Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Re-submitting your short stories

Last year, I did a post on submitting your short story. But I didn’t touch upon the fact that after all the hard work of following the guidelines, you’ll still receive rejections. Any writer who has tested the waters knows the bit on rejections. Eventually, you’ll be able to wallpaper your house with them.

Earlier in the year, I posted on rejection. Having your work rejected is part of being a writer. Become accustom to it and grow from it.

So, your story has been rejected, now what? Send it back out. It’s important to keep your short stories in the loop. In most cases, there’s nothing wrong with your story. It just didn’t fit the editor’s needs or wants.

How many times do you send your story out before giving up? If you’re sure there’s nothing wrong with the story itself, don’t give up. If you feel there may be an issue, have a few writers critique it for you. See what other writers think, do some editing, and send it back out. Don’t do this with every rejection though. There’s always room for improvement, but you don’t want to spend all your time working with the same story.

My story, Friends Forever, went through five markets before being picked up, with no revisions between markets. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the right editor for your work.

I’ve submitted my short story, The Sacrifice, eight times. I’ve received form rejections and personal rejections. Each personal rejection has given different reasons, but a common reason is lack of conflict. The story may need to be revisited, but I’m convinced I haven’t hit the right market. The conflict is low, but it is there. The Sacrifice is a fairy tale about a young girl’s journey to save her sister. From my market search, fairy tales are a hard sale, but I’ll continue trying to find a home for my story.

How many times do you need to be rejected before you revisit your story? What’s the highest number of rejections you’ve had before finding the right market for your story?


Terry W. Ervin II said...

It's not very often that I revisit stories. Usually I'm too busy writing something new. Off hand I don't recall how many times would be the most that I've had a story rejected before it found a home, but I would guess maybe 8.

If I were to get comments from editors that were similar, mentioning a flaw or weakness, it'd be something I'd consider strongly before sending it out again. But again, the final decision maker for altering a story before resubmitting is the author. Or that's how I see it.

Cher Green said...

Terry, Thanks for dropping by. I agree with your comment.

E.D. said...

Great post - I completely agree. I have received two rejections for a short story I absolutely love (and because it received an Honorable Mention in last years WD Competition I might actually be right), so I continue to submit.

Cher Green said...

ED, thanks for commenting. Yes, it's a matter of finding the right editor and market. Sometimes you may both of these and just not hit them at the right time. The issue may be full. It's very frustrating really.

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