April has come and gone, and it was a pretty decent month as far as the ol’ writing gig goes. I wasn’t as productive as I would have liked, and I sent out only five submissions, but since I was working on some big writing projects like this one, I don’t feel too bad about it.
March Report Card
First, the usual slew of rejections. Five this month.
Rejection 1: 4/2/16
Thank you for submitting your story “XXX” to XXX, but we’re going to take a pass on this one.
Not quite enough horror in this, I’m afraid, but I’m betting the folks at XXX will really like it: [website]. You might try this story with them.
By the way, I’m super stoked about “XXX.” Keep sending stuff our way!
If you have to get rejected, this is the way to do it. It’s a personal rejection, and the editor tells me why, specifically, the story was rejected, he recommends another market I should send it to (affiliated with this market), he tells me how excited he is for the story they DID accept a while back, and, finally, he asks me to keep sending them work. Next to an acceptance, this is about as it good as it gets.
Oh, and, yes, I immediately fired the story off to the recommended market.
Rejection 2: 4/3/16
Thank you for letting us read your story. Unfortunately, at this time, it’s not a good fit for our magazine, so we are unable to accept it. We wish you good luck placing it with a different market.
What have we here? Looks like a fine specimen of rejectus familiaris, otherwise known as the common form rejection. Nothing to see here. Moving on.
Rejection 3: 4/9/16
Thank you for submitting your story, “XXX,” to XXX. I am afraid I have decided to pass on it at this time.
In the end, the story just didn’t work for me. While XXX is currently closed to submissions, I do hope you will keep the zine in mind again in the future, and I thank you again for your interest.
The language in this letter makes me wonder if its a personal rejection or a form rejection, and I’m not completely sure which one it is. It uses enough form rejection phrases that I’m inclined to call it one, but it could be a personal rejection with a more formal tone. In the end, it’s a rejection, and whether personal or form, time to move on.
Rejection 4: 4/20/16
Thanks so much for letting us consider your story “XXX.” While it made it to the final round of consideration, I’m afraid that we chose not to accept it. We had a lot of submissions and there were difficult decisions to be made. Best of luck placing it elsewhere.
I’ve developed a pretty thick skin over the years, and I can honestly say that rejections don’t bother me much anymore. This one, though? This one took a bite out of me. I’m sure you can guess why. I’d received a further consideration letter about the story a while back, and I waited with bated breath for months. I really liked the story I sent them (a new one), and, as you can imagine, I felt like my chances were good for an acceptance. Alas, it was not to be. But, hey, this is all part of the gig, right?
The silver lining is I feel pretty confident about this new story. It had a positive first run, so I think it has legs. I sent it out to another market the next day.
Rejection 5: 4/25/16
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.
I’ve submitted to this market a number of times, and I’ve gotten this letter each time. It’s a tough market to crack, with a tiny acceptance ratio, but I’ll keep trying.
Just one acceptance in April, but it was a good one.
Acceptance 1: 4/1/16
Thanks for sending “XXX” to XXX. I have finished my review and have decided to accept it and offer you a contract. Please look for a contract to be issued shortly.
This is a pro market with an acceptance ratio around one percent. I am thrilled they accepted the first story I sent them. What’s better, this was a new story, and it scored big right off the bat. Not much more to say, other than I’m looking forward to the story’s publication.
Two of my stories were published in April. They were:
“Shadow Can” published by Digital Fiction Publishing. This one is a reprint, but it’s one of my favorites. You can read it by clicking the link.
“Big Problems” published in Havok magazine’s Fairytales: Unfettered edition. I’d been sitting on this story for years. I’d always liked it, but I could never figure out where to send it. It’s a weird little retelling of a classic fairy tale, and when I saw Havok was doing a weird fairytales issue, I had a feeling this story might be a good fit. Looks like, for once, I was right.
Well, that was my April. How was yours?
Lol at rejectus familiaris.
Good month, with a pro acceptance and an oh-so-close.
2016 continues its streak of form rejections for me.
Always found this series of yours interesting, Aeryn. I have such a love-hate thing with the shorts market. I’ve sold more novels than stories, especially if you factor in “pro-rates.” As I came up learning the business I’m pretty sure this isn’t the way it was supposed to work.
Combined with the fact that in a lot of cases payment-per-word hasn’t changed since The Great Depression (literally) and these 70+ year time warp rates are written into submission guidelines with a perfectly straight face. “Great story, here’s your 1933 money.” Video game scripting begins to look like the holy grail of short writing, lol.
On the other hand, I love a short story. I also like crafting one and, having done so, submitting always seems like a proper thing. I’m the enabler in an abusive relationship (I say gently teasing, not with great, quivering rage) and keep coming back for more.
Because of that, though I don’t always comment, I’ve really enjoyed this Rejectomancy series. Keep up the good work!
Hey, Nathan, thanks for the kind words. As you know, I split my time between novel world and short story land, and they are about as different as it gets. With the rise of the self publishing market, I think success with shorts as a path to publishing a novel isn’t as prominent as it used to be. I’m like you, though; I love the short form.
April wasn’t bad.