instructor)-resolved to keep throwing it at publishers "Till Hell Won't Have It."
I finally got a nibble back in 2010 from Spectra Magazine. Sadly, they and I could not come to an agreement on the contract terms. It was a horrid contract, really, attempting to steal every one of my rights AND hold me monetarily accountable for any legal action arising from publication of my story. Not legal action arising out of false claims of rights ownership, ANY legal action at all. Which would include someone potentially suing out of religious indignation. It was the first time I rejected an offer of publication and it broke my heart. I didn't think Feast would ever get published.
Still, keeping my VP oath in mind, I kept at it and received an acceptance from Buzzy in the last half of 2011, predicated on my agreement to make edits and fix the ending. My Buzzy editor helped me figure out how to fix my story up to Buzzy standards without losing the tale I love so much and last week she sent it up the chain. Today, I got my final acceptance and I'm thrilled to say that Feast of the Torn will be published sometime in 2012.
Buzzy Magazine is a new webzine that has not yet gone live. But as soon as I have release dates, I'm going to be crowing my victory across the web. Four years is a long time to wait for publication, but it's just proof that persistence pays off. Rejection is not the end of the road. Just the beginning.