It was actually sort of encouraging:
Thank you for submitting “The Demon in the Mask” to *****. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite meet the needs of our *****.
It’s an engaging story, with a satisfying arc, but we feel that it falls more within the realm of Fantasy than Horror.
Thanks for submitting, and best wishes for you and your work.
Still getting that “always the bridesmaid” feeling.
Rabbi Zelig Pliskin – Found at the website promoting the book “The Light From Zion.”
Be resolved for the next two weeks to thank anyone who criticizes you.
Visualize yourself being able to do this with a sense of inner joy. Since you’re mentally prepared to do this, it will be much easier to implement.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Self Knowledge, pp.184-6.
I suppose this one is good for me today, since when I checked my emails a little earlier, I found two rejections of my submitted short stories, one from a Christian speculative fiction magazine. That brings me up to about thirteen, including two stories that were rejected twice. The other periodical said that they had received more than 400 submissions, so I guess competition is pretty stiff out there. Well, at least people are reading my works before saying “No.” I love Rabbi Zelig’s commentaries, but I must say they aren’t always easy to accomplish.
Screen capture of my latest rejection notice
This is what I came home to after a long and miserable work week yesterday. Oy.
On the other hand, it’s very polite and didn’t actually say my writing sucked, plus the editor was encouraging in inviting me to submit to them again.
I realized that all of the stories that have been rejected (three stories and four rejections, one tale was rejected twice) are still “in play” in the Authoring directory on my PC’s hard drive, so I created a separate “rejection” folder for them. I’ll probably rename it when I feel better about it, since it means these stories are once more available to submit.
Veteran science fiction author Steven Barnes on his blog sometimes gives out advice to struggling writers, and one piece of advice is don’t re-edit a story unless a publisher specifically requests it. So I probably (for now) won’t change any of the stories that have been sent back to me.
Found at “The Zweig Letter” – no image credit listed
[Story Title] was well received here, but we have decided it’s not quite what we’re looking for in the [name of publication/anthology]. Thanks for submitting it to us, and best of luck with finding a good market for it.
[Name of Editor]
Thank you for sending us [Story Title]. We appreciate the chance to review it. Unfortunately, the piece is not for us. Best of luck finding it a home elsewhere.
Things you might consider: The character is nice. The concept is familiar, but here there’s no real explanation of what happens. The backstory comes as something of an infodump.
[Name of Editor]
I’ve submitted eight short stories to various anthologies and periodicals during the month of April. The two quotes from above were emails I received from two separate sources rejecting…the same story.
That’s right. The same exact story was rejected twice within 24 hours.
To be fair, after I submitted it the first time, I waited weeks, and the response was actually very timely. I was waiting for a rejection of something. If you’re an author and you are sending in stories in response to an open submission, either it will be accepted or rejected. Rejection is inevitable.
I recently submitted an original story (one that hasn’t appeared on this blog) to a website that publishes flash fiction of a thousand words or less. Wow! Less than a thousand words for an entire story. That was a challenge.
I took a creative writing class in high school (back at the dawn of time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth), and we called those kinds of stories “short shorts”. You start writing a story as close to the ending as possible.
Anyway, I cranked out my story and it came out to just a few words shy of a thousand in the final draft.
I’ve noticed that when I write something for (potential) publication on another person’s site, I really have to go over the story again and again to shake out all the flaws. I’m a tad more lax when I’m posting my wee tales here on “Robots,” probably because I’m impatient and hey — I’m the site owner. I just want to write and press the “Publish” button.
So, I went over “Killing Juliet” repeatedly until I thought I had it in really good shape. Then I followed the publication instructions laid out on the publishing site I had found and sent it in.
Part of the instructions said it would take up to thirty days for a response, so I figured I wouldn’t hear back from anyone until the end of August.
When I woke up this morning, I was surprised to see an email from the publisher. Basically it was “interesting concept but not a good fit for us.”
I clicked “Reply,” typed the one word response “thanks,” and hit “Send.”
But I couldn’t leave it alone.