This never happens. I’ve recently had two pieces accepted for publication that I’ve had to withdraw from submission elsewhere and two other magazines said they were just about to accept them themselves!
When my strange hybrid flash “Fyodor Translates Edgar Translates the Universe” was accepted by THREADCOUNT (a very cool magazine which features hybrid work) and I withdrew it from other journals, 580 SPLIT said they’d been ready to take it: “We also thought the piece was splendid.” (They're a great magazine at Mills College. I hope they remember me when they open for submissions again.)
And when my creative nonfiction essay “Long Distance” was accepted by UNDER THE GUM TREE (a beautifully produced art and creative nonfiction magazine where I’ve appeared before), SUPERSTITION REVIEW wrote that they’d just been about to accept it. SUPERSTITION REVIEW! One of my bucket list literary journals. There’s a happy end to the story. Their editor asked if I had something else to send, and I did, and they accepted my creative nonfiction essay “Fireflies” the next day. I’m so excited. SUPERSTITION REVIEW!
It feels like I’ve had a lot of rejections this winter, especially of creative nonfiction, making my surprising run of good fortune particularly welcome. (A lot of rejections. Three long essays, still unplaced, have been seeking homes forever. To add up all the rejections would be too depressing.)
So now I have three publications coming out in three great literary journals this spring, as well as a poem(?!!) and an essay in two anthologies. More when they arrive.