November 2015 Rejection Roundup

November 2015 is in the rearview mirror, so it’s time to round up all the “we’re going to pass’s” and “not for us’s” for your viewing pleasure. This time, however, I’m gonna throw in some positive reinforcement and show you the other letters I received in November as well.

Rejections first, though. I mean, this blog isn’t called Acceptomancy, right?

Rejection 1: 11/13/15

Thank you very much for submitting “XXX” to us. It’s an interesting story, but it didn’t quite come together for us and we’ve decided to pass on it.

We appreciate your interest in XXX; thanks again for giving us the chance to look at your story.

What we have here is a fairly good example of a simple personal rejection. I’ve submitted to this publication (and its sister publications) a number of times, and I’ve gotten good feedback on a number of occasions. Obviously, this one didn’t hit the mark for them, and as vague as it might be, I think I actually know what they mean by “didn’t quite come together.” This particular story has received enough feedback of the “liked it, but . . .” nature that I’m going to give it a significant overhaul.

Rejection 2: 11/21/15

Dear Aeryn,

Thank you for submitting to XXX, and for your query regarding the status of “XXX.” We really liked this piece, and had been holding it for a while until we made a decision; ultimately, however, we decided it wasn’t a match for our needs at this time. 

Thank you for your patience, and best wishes for future success!

Okay, this a nice personal rejection, and it looks like I got pretty close to an acceptance. That’s encouraging, but this rejection was 419 days in the making. I submitted this story almost sixteen months ago. As you can see, I also sent a query regarding the status of my story, and when I didn’t hear anything back, I assumed this was a no-response rejection and gave up on it. I’ve sent two stories to this publisher, this one and another that was rejected in a single day. That’s quite a gap. I’d love to have a story featured in this pro-paying market, but looking at their Duotrope profile, I now see that 419 days is about average on an acceptance (I should have checked this a while ago). They do accept sim-subs, which is nice, but, man, that’s a long time to wait.

Rejection 3: 11/25/15

Thank you for your submission, but this doesn’t quite catch my interest.

Short and to the point. This form rejection says all it needs to say in a single sentence. Some publishers appreciate brevity in rejection letters, and, honestly, so do I. Not much else to say about this one, so let’s move on.

Rejection 4: 11/30/15

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.

The final November rejection is a form rejection for “Story X.” I cover that letter in detail in this post.


Okay, now let’s get to two other letters I received in November.

Acceptance: 11/7/15

Thank you for sending us “XXX”. We love it and would like to publish it in the next issue of XXX. Your contract is included in this email.

Please accept the contract by following the link at the bottom of this email and include your 100 word bio and mailing address, or PayPal email address if you’d prefer, in the Requested Information box. We’ll send an email with editorial suggestions two to three weeks before the issue publication date.

Thank you for your submission and we look forward to working with you!

November 7th was a good day because the dark clouds of rejection parted for the briefest moment, and a bright ray of hope and validation shown down upon my weary, chewed-up writer soul. Or something like that. Anyway, yeah, getting an acceptance letter is always awesome. So let’s take a look at it.

First, I want to point out that form letters are not just for rejections. Some publishers use them for acceptance letters too. I’ve published another story with this market, and I received this same acceptance letter for that story. Nothing wrong with that; there’s a lot of info a publisher needs to get across in an acceptance letter, and having a boilerplate version ready to go is just smart and efficient.

Like all acceptance letters, this one is asking for some basic things: sign the contract and send us a bio. They’re also letting me know to expect editorial suggestions, which I’m looking forward to. The editors at this publication had some great suggestions for the last story they published.

I signed the contract and sent them my bio the same day I received the acceptance letter. Do you have to do that stuff same day with an acceptance letter? Probably not, but I think you should do it within 48 hours unless there is a good reason you can’t, even then, it’s probably a good idea to send the publisher a quick thank you and let them know when you can sign the contract and whatnot.

Of course, when this story is published, I’ll announce it on the blog.

Further Consideration Letter: 11/22/15

Thank you very much for letting us read “XXX.” I enjoyed it, and have passed it up to the editors for review.

Thanks again, and best of luck!

Although not an acceptance, I was pretty happy to get this further consideration letter. It’s from a pro-paying market I’d very much like to crack, and I’ve been getting solid feedback from them with my last couple of submissions. This is the closest I’ve gotten, and, you know, finger’s crossed and all that.

Like many publications, it appears this one has tiers of editors, and this letter came from an associate editor. I don’t know where that is on the editorial food chain for this market, but I’m hoping there’s only one more hurdle to pass before rejection or publication. Hopefully, I’ll find out in December. Either way, the result will end up in that month’s rejection roundup.

Well, that’s it for my November. How was yours?

8 Comments on “November 2015 Rejection Roundup

  1. Congrats on the acceptance and the further consideration pieces. Bottle those up, man, and take a snort or two when the next rejection rolls in. We so often forget to do it.

    Actually, here’s an idea: we writerly types should record ourselves screeching with delight whenever we get an acceptance and play it back on the bad days.

    Thanks, as always, for a great post.

    • Heh, yeah, I’m definitely a proponent of revisiting acceptance letters, good reviews, and such on the “dark” days. 😉

  2. Congratulations on your acceptance!

    In terms of waiting for a response, I’m always annoyed by the time it takes. I have an artwork under consideration at the moment, and it has been that way for the past six months. Surely it shouldn’t take that long for one piece of art to either reject or accept?


    P.S You have no idea how many rejections I have received over the past year! I might write a post about it on my blog.

    • Thanks. I accept that waiting for a response is just part of the gig, and I generally don’t mind even a long wait if I know about it going in, or in the case of a publisher holding my story for further consideration, they let me know what’s going on.

      The market is so all-over-the-place with response times, it’s hard to really put your finger on what is “reasonable.” I feel like sixty days is a good benchmark, but there are plenty of markets that respond much quicker than that or much slower, and the size or “prestige” of the market doesn’t seem to be a factor, at least on the genre side of things.

      Oh, I have some idea how many rejections an author can receive in a year. 😉 But, yeah, blog about it; it’s good for you.

  3. Congrats on your pub! Is it bad form to say who it is before it comes out? I’m new at this and never considered it may be an issue.

    The last of my last batch of stories was rejected (form) in early November. Then I wallowed for a bit. I’ve got a couple new ones out in the world now.

    419 days, wow!

    • Thanks. I don’t know if it’s bad form or not to name the publisher on an acceptance; I just have a strict policy about not revealing the story, the publication, or the editor in the letters I put on my blog. Now, when the story is actually published, that’s different. Then I’ll promote the hell out of it. 🙂

      Wallowing for a bit is perfectly acceptable, especially if you do what you did right after — submit more stories.

      Yeah, 419 days is my record . . . so far.

      • I mentioned my successes on my sparsely read Facebook and Twitter accounts before publication, so maybe *that’s* why I’ve been rejected ever since. I’m on a universal blacklist! It all makes sense now 😉

        The waiting is hard, but I haven’t had anything out close to 419 days :O

      • That’s gotta be it. 😉

        Well, to be honest, I haven’t had anything close to 419 days before or after this one.

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