A Different Kind of Rejection


Mary Rosenblum at the Long Ridge Writers Group is having us track our submissions to see who can be the most productive. Well, I’m never going to win that one—I have plenty of ideas, but not enough time to bring them to fruition—but the effort has been good for me. I’ve been far more proactive about submissions. So far I’ve averaged a 50% acceptance rate, which I think is pretty darned good.


One of my new branches is devotionals. I have half a dozen ideas rattling around, but I don’t want to waste time writing them in the wrong style, so I’ve been waiting to get a good feel for the market. On Friday, I exchanged emails with an editor about one magazine’s process, which involves a screening for writing skills—and, apparently, for denominational affiliation. I got a polite, but firm, email back stating that Catholics are not allowed to write for his publication.


Of course, my first thought was: anti-Catholicism rears its ugly head. Beyond that, I was irritated by the assumption that because I am Catholic, I can’t possibly write anything of value to a non-Catholic audience. If I really thought I was incapable, I wouldn’t have bothered querying.


Besides, it’s hard enough to be a true Christian in this world without Christians turning on each other.


Then I tried to put myself in the editor’s shoes, and after forty-eight hours, I have gained some perspective. I suppose it’s reasonable that a denominational publication (of which my church has many) to include only, or mostly, writings from within its membership. After all, who can understand a Baptist better than a Baptist, a Lutheran better than a Lutheran? On the other hand, if that’s where they are coming from, they ought to give that information to the writer’s market books, instead of presenting themselves as open to writers of all faiths.


Or maybe it’s just Catholics who are anathema?