Heard back already
It’s my first rejection notice, and I more or less expected it. They wanted up to 4000 words and I couldn’t get below 4700, which I submitted hoping it was a soft (even squishy) limit of 4000. The original length of the story was about 7250, so to keep it coherent after lopping 2500 words off was a major accomplishment, I think — to say nothing about being educational.
But fundamentally, I failed to meet their criteria, and that’s my fault. I emailed him back a thank you.
So the lesson of today is that I can submit my work for professional consideration and not die. And that I can take a rejection notice non-personally.
Kinda feels like I’ve successfully passed the first phase of a long, slow hazing process, and in a way that feels promising.