September 2016 Submission Statement

September was a solid month, and my progress with short story submissions was much less sloth-like than previous months. It’s a mixed bag this time, with rejections, acceptances, and some noteworthy publications.

September Report Card

  • Submissions Sent: 7
  • Rejections: 5*
  • Acceptances: 1
  • Other: 0
  • Publications: 2

*Three (3) of these rejections were for submissions sent in September.


Here we go. This is what Rejectomancy is all about! Five rejections this month; let’s have a look.

Rejection 1: 9/3/16

Thank you for your submission to XXX. 

We regret that we are unable to publish “XXX” We are grateful for the opportunity to consider it, and we wish you the best of luck in placing it elsewhere. 

A common form rejection from one of the bigger horror markets. Nothing much to see here, really, and I’ve received this exact rejection numerous times. This will be a running theme for September, by the way.

Rejection 2: 9/3/16

Thank you for your interest in XXX, unfortunately, your story does not fit our needs at this time.

As this is a brand new publication with no real backdrop of study, you should not take this rejection personally. Please submit again in the future, however, no sooner than 20 days from the date of this notice.

The 3rd was a multiple-rejection day, and this one is from a brand new market. It’s a pretty standard form rejection, but I like the note they tacked on at the end. I don’t put a lot of stock in this canned niceties you often see in rejection letters, but this is always good advice. Rejections are NOT personal.

There’s one other thing about this rejection that’s a bit different. They ask you not to resubmit for a period of 20 days. It’s not uncommon for publishers to do this, though I usually see it in their submission guidelines. I think it’s a good idea for a publisher to remind writers of this particular rule in a rejection, since it’s likely you haven’t looked at the publisher’s guidelines in quite some time, and the rejection will be fresh in your mind.

Rejection 3: 9/12/16

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.

Remember that theme I talked about in rejection number one? So, I finished a new story this month, and, as I usually do, I’m sending it to all the top-tier markets that accept horror. These are all exceedingly tough markets to crack, and I’ve received lots of form rejections, like this one, from all of them. Anyway, this is another standard form rejection. Moving on.

Rejection 4: 9/14/16

Many thanks for sending “XXX”, but I’m sorry to say that it isn’t right for XXX. I wish you luck placing it elsewhere, and hope that you’ll send me something new soon. 

Another standard form rejection from a top-tier horror market for the same story as the previous rejection. What’s great about these markets is they’re really fast, usually taking no more than a couple of days to send a rejection. So, I can usually hit three or four of them in the same week.

Rejection 5: 9/15/16

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

Remember when I said these top-tier markets are quick? This one is by far the quickest, and this rejection came within an hour and a half. That’s not even my record for this publisher. I once received a rejection in 46 minutes. I honestly don’t know how they do it, but I appreciate the lightning-fast response. Another standard form rejection, likely recognizable to anyone who regularly submits to the pro horror markets.


One acceptance this month, though it comes with a catch (see below).

Acceptance 1: 9/10/16

Normally, on the blog, I’ll share just about everything with you when it comes to ejections and acceptances, but this is one of those times where I can’t. The acceptance letter for this month contains some information I’m not at liberty to divulge, and there’s really no easy way to excise that info from the letter. I’ll just say that it’s an acceptance from a market that’s published me once before, and it’s a story I’m really excited about. I’ll post more info when I can.


My two publications this month are a little out of the ordinary in that they’re both audio publications.

Publication 1: 9/23/16

“Night Games” – Pseudopod

Man, I was excited for this one. I sold my vampire/baseball story “Night Games” to Pseudopod way back in December of 2015. As you can imagine, a market like Pseudopod needs a bit more time to prepare a story for publication, what with securing voice work, recording, editing, and so forth. In addition, the editors thought it would be fitting to publish the story at the end of the 2016 baseball season, and I wholeheartedly agree.

The narrator, Rish Outfield, did a fantastic job, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the way the story turned out. Normally, I wouldn’t harangue you to go out and read/listen to one of my stories, but in this case, I’m gonna. Why? Well, “Night Games” is my favorite of the stories I’ve written thus far, and I think it’s very indicative of my writing style (that’ll be good or bad depending on your point of view and tastes). And, seriously, the narration is just awesome. It’s worth the price of admission all by itself (the story is free to listen to, by the way).

Publication 2: 9/27/16

Flashpoint – Privateer Press/Audible

So the second publication is the audio version of my Iron Kingdoms novel Acts of War: Flashpoint. Again, the narration, this time by Noah Levine, is top-notch, and it was really cool to hear all the characters in the book come to life. I was really happy with the way this turned out, and I’m grateful to Noah and Audible for doing such a bang-up job.

Anyway, if you’d like to listen to Flashpoint, click the pretty picture below.


And that was my September. How was yours?

17 Comments on “September 2016 Submission Statement

  1. Congrats on the acceptance! Color me intrigued…

    I enjoyed listening to Night Games. They did a really nice job with it.

    Good writing month for me. I hit my goal of 30 hours and created two new stories for contests and sent out a couple other new ones to different journals.

    There were a couple rejections in the mix as well :/

    The Dystopia Utopia anthology (my first print sale and only acceptance so far this year) is now available for order.

  2. Congratulations on your acceptance and publications!

    Remember that comeback I was planning last month? Well…

    September Report Card

    Submissions Sent: 6
    Rejections: 5
    Acceptances: 0
    Other: 0
    Publications: 0

    September was the first month since March where I had no acceptances or publications. 😦

    I’m not sure how October is going to turn out. I’m still waiting to hear about some submissions, but I’m not sure if I’m going to send out any more: Even though I have a full-time job, I’ve taken on some extra freelance work which has been keeping me busy. Also, I’ve been struggling to write new things, so I might just wait for my freelance work to end to try writing and submitting again.

    The good news is I should have one poem published later this month and another next month, so I guess it’s not all bad.

  3. The river of submissions/rejections/acceptances/publications is really in a constant state of flux, so I hadn’t stopped to think about it in terms of a month’s chunk of time. Here’s what my September looked like:
    Submissions: 38
    Rejections: 13
    Acceptances: 4
    Publications: 5

    Lots of subs in play at the moment! that is the only way to deal with particularly pointed rejections :o)

    I feel like editors have been hopping quickly on subs for the past week or so, which is great I’d rather know quickly either way.

    I always enjoy your posts, Aeryn. Thanks for sharing your numbers, and congrats on the acceptance! Sounds like an exciting one. Anne

    • Now that’s an impressive month. Better than a submission per day. Very nice. This is the level of activity I’d like to hit, though I’ll need to finish a few more stories. 😉

      Congrats on your September acceptances and publications, and thanks for sharing. 🙂

  4. Submissions Sent: 8
    Rejections: 7
    Acceptances: 2
    Publications: 3

    Seven rejections and only two acceptances in a single month is a bit depressing. On the other hand, mid-month I attended Bouchercon in New Orleans, where I received a lifetime achievement award. So, not a bad month all-in-all.

    • Yeah, two acceptances is a slow month for you. Your report card still looks pretty good to me. 😉

      A lifetime achievement award, and at the World Mystery Convention no less. That’s outstanding. Big congrats. 🙂

  5. First, a congratulations to you, Aeryn (as well as all the other rejectomancers who’ve commented thus far). September looks like a really solid month for you. And Pseudopod, one of my ‘dream’ horror markets, is definitely worth a kudo (or three)! That must be cool hearing the voices of your characters come to life outside your head, both with the short story pub and the audio of your novel.

    Second, my September was way better all around in terms of writing than my August. Must say, I went into a depressive shell in August, but I came back better for it, I think, in September. So, still a bit of a newbie here (so go easy on me!), but here are my September stats:

    Submissions Sent: 6
    Rejected: 4
    Accepted: 0
    Still Waiting: 1
    Unclassifiable, I guess (the market went unexpectedly kaput!): 1
    Publications: 0

    However, on another bright note, besides writing quite a bit (and some of it decent—probably!), one of the rejections came with a personal note that was quite encouraging. Another came with actual editing suggestions (though not a request for rewrite; I think I’m just ‘knocking up the wrong door’ with this market).

    Oh yeah, and I went to a con recently, my first time as a writer. Not that I was on a panel, but I did try to osmosify all the writerly tips that I could.

    Anyway, optimistic pessimist that I am, I always say, onward and upward . . .

    • Hi, Leigh,

      It was definitely a treat to hear “Night Games” on Pseudopod. It’s hands-down my favorite publication of the year (so far).

      Looks like you had an active month as well. Congrats on that. By the way, I have also received the “this market is closing” pseudo-rejection. They always leave me wondering how to feel. Is it really a rejection if the publication goes under? Maybe I should write a post about it. 😉

      It’s always great to get personal notes or suggestions in your rejections; it’s often a good sign you’re getting closer to publishing with that particular market.

      Thanks for commenting and sharing your month with us. 🙂

      • That would be a great post idea, a la, “when a market dies, what do I do” . . . what does one do? I feel for all those people dealing with book publishers who’ve gone kaput and taken their rights and royalties with them. Other than “bring your A++++ writing game,” any tips for breaking into Pseudopod? 🙂

      • Yeah, I think there’s probably a good post there.

        It’s often hard to say what exactly a publisher is looking for. Pseudopod, published my story “Night Games,” which is straight-up horror, and rejected two others that were urban fantasy with horror elements. In both rejections, they told me the stories weren’t horror enough for them. So, if I were to give you any advice, I’d make sure the horror in your submission was front and center. You should also go out to their site and listen to some of the stories; that should give you a good indication of the type of horror they want.

        Good luck.

      • Thanks very much for the advice, Aeryn. It’s sometimes hard to know (as you said, study the market) if horror markets want splatter, psychological or crime, Lovecraftian, gothic, or whatever their fancy is, unless they explicitly state it. It’s very helpful to know that they probably wouldn’t go for any of the SF/H pieces I’ve already completed. I think I might give them a shot soon and see what happens. Thanks again!

      • I don’t want to put words in their mouth and say they WON’T publish SF/H or F/H. I’m sure if one came along they really liked, they certainly would publish it. It’s entirely possible, even probable, my rejected stories had other issues that prevented them from being published beyond not being horror enough.

      • Yeah, no worries. I just think I have better, more horror-based (and hopefully not horror-ible) pieces in the writerly bag of runes.

Leave a Reply to Leigh W. Smith Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: