September 2015 Rejection Roundup

Some of you are probably wondering, “Where are all the rejections on this rejection blog?” It’s a fair question, and the truth is I haven’t received many lately. That’s not for lack of submissions, though. I have a bunch under consideration, but the majority of the publications doing the considering have response times in excess of 60 days. So, in other words, the rejections are coming, likely including a few for Story X (if you’re not following the gripping saga of Story X, click here).

However, I did receive a few rejections in September, and I have listed them below in all their shameful glory for your pleasure/edification/mockery.

Here’s the first one.

Thank you for the opportunity to read “XXX.” Unfortunately, your story isn’t quite what we’re looking for right now. In the past, we’ve provided detailed feedback on our rejections, but I’m afraid that due to time considerations, we’re no longer able to offer that service. I appreciate your interest in XXX and hope that you’ll keep us in mind in the future.

I’ve seen this rejection letter verbatim from this particular publisher a bunch of times, and I’ll bet a few of you will recognize it as well. They’re one of the more prestigious pro-paying genre markets, and they have one of the fastest turn-around times of any publisher I’ve encountered—usually under a week.

I’m tempted to call this one an improved form rejection letter because of the subtle invite to submit more work, but if I’m being honest with myself (which I fucking hate doing), this is a common form rejection. I could be wrong, but I think the “keep us in mind in the future” bit is just part of their basic letter, a nicer way to say no.

Okay, here’s the next one.

Thank you for submitting “XXX” for consideration. I was glad to have the opportunity to read it. Unfortunately, the story isn’t quite what we’re looking for at this time.

Thanks again for submitting “XXX”. I wish you the best of luck in finding a home for it.

What we have here is a sterling example of the common form rejection. This is about as garden-variety as it gets, so not much to see here.

Moving on.

Thank you for submitting “XXX” to us.  We have given it careful review, but I am sorry to inform you that we will not be selecting it for our next issue.

I sincerely appreciate you letting me read your work, and I wish you the best of luck in finding another market for this story.  I hope that you will consider submitting to us again.  

This one is from a new publisher, and as such, this was the first story I’d set them. I liked a number of things about this fledgling publisher. One, they’re a paying market right out of the gate. Not pro-rates yet, but solid semi-pro. Two, they were easy to submit to, asking for a simple Word doc submitted in Shunn format via email attachment. Three, they responded quickly–under two weeks. Finally, this is a really nice rejection letter. It pulls the Band-Aid off quick, and it’s very polite and professional. But what kind of rejection letter do we have here? Common or improved form rejection? Since this is the first time I’ve submitted to this publisher, I’m gonna go ahead and say improved and submit again. Now, if I get the same letter verbatim after my next submission, I’ll downgrade this to a common form rejection.

So, that was my September of rejections. Sadly, no acceptances last month, but October looks like it’s gonna be chocked full of activity. I’ve got about a dozen submissions marinating with various publishers, and a lot of them are getting close to or have exceeded the estimated response time. In other words, I’ll probably have more rejections to talk about very soon. Stay tuned!

How was your September? Acceptances? Rejections? Tell me about it in the comments.

6 Comments on “September 2015 Rejection Roundup

    • Absolutely. Some of these publishers are reviewing hundreds of submissions every month, so form letters are no surprise.

  1. I’m with you. I got my very first rejections this past week–I’m trying to be as cavalier about them as you are 🙂 Glad I found your blog.

    • Hi, Karen. I’m only cavalier to hide the pain. 😉

      But, yeah, they do start to lose their sting after the first hundred or so. 🙂

  2. Four acceptances, representing work in three different genres, and, surprisingly, no rejections in September. Two stories went to the top publications in their genre. The other two stories went to low-end publications in their genres.

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