June was a decent month despite the lack of acceptances, largely because the promotion of my novel Flashpoint began and kept me busy. Again, I didn’t send as many submission as I would have liked or completed as many short stories as I would have liked, but that’s probably going to be a constant in these updates for the foreseeable future.
June Report Card
Rejections, rejection, rejections. We got your rejections right here.
Rejection 1: 6/1/16
Thank you so much for thinking of XXX. Unfortunately “XXX” is not quite what we’re looking for at the moment. Best of luck placing it elsewhere.
This is one of the quickest rejections I’ve received, but, for once, I think I know why. You see, this particular publisher recently held a story for consideration for quite a while, though they finally decided to pass on it. It’s possible, since they liked my last story, they read this one right away when they saw my name at the top. Unfortunately, it didn’t take them long to decide this one wasn’t a good fit either (about three hours). Of course, that’s all rejectomantic conjecture at its finest, and it may be my story was just at the top of the pile when the editor started reading submissions that day.
Rejection 2: 6/10/16
Thank you for submitting “XXX” to XXX. We appreciate the chance to read it. Unfortunately, we don’t feel it is a good fit for us and we’re going to have to pass on it at this time.
Thanks again. Best of luck with this.
Oh, man, I wanted this publication BAD. This is a rejection from one of the top-tier spec-fic magazines in the industry. You know, the kind that publishes stories that eventually go on to win Hugos, and Nebulas, and Brom Stoker awards. I’ve submitted to this magazine a few times, and I’d never received anything but their standard form letter. This time, though, I received a letter letting me know my story had been chosen by one of their first readers for a closer look by the editors. Still a long shot, but an exciting one. I expected a rejection, and you can read it above, but, it was nice to dream for a while. I’ll keep trying.
Rejection 3: 6/14/16
Thanks for submitting “XXX,” but I’m going to pass on it. It didn’t quite work for me, I’m afraid. Best of luck to you placing this one elsewhere, and thanks again for sending it my way.
So, hey, if a top-tier market holds one of your stories for consideration but ultimately passes on it, other top-tier markets will be interested in it, right? Right? Uh, no; it does not mean that, as the two-day rejection letter above so succinctly attests.
Rejection 4: 6/16/16
Thank you for the opportunity to read “XXX.” Unfortunately, your story isn’t quite what we’re looking for right now.
In the past, we’ve provided detailed feedback on our rejections, but I’m afraid that due to time considerations, we’re no longer able to offer that service. I appreciate your interest in XXX and hope that you’ll keep us in mind in the future.
Okay, okay, if one top-tier market likes your story but ultimately passes on it, and another top-tier market pretty much auto-rejects it, then a third top-tier market is going to love the shit out of it, right? RIGHT?!
Rejection 5: 6/22/16
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.
Just a garden-variety form letter here (for another story, not the one from the last three rejections). Another market I have yet to crack, but, you know, keep trying until they make you stop.
Kind of a different one this month, and one that may deserve a post of its own. Check it out.
Shutting Down Rejection? 1: 5/12/16
Thank you for letting us read XXX. Unfortunately, we have decided to close down, at least for now, for financial reasons. We wish you the best with your writing, and hope to see you published elsewhere soon.
I’ve never received a letter like this, though I suspect they’re not uncommon. It sucks this market is going under, and not just because they were holding one of my stories for consideration. These folks put out a good product and published good stories, so I hate to see them go. But is this a rejection? Kind of, I guess. Maybe it should go with the other rejections, but it felt different enough that I thought it deserved a special call out.
One of my stories was published this month, and with a pro market no less.
My story “Where They Belong” was published by DarkFuse Magazine, which is pretty cool, especially since they’re listed as one of Duotrope’s toughest markets. It feels pretty nice to be published by a market like that. You need to be a subscriber to read the story, but if you’re gonna subscribe to a horror magazine, DarkFuse is a pretty damn good choice.
And that’s June. What did your month look like?
Congratulations, High Rejectomancer, on your acceptance and your upcoming novel.
As far as myself, June was quite a month: I received three acceptances. Not sure if this is a personal best (I only started keeping track of this stuff recently), but at the very least, it’s the best in a while.
Here are my other stats:
Submissions Sent: 8
Wow, nice month. Three acceptances is LEGIT. Congrats!
Thank you, Aeryn.
Do you normally track the turn-around time with your submissions? I see a few shared in the individual notes but that it’s not shared across the board. Just curious why you chose/did not choose to share the turn around time for some but not others.
Also, this might be more of a follow up to another post of yours re: when to revise/retire but I usually find that when top tiers reject a story one-two-three within the same time frames that it might need a second look before it goes back out – either to send it to a more tailored market for it or maybe put it aside until you can look at it with fresh eyes and decide where to revise. The third option I sometimes go with is to send these out to a “chatty” publication – i.e. one that may offer feedback as to what they didn’t like so that I can either revise it (if I agree) or find it a home that better appreciates that which is getting me rejected from broader markets.
I track the turnaround time through Duotrope, but I don’t usually talk about it unless it’s noteworthy. Most markets are in that 30- to 60-day range and don’t deviate too far from that.
It’s sometimes difficult to say when to take another look at a story after rejections. In this case, the story has been held for further consideration by three markets, two mid-tier and the top-tier mentioned here. Honestly, I think this story is in its final form, and I’m satisfied with where it is (it’s been revised previously). I think it’s just a matter of finding the right market at this point. It’s out with another mid-tier, so we’ll see.
Makes sense. How do you define top-tier and mid-tier? Pro-paying and Semi-pro paying markets or some other criteria as in awards, etc?
Yeah, pay scale is the broad definition, but there’s top-tier and then there’s TOP-TIER. I’d put markets like Apex, Clarkesworld, and Nightmare in that latter category (there are definitely others).
I got some kind words from Lightspeed once, shame they’re drowning in subs for the forseeable future. But yeah, I used to hit the top tops first, especially Clarkesworld, since they were so quick to reject. I’ve stopped that though; was finding that I was exhausting possible markets on a story that was almost there and then finding I was out of places to submit when I finally decided to fix what was wrong with tit.
Checking my e-mails with a folder specifically for my acceptances and rejections… (yes, I do have one 😉 ) It looks like I’ve been accepted three times over the last month or so, and rejected once.
To be fair, all the acceptances were artwork (magazines like my artwork a whole load more than my poetry/ fiction).
There are, more likely than not, quite a few rejections on the horizon. I have 4 submissions on Submittable “In-Progress” (and some have been that way for the past few weeks) and 2 that have simply been received.
It’s really sad that that lit mag is shutting down… I actually submitted to The American Reader in November last year, and my work is still under consideration there. I checked the website around a month ago, and it turns out after their October issue, they’re shutting down! I don’t know if they’re still considering my work or not; they haven’t sent me any kind of e-mail. I’ll probably withdraw soon.
But anyway! Good luck with your submissions.
The “other” was from a publication that requests a partial on first submission. If they like the partial, they ask to see the full ms. They asked.
I seem to have skipped May, so…
This has been a good year-to-date.
Six acceptances and nine publication in two months? I guess that’s pretty good. 😉
Was your other for a short story? I’ve only seen that kind of request with novels and novellas.
Yes, it was for a short story. Heroic Fantasy Quarterly wants to see the first 10 pages in an email. If they like what they read, they request the full ms. as an attachment.
Interesting. Have you encountered that with other short story markets?
Actually, yes. I’ve written for several anthologies where the editors wanted a partial first and a few more where the editors requested a rough synopsis before asking to see a full ms.
The editors who requested partial first were editing open-call anthologies.
The editors who requested synopsis first were editing invitation-only anthologies and wanted to ensure than none of the contributors’ stories were too similar to those of other contributors.
I can’t recall any periodical other than HFQ requesting a partial or synopsis first, but there might be some that just haven’t yet crossed my radar.