I offer this as a tale of perseverance.
Neil Clarke at Clarkesworld has accepted a story from me, which is my first original sale to them. They previously reprinted a piece that Gardner Dozois chose when he was working as their reprint editor (it was a story Gardner also included in his YEAR’S BEST anthology in 2010).
They have been using an online submission system since at least 2010 where I can view my submissions. I see that the story Neil is taking now is the 55th piece I’ve submitted to them. Many pieces made it to “round two” before being bounced.
I like to think of the submissions process as being a kind of pen pal arrangement. I’ve sent Neil 55 long, self-revelatory letters in the last 13 years. While his responses have been somewhat shorter, and a little repetitive , I have enjoyed our continued correspondence.
Almost all the other bounced stories found homes in other magazines. My submissions records at the major magazines who have taken pieces from me also contain WAY more “no” than “yes” replies.
That’s the case for most authors . . . except the late Mike Resnick who claimed during a panel at a WorldCon that he didn’t know what a rejection from ASIMOV’S looked like, so he couldn’t comment on its tone when asked.
This is my 190th short story sale since 1989.