February 2016 Submission Statement

Another month, another bunch of submissions sent off into the literary wilds. This time, however, a few more managed to escape the lions, tigers, and bears and return unscathed and intact. February 2016 is the first month where my acceptances and short-list letters outnumbered my rejections. Here’s how it breaks down.

February Report Card

  • Submissions Sent: 9
  • Rejections: 3
  • Acceptances: 3
  • Other: 2
I was fairly productive, but I’d like to get up to ten submission per month. I was just one shy in February, so I’m targeting at least ten in March.

The Rejections

As usual, I’ll start with the rejections. There are just three this month.

Rejection 1: 2/5/16

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to read your story. Unfortunately, it isn’t quite what we’re looking for. We do hope you will try again.

This was the ninth rejection for “Story X.” I discussed this letter in more detail in this post.

Rejection 2: 2/14/16

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 the form rejection a lot. It’s from a pro-paying market I’ve been trying to crack for years. They are primarily a sci-fi publisher that dabbles in fantasy and horror. Unfortunately, I don’t write a lot of straight-up sci-fi. I’ve been sending them horror with sci-fi elements, but nothing I’ve sent so far has hit the mark.

Rejection 3: 2/24/16

Thank you for sending your story for consideration at XXX. We’ve had a chance to read through it now and I’m afraid that it’s not what we’re looking for at this time.

Thank you for letting us read through your work though, and best of luck with finding a home for it. The short story is a complex thing to compose – disproportionately so compared to the final word count – and the best advice we can offer is to persevere. Every editor responds to things differently and it’s a subjective market so there’s nothing to say someone else won’t pick up this story in the future.

This is one of the longer form rejections I’ve seen, but it’s a nice one. The editor states something I think is very true: it is a subjective market. Nearly every story I’ve published has been rejected multiple times; that means there were many editors that didn’t like the story before I found one that did. He also says to persevere, and that’s good advice for any writer.

The Acceptances

Well, February 2016 is hands down my blue-ribbon winner for acceptances. I had three of them this month: one original piece and two reprints.

Acceptance 1: 2/9/16

Thank you for sending us “XXX”. We think it is a great fit and would like to publish it.

We will be in touch shortly with a formal contract and details for your review. In the meantime please email any question or comments to XXX.

If you have not received a contract for review within two (2) weeks, then please do e-mail and give us a gentle nudge.

Thank you again for allowing us to consider your work. We look forward to working with you.

This is a reprint acceptance from a new market, one that has just started accepting flash fiction. By the way, this is absolutely a form letter, and as I recently wrote about in this post, form acceptances seem to be nearly as common as form rejections. There’s a bunch of good reason for that, one of them being the publisher has to convey a lot more information in an acceptance (as you can see here) than he does in a rejection, where he only needs to say no.

Acceptance 2: 2/10/16

Thanks for your submission, “XXX.”  I’m happy to say that I’ve acquired it for XXX issue! I’ve attached your story with my edits. Once you’ve read through and addressed every suggestion to the best of your ability, send your polished version to my associate editor, XXX, and she’ll work with you to get your story ready for publication. I’ve also included XXX, XXX’s production manager, so she can send you your contract when it gets closer to our publication date.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to let me know.

I was pretty thrilled to get this acceptance. Who am I kidding? I’m thrilled to get any acceptance. Anyway, this one is for a story I’ve been sitting on for years. I really like the story, but it’s an odd one, and I was never sure where to send it. Then I found about this magazine and their most recent themed issue, which, wouldn’t you know, was perfect for that vault story of mine. I managed to get my story in on the very last day of their submissions window, and then, six days later, it was accepted. This is a rare one-and-done submission, and by that I mean the story was accepted by the first publisher to read it. Always awesome when that happens.

Acceptance 3: 2/15/16

Thank you for sending us “XXX”. We think it is a great fit and would like to publish it.

We will be in touch shortly with a formal contract and details for your review. In the meantime please email any question or comments to XXX.

If you have not received a contract for review within two (2) weeks, then please do e-mail and give us a gentle nudge.

Thank you again for allowing us to consider your work. We look forward to working with you.

This one looks familiar, right? Yep, I sent two submissions to the publisher from the first acceptance and both were accepted. This is another reprint, and it completes my acceptance hat trick for the month.

The Other

In addition to the three acceptances, I received two short-list letters, also known as further consideration letters.

Further Consideration/Short-List Letter 1: 2/6/16

“XXX” has been accepted into our final round of consideration. We will be letting you know before the end of April whether or not it is accepted.

A couple of good things about this short-list letter. One, this is the first story I’ve sent this market, and it’s always great to get a positive response right out of the gate. Two, this a story a recently revised quite significantly after a string of rejections, and this letter tells me I might have done at least something right with the revision. We’ll see when April rolls around.

Further Consideration/Short-List Letter 2: 2/20/16

Thank you for sending us “XXX” for XXX. We enjoyed your piece and would very much like to hold it for further consideration.

You will be hearing from us in the coming weeks as we make our decisions. We thank you in advance for your patience.

Like the publisher from the first shortlist letter, this is my first submission to this particular market. So, again, nice to get that positive response right off the bat. This is a story that’s been rejected a fair amount, but unlike the story from the first letter, I haven’t revised this one. Why? Simple, really; I think the story is good in its present form (as do a couple of my beta readers). It’s one of those cases where I think it’s a matter of right story, right editor, and maybe I’ve made that match here. Just have to wait and see.

Well, folks, that’s my February of writin’ and such. How was yours?

8 thoughts on “February 2016 Submission Statement

  1. GREAT JOB! And in a short month to boot. Do you have that Slayer album on repeat? 🙂

    I go two new pieces out, including one yesterday. It was for a deadlined, themed issue. Ideally, I’d have done at least another draft or two, but I can always do that when they reject it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. I haven’t submited anything since December/January, because I haven’t written anything for a while (no time), and I hate reprints.

    Congratulations with your acceptances!

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Thanks. Just curious, why do you hate reprints? I’ve found them a good way to keep stories circulating (along with my name) while I work on new material. Each to their own, though. 😉

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