I was unable to follow up on February’s success in March, and all my stats are down. That said, my flagging production was for a good cause. I spent most of March finishing and revising my first novel for Privateer Press, due out this summer. Anyway, here’s how the month broke down.
March Report Card
Rejection’s first. There’s only two this time.
Rejection 1: 3/12/16
Thank you for submitting to XXX. We have decided not to publish your piece, “XXX”. Some reader comments:
“Although the idea is interesting, it starts slowly and doesn’t end with any closure. I don’t see a full story here.”
“I found the first sentence ungainly. This scene gives no indication of something I can take away (other than ‘the bad thing kills people and goes away to kill more’). I needed the kind of content and context which would make these happenings important to me.”
“The story isn’t complete.”
“Didn’t hook me in, and didn’t pace quickly enough for a flash, in my opinion. I didn’t feel I really got to know these characters enough to invest in what’s going on here (they were fairly stock to me; types, not individuals). This reads more like a solid excerpt from a commercial novel more than a flash. Not really my cup of tea.”
“I’d have liked this a lot more if there were an explanation to what the “fire” is. It’s an interesting enough premise, but it feels incomplete to me.”
Best of luck, and please feel free to submit to us again in the future.
That’s a long one, eh? It’s a type of rejection I call the multi-reader rejection, and there’s some pretty good feedback in here. I covered this rejection and the multi-reader rejection letter earlier this month in this post.
Rejection 2: 3/30/16
Thank you for submitting “XXX.” Unfortunately, this didn’t quite work for me, so I’m going to pass this time.
This is your common, garden-variety form letter. It’s from a market I’ve submitted to once before (with the same result). I think it bears repeating that you should not read anything into a letter like this because it doesn’t tell you anything (other than no). There’s no point in overanalyzing phrases like “didn’t quite work for me” because they are essentially meaningless without further details. So, this is a letter you let roll off your back while you fire that story off to another publisher.
So, only one other thing of note this month. I had a reprint story published with Digital Fiction Pub called “Night Walk.” You can read it by clicking the link below.
And that, folks, was my March 2016. What did yours look like?
Did you receive the longer feedback on a longish short story? as in 2000 words+?
As for me 13 submissions in March, 0 acceptance. Shot down in flames five times 🙂 waiting on the others.
I think it’s more a factor of having a bunch of stories under consideration right now with markets that take a bit longer than usual. Three of those stories have been short-listed, but they’re all well beyond the 60-day mark at this point.
The longer feedback was on a flash story, actually. It was just under 1,000 words.
Thirteen submission, huh? Go, you. That’s some solid production. Five rejections isn’t too bad if you consider the anecdotal average acceptance rate is around ten percent. So you should have 1.3 acceptances coming your way. 😉
Sorry I didn’t mean to come across like a douche. It was two stories submitted to 13 places.
Statistically I might sneak one through.
Hopefully I’ll have success like yours given time. My cover letters are pretty tragic without a previously published here.. part to it.
You didn’t come across like a douche at all. I know writers that submit in double digits every month, and it IS impressive. My praise was legit. Sorry if it sounded otherwise. 🙂
The long and the short of rejection letters there! I hope you hear about your shortlisters soon.
I submitted something on February 29, but nothing in March. One rejection. That story is ready to go back out, I’ve been bad about looking up markets and actually sending it.
Yep, best (or worst) of both worlds right there. 😉
Most of us blare the trumpets when we get accepted by a journal. But we’re silent when rejected. I dig your transparency and honesty, it’s quite refreshing. That first one sounds like FF.
Are the acceptances you list for the same pieces you submitted this month? Like, for example, I sent out 7 subs this month, but my only psuedo-acceptance (rewrite request) came from something that was outstanding from February.
Nope. As you know, there’s usually a thirty to sixty day wait for submissions, so my acceptances usually come from submissions made in prior months.
Absolutely nothing. I’ve been waiting on one particular submission that I sent out in November, but I still haven’t heard anything.
Well, it’s a new month, and a new opportunity to get more work out there, right? 🙂
10 submissions (4 new stories out for the first time; 6 others on the rebound).
Michael, would you say this a good month for you or about average?
The number of acceptances and publications is a smidge on the high side of average. The number of submissions is high because I made an effort this past month to pull unsold ms. from the files and get them circulating again.