January 2016 Submission Statement

These posts used to be called Rejection Roundup, but seeing that it’s a new year, and, shockingly, I occasionally receive something other than a rejection from publishers, I think a name change is in order. So, let’s try “Submission Statement” (damn, I love me some alliteration).

January Report Card

  • Submissions Sent: 7
  • Rejections: 7
  • Acceptances: 1
  • Other: 1

The Rejections

Yep, let’s support the brand first and get to those tasty, tasty rejections. I mean, I didn’t call the blog Rejectomancy for nothing, right?

Rejection 1: 1/17/16

I had a chance to read the story.  The conceit is interesting, however it’s not really suited for [XXX].  Thank you for the submission and best of luck in future writing.

This was the first rejection of 2016, and I covered it in detail in this post.

Rejection 2: 1/24/16

Thank you for letting [XXX] consider your story. Unfortunately it didn’t quite grab us. We wish you the best in finding its home.

This was yet another (form) rejection for one of my most beleaguered stories. It’s amassed thirteen rejections and counting and may soon become my most rejected tale. The thing is I really, really like it, and I think I just need to get it in front of the right editor. I’ve sold one story after thirteen rejections, so I’m sticking to my guns here. I’ve already sent the story out again. Check with me after twenty rejections, and we’ll see if my faith in the story still holds.

Rejection 3: 1/25/16

We have read your submission and will have to pass, as it unfortunately does not meet our needs at this time.

This is the first rejection for an old story I recently revised quite significantly. It’s the standard form rejection from a pro-paying market that turns and burns stories within a single day, though I’ve heard tales about rejections measured in hours from this publication. Anyway, I love the fact they’re so quick. It lets me get that story out to another publisher pronto.

Rejection 4: 1/30/16

Thank you for your submission. We have reviewed your story, and, regretfully, we have decided against using it. Unfortunately, we receive too many submissions to publish them all. We appreciate your interest in our podcast.

This form rejection is for the same story turned down in Rejection #3, but it was to an audio market. I’m seeing more and more of those, and I really like them because they’re usually not picky about reprints. I’ve submitted to this market a few times, but I’ve yet to crack them.

Rejection 5: 1/31/16

Thanks for letting us see “Story X.”  I regret to say that it’s just not right for [XXX]. It’s a solid piece, with some good characters and good tension. Unfortunately, by the end, I’m afraid it just didn’t “grab” me the way it might have.  I’ve been sitting here thinking why not, and it occurs to me that I never really connected with [the protagonist].  Maybe if it had been first-person instead of third-person.  That’s not a request for a rewrite (I don’t make too many of those).  It’s just a thought. In any event, I’m sorry.  Best of luck with this one in other markets.

This is a nice informative personal rejection for “Story X.” I cover the letter in more detail in this post.

Rejection 6 & 7: 1/31/16

Thanks for participating in our Flash Phenom contest. The stories this time around were tremendous and made for some stiff competition. Unfortunately, [your stories] did not finish in our Top 10 finalists. 

We always encourage folks to try submitting their entries for consideration in a regular issue of The Molotov Cocktail (free to submit), especially if you were a close-but-no-cigar in the contest. Thanks again for your participation.

We literally couldn’t do these contests without you.

So, I’ve broken my rules here and named the magazine to which these rejections belong. I don’t plant to make a habit of this, but one of my stories placed in the contest, and I want to talk about and link to it in this post. Also, the folks at The Molotov Cocktail are super rad, and they gave me the go-ahead. Anyway, I submitted three stories to the Flash Phenom contest, and two of them didn’t make the cut. The rejections letters were identical, save for the name of the story.

By the way, you should check out my Ranks of the Rejected interview with Josh Goller, the editor over at The Molotov Cocktail. It’s a good one, with tons of useful info for aspiring writers.

The Acceptance

I caught just a whiff of the sweet, sweet smell of acceptance in January, and it was with one of my favorite publications to boot.

Acceptance 1: 1/31/16

Thanks for participating in our Flash Phenom contest. The stories this time around were tremendous and made for some stiff competition. We’re happy to report that your entry, “A Man of Many Hats,” has been selected as an Honorable Mention. Congratulations!

We will be publishing “A Man of Many Hats” in our upcoming Flash Phenom mega-issue, and it will be included in our Prize Winners Anthology print issue, due out in the fall.

Thanks again for your participation. We literally couldn’t do these contests without you.

Again, I broke my rules here, but this is the same publisher, The Molotov Cocktail, as the final two rejections. You can check out my honorable mention story, “A Man of Many Hats,” on their site by following the link. You should also check out the Flash Phenom mega-issue, which features the very worthy winners and all the honorable mentions.

Anyway, nice to get an acceptance to close out the month.

The Other

I rarely get letters outside of rejections or the occasional acceptance, but this month I did, and what I got was pretty encouraging.

Further Consideration/Shortlist Letter 1: 1/22/16

Just a quick update to let you know that your story has made it to the final round of reviews for publication in [XXX] magazine and anthology series. We expect to have our final choices turned in 30 days from now and will let everyone know if their stories have been accepted or not.

Thanks for your patience!

Fairly stoked about this letter. This is a pro-paying market I’d very much like to crack. It’s certainly encouraging that my story has made it to the final round of reviews. Hopefully, that’ll mean an acceptance and a publication, but it’s a tough ol’ market out there, so I won’t get my hopes up too high.

Well, that was my January. How was yours?

7 Comments on “January 2016 Submission Statement

  1. Not a bad month at all. I enjoyed “A Man of Many Hats.” Good luck with your short-lister 🙂

    I’ve been trying to crack tougher markets, and have picked up some rejections, which doesn’t surprise me. I am a little bummed because I chose markets that have around a 50% personal rejection rate, and so far I’ve only received forms. I was hoping for some insights or at least a “You’re not completely hopeless.”

    • Nope, not bad at all. A good start to the year. I’d like to get my submissions up over ten per month, and I’m well on my way to doing that in February.

      I wouldn’t read much into the form letters you receive from some of these markets, even if they do send a lot of personal rejections. Remember, form letters don’t tell you anything other than they’re not going to publish your story. Send that sucker out again. Today.

    • Thanks. Rejections are just part of the biz. They DO lose their sting after a while, especially when there’s an acceptance or two in the mix. 😉

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