That’s right, you all know what this image means…we got a rejection letter…yay! (note sarcasm)

The first of the eight that went out has come back with a “thanks but no thanks”.  I’m disappointed that this didn’t work out because I continue to really like this story and this is (I think) its third rejection.

I feel like that means I should take it back to the drawing board, but as discussed previously, I was aiming a bit high last year, and even the people that rejected it this year are pretty difficult to crack, so maybe it’s just not a story that can crack that larger market?  I think I’ll send it out one more time and if it comes back I’ll send it to revision hell.

On the upside (we must always find an upside) they got back to me very quickly which is always great because then you can put stories back into circulation quickly.

Updated Stats (for those of you keeping score): 1 of 8 rejected, 7 still out there working their magic.


  1. Shannon’s avatar

    Isn’t there some weird protocol about sending out stories to publishing companies? I remember Heili was telling me something about this when she was trying to get her book published… something about you can only send one at a time, and it takes forever if they don’t get right back to you?

    I think it’s funny though, when I see some of the crap that gets published out there. It makes me wonder what was the factor in choosing it? Was it that it’s Jessica Simpson’s mother’s sister’s autobiography?

  2. 1979semifinalist’s avatar

    Shannon: Yeah, unfortunately almost every different magazine has different rules…so it takes forever to research each of them and not only decide which publication might be a good fit for the story but also which rules you have to follow.

    Some have specific rules about how they want the document formatted, some only accept online submissions, some only accept by mail, some insist on a cover letter, some hate and will throw away your submission if accompanied by a cover letter, some accept simultaneous submissions to other magazines (as long as you note it) and others absolutely will not.

    It’s a nightmare of a game to play. A few of my eight stories went to places that accept simultaneous submissions, but I have not submitted any of my pieces simultaneously (yet).

    This, three week turnaround for a rejection is one of the fastest I’ve received. I think the longest I’ve waited to hear on a story (a rejection) was about six months, however, my one acceptance came very late as well – I think I submitted in April of 2006, was accepted in late July of 2006 and wasn’t published until Winter 2007. So short fiction is a LONG not particularly lucrative process. Most people do it because they love short fiction and can’t help themselves, because it’s pretty unpleasant overall.

    Heili is probably submitting query letters to agents/publishers for her novel, which is a little different, but equally frustrating in that everyone still has different rules and requirements.

    When I submitted queries for my novel in 2007 I submitted a few one at a time (one guy got back to me right away and two NEVER responded – ever – not even to say NO – which is infuriating), after the experience with those two I sent out five at the same time.

    Most agents understand how long the process is and know they won’t be the only ones getting queried for your project – but many still don’t accept ss (simultaneous submissions) of queries OR materials.

    Children’s Literature is a little different and not my forte, but as Heili and I have discussed a million times, she has not submitted enough. You can’t even think about giving up until you have like 100 rejections (you still can’t then – but that’s my bar for maybe you can pause and re-evaluate your work). I got three rejections on partials and based on the insightful agent comments I decided to rework my book – hopefully I’ll be starting the query process again next week. I push Heili all the time to start submitting her book again as I think it’s a great potential project.

    There is A LOT of published crap out there. I’m thinking very specifically of something that begins in Twi and ends in light and has made MILLIONS. If this is published why am I not published? Is the eternal cry of writers everywhere – sometimes valid…sometimes not :)

Comments are now closed.