Monday, January 31, 2011


In honor of my first rejection of the year, let's talk about Rejection.

How to avoid rejection: Write a good story, edit your work, and format correctly to guidelines.

How to prepare for rejection: Expect it. The chance of rejection is far more likely than an acceptance.

How to benefit from a rejection: A rejection is not a bad thing. Editors have a multitude of stories to go through, and it shouldn't take you by surprise when you receive one. The important thing is to benefit from it.

Different types of rejections:

The dreaded form rejection: Sadly, we regret to inform you that we are declining acceptance at this time. Good luck in placing this submission elsewhere.

You picked the wrong market rejection: Thank you for your story to our magazine, but unfortunately it isn't quite right for us. We hope that you continue trying, however, and look forward to many more submissions.

The personal rejection: Unfortunately, we must decline acceptance at this time. While the editors felt there was some nice description, the piece did not feel complete. But thanks for your interest in our magazine, and best of luck in placing your work with other markets.

The delayed outcome: Your story has moved to the next stage.

The acceptance letter: Congratulations, your story has been accepted for publication.

How to benefit: Rejection - send your story back out, unless otherwise noted by editor.

There is one other type of letter you may receive, but I do not have a sample of such letter. In some cases, the editor will ask for a revised version of the story.

In case of acceptance: Throw a party!

Feel free to share your experiences in the publishing world and share advice to other writers.


Terry W. Ervin II said...

Rejections are never fun. Have you ever noticed and/orfound it interesting to see how some markets attempt to make their form rejection letters appear more personal?

Some writers might find it sinister, but I see it as is polite, professional and helps some insecure writers move forward.

The sad truth is that some markets get so many submissions to consider that more than a very small percentage of personal rejections would constitute a major time investment. And in the end, writing is a business, where time is a factor in getting works read/contracted/edited/published and the magazine marketed, etc.

Good luck with the next effort for this story, Cher!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are handling your first rejection of the year quite well. Kudos to you! Have you since resubmitted the story to another market or are you doing some revisions? Thanks, Cher, for a great post!

Anonymous said...


Yes. I've noticed. I now only consider it a personal rejection if it makes specific comments about the story itself, which this last rejection did.

Anonymous said...


The rejection suggested lengthening the story to make it a more unique. It mentioned they had way too many serial killer stories. It's a 1300 word story. I may lengthen it in the future. But for now, I sent it out for another try at "Dark Valentine".

Unknown said...

This post was good for me because all I've had so far this year are FOUR whopping rejections! Ouch!

Anonymous said...

Aubrie, sorry to hear that. I'm on number two. Lol, sure to catch up to you soon.

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