the Latest Failure

Received a letter today from the Crab Orchard Review. And I don’t know how to take it. Well, I’ll put it this way: Years ago I received a rejection notice from a publication I can’t remember the name of and the letter was hand written from the editor. The letter pointed out strengths and weaknesses of the document and suggested I keep in touch and return my work. That was a failed connection on my part. But Will Hochman–my teacher and mentor at the time–assured me this was a win and not a failure. He assured me that is as much as you can get in place of a publication.

Anyway, today I received a letter signed ‘the editors’ from the Crab Orchard Review with the suggestion  I consider their publication in the future–perhaps in March for their new publication and for their fiction prize. This was a clear rejection–nicely worded and friendly–and still a fail. Yet I find hope in the comments on the page. I also know I did not insert a self-addressed stamp envelope because, well, I forgot. So they did take one step out of their way to send me a letter.

So I guess I am saying this might be a small win. Or am I just getting more open to failure–or the heuristic of failure as Will Hochman would say. Learning to read and learn from failure more closely than before.

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john paul jaramillo

John Paul Jaramillo’s debut story collection The House of Order was named a 2013 Int’l Latino Book Award Finalist, and his most recent work Little Mocos is now available from Twelve Winters Press. In 2013 Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature listed Jaramillo as one of its Top 10 New Latino Authors to Watch and Read. He is currently a professor of composition and literature at Lincoln Land College-Springfield, Illinois.

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