Real-Time Rejection: The 6th Rejection of “Story X”

Rejection number six has arrived, kicking off the second half of the journey of “Story X.” Let’s have a look.

Dear Aeryn,

Thank you for showing us your fiction, but we’re going to pass on this particular submission. As writers, we know rejection can feel like a punch in the nose, but try not to be discouraged. This kind of decision is naturally arbitrary, and we’d be happy to see more of your work.

This rejection actually came in November 30th, but it somehow got caught up in my spam filter, and I didn’t discover it until last night. So this update isn’t as “real time” as the others.  Anyway, this is a form rejection, and I’m tempted to call it an improved form rejection because I’ve received personal feedback from this publisher in the past. I’ll let you decide. It’s a nice letter, regardless, and I appreciate the effort the editor has taken to soften the blow. I don’t often see this kind of encouragement in a form letter, so good on ya, publisher.

At this point,  I’ve sent “Story X” to most of my usual suspects, and it’s time to branch out a bit. I’ve already sent the story out to another publisher, one I haven’t tried before, and from the sample stories I’ve read, it might be a good fit for “Story X.”  This market does not accept sim-subs, so it’ll be another two months or so until the next update.

As far as my general feelings toward the story’s progress, I think there’s a decent chance it’ll sell before I hit ten rejections if I can get it in front of the right editor. (Easy, right?) That said, if “Story X” does get rejected ten times, ending the experiment, it’ll still be fun to share it on the blog and hear all your opinions, criticisms, mockery, and so on.

How have your submission adventures been going? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Previous Real-Time Rejection Posts

Intro: Real-Time Rejection: The Journey of “Story X”

Part 1: Real-Time Rejection: The 1st Rejection of “Story X”

Part 2: Real-Time Rejection: The 2nd Rejection of “Story X”

Part 3: Real-Time Rejection: The 3rd Rejection of “Story X”

Part 4: Real-Time Rejection: The 4th Rejection of “Story X”

Part 5: Real-Time Rejection: The 5th Rejection of “Story X”

6 thoughts on “Real-Time Rejection: The 6th Rejection of “Story X”

  1. Hi, Aeryn.

    Do you make changes to the story between rejections? I have a couple that have been sent back with comments (I specifically chose these markets because they tend to give personal rejections). The gist of both is nice, but needs more plot. So, I’m wondering if the stories need significant rewrites or I need to find markets that like subtler stories.

    • Michelle, it really depends on the story, the comments, and whether I agree with the comments. For example, I recently sold a story that went through significant revisions, largely based on feedback I received from editors. It had been rejected seven times before I sold it. Another story, which I sold a few months ago, I doggedly refused to revise because I thought it was good as is. That story was rejected A LOT, eleven times I think, before I found the right editor and publication.

      So, for your story, you gotta go with your gut. If the editors’ comments make sense to you and if you think they really could improve the story, then, yeah, I say go ahead and revise. If, however, you truly think it’s just a matter of submission targeting (and, in my opinion, it often is), then do a little more research on your markets and keep firing away. 😉

      • I guess there’s never a simple answer, is there 😉 Plus, there are so many markets, it takes time to find the ones you think may be a good fit.

        Congrats on your sales and good luck with Story X!

    • Thanks. Even if I don’t sell the story, I’ve enjoyed the process, and, hell, it’s made for excellent blog fodder. I’ll probably do it again, with “Story Y” or “Story XX” or something like that.

      Yeah, I’m not surprised at all that some of my rejection letters look pretty damn familiar to my fellow writers. 😉


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