Let’s bring 2015 to a close Rejectomancy style with a summary of all the rejection letters I received in December. I know December isn’t quite over, but with the holidays, I’ve likely gotten all the responses I’m gonna get.
Like last month, December wasn’t all bad news, and I did get one story accepted. We’ll get to that, but first I’ll let you all indulge in a little schadenfreude.
Rejection 1: 12/5/15
Thank you for submitting your story, “XXX”, to XXX. Unfortunately, we have decided not to publish it. To date, we have reviewed many strong stories that we did not take. Either the fit was wrong or we’d just taken tales with a similar theme or any of a half dozen other reasons. Best success selling this story elsewhere.
Man, I’ve seen this letter a lot. This is from a pro-paying market I’ve been trying to crack for a long time, and this is their standard common form rejection. If you read my post Five Flavors of Form Rejection, then you know there’s only one thing to focus on in this polite, professional rejection letter. If you need a hint, I’ve highlighted the important part.
Rejection 2: 12/11/15
Thank you for sending “XXX” to XXX. While we appreciate the opportunity to review your work, we will have to pass on this submission. The story was well done, but not quite right for us.
We hope you find a good home for this story. Thanks for the read, and best of luck with your writing.
This is technically a personal rejection, I think. The line, “The story was well done . . .,” makes it feel like a personal rejection, but since this is the first time I’ve submitted to and been rejected by this publication, I’m not one-hundred percent sure. I’ll need to get rejected again to know for certain. I think my submission targeting was a little off here, but it’s hard to tell for certain because the magazine is putting together its first issue, so there were no example stories to refer to. I’m usually wary of fledgling publications, but this one is paying pro rates, which is rare, and, I gotta admit, really enticing. I’ll definitely send this publication something else.
Rejection 3: 12/19/15
Thank you for sending us “Story X”. Unfortunately, this piece is not for us. We wish you the best of luck finding a home for it.
If you have other work which you feel we may be interested in, please do not hesitate to submit it to us.
This was yet another rejection for “Story X,” which I covered in detail in this post.
Okay, I’ve choked down all my vegetables, let’s have some motherfuckin’ dessert!
We’re very happy to say we’d like to accept “XXX” to run at XXX! I very much enjoyed it – which I’ll admit kind of surprised me because sports and horror rarely mix well – but I think you made a very smart writing choice by focusing the piece on the moment of truth and tight suspense writing.
You can expect the contract in a separate email from our Contracts Administrator (usually within 2-4 weeks).
I’m always thrilled with an acceptance, but I’m particularly stoked about this one because it’s a pro sale. Technically, this is a reprint acceptance, and those familiar with my work can probably figure out which story this letter references. (Keep it to yourself for the moment, though.) The difference here is the format; this publication is an audio magazine, so my story will get the audiobook treatment. Cool, huh?
The editor says some nice things, and it’s always cool to hear that your story surprised a reader, in a good way. Then, like most acceptance letters I’ve received, this one has a few business details to get out of the way. The contract is the big part, but they also had me fill out a questionnaire about me, the story, and a few other details specific to the audio format.
Of course, when the story is published, I’ll let you know, and point you to the site to give it a listen.
That’s it for my December. How was yours?