I didn’t have a chance to recount my submission efforts for October, so I thought I’d combine them with November and do one big ol’ update. What follows is a two-month submission report, and since I was fairly active, especially in November, there’s a lot to get through.
October/November Report Card
I finished new stories in October and November and began sending them out to the usual suspects. I’m also documenting the progress of one of those stories through the submission process in Real-Time Rejection II: The Saga of “Story X1.” A good portion of the rejections that follow are for the two new stories.
Rejection 1: 10/22/16
Thank you for sharing your story with us at XXX. While it doesn’t meet our editorial needs at this time, please keep us in mind for future submissions.
This is a higher-tier form rejection from one of the top markets in the fantasy genre. That’s a bit of a rarity for me since I don’t write a lot of fantasy. I sometimes stray into dark urban fantasy, which is what this submission was. Anyway, this is the first time I’ve submitted to this particular market, and getting a higher-tier rejection isn’t the worst way to begin. I have another submission under consideration with them at the moment.
Rejection 2: 10/29/16
Thanks so much for entering our Flash Fear contest. We had so many quality entries this time around.
Unfortunately, your entry, “XXX,” did not make it into our Top 10. However, we are happy to report that the piece did make it through several rounds of cuts and was still in consideration until the last stages of judging. As a result, we’ve given you a “Close But No Cigar” shout-out on our Flash Fear results page.
We encourage folks who didn’t quite make the cut to think about submitting those pieces for consideration in our regular issues (free to submit). While there’s no guarantees, we have published a few that way in the past.
Thanks again for your participation, and for writing such an entertaining story.
The Molotov Cocktail held another flash fiction contest in October, and I sent off three submissions. This is one of the few times where I’ll violate my blog rule of keeping the name of the publisher secret (I cleared it with editor Josh Goller first) because they’ve published a bunch of my stuff and I have nothing but great things to say about them (not that I have anything negative to say about other publishers), and it’ll be obvious who the publisher is once we get to the publications part of this post.
Anyway, this is a “Close but no Cigar” rejection, which is kind of like a higher-tier form rejection. I’ve since sent this particular story out again.
Rejection 3: 10/29/16
Thank you for submitting “XXX” to our Flash Fear contest. We were very happy to see such high quality submissions. The judging process was a particularly arduous one.
Unfortunately, “End of the Line” was not selected for our Top 10, but we very much enjoyed the chance to read it.
Thanks so much for your participation. We couldn’t do these contests without you.
This is a standard form rejection from The Molotov Cocktail for one of my three submissions to the Flash Fear contest.
Rejection 4: 11/9/16
We have read your submission and unfortunately your story isn’t quite what we’re looking for right now. While we regretfully cannot provide detailed feedback due to the volume of submissions, we thank you for your interest in our magazine and hope you continue to consider us in the future.
This is the first rejection for “Story X1,” and it’s a higher-tier form rejection from one of the top markets in the horror genre. This is the first time I’ve managed anything but a standard from rejection from this particular market after many tries, so not a bad way for “Story X1” to kick things off.
Rejection 5: 11/10/16
Many thanks for sending “Story X1”, 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 rejection for “Story X1.” This one is a standard form rejection from another top-tier horror market. I generally hit all the pro markets with a new story first, so you’ll see a bit of a theme with the rejections for “Story X1.”
Rejection 6: 11/11/16
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.
Here we have rejection #3 for “Story X1,” and it’s one my fellow horror authors will likely recognize. This is a standard form rejection from one of the toughest markets to crack in the biz, and I could probably wallpaper my office with these things if I were to print them all out.
Rejection 7: 11/12/16
Thank you for your patience while our editors reviewed your submission. Unfortunately, XXX has not been accepted for publication in XXX. We hope you continue to submit to XXX in future and I wish you all the best with your publishing endeavours.
When you’ve received as many rejections as I have, they really do lose their sting, and I barely even notice form rejections at this point. This rejection, however, is the type that still leaves a bit of a mark. It’s a personal rejection after I received a further consideration letter from the publisher. These are always a little disappointing because you know got close to an acceptance (well, closer than usual, anyway). Still, this was my first submission to this publisher, and I got close. That means I need to send them more stories, which I certainly will.
Rejection 8: 11/30/16
Thank you for your interest in our magazine. Unfortunately, after reviewing your submission, we have decided that it is not for us at this point in time. As much as we hate to reject any work of fiction, please remember that it is not a value judgment based on your lovely skills and talent; it really is us, not you. We hope to see you on our submissions list in the future!
This is the fourth rejection for “Story X1,” and it appears to be a standard form rejection. Though this has some verbiage you sometimes see in higher-tier form rejection, this is a new market, and this is my first submission to them, so my gut says standard form rejection.
I received a couple of further consideration letters in October and November.
Further Consideration 1: 10/31/16
Thank you for your submission to XXX.
Your short story XXX has made it through to the next stage of submission. This involves your story going to our editors at the end of the month for a final decision and can take a little while so we appreciate your patience.
Following is feedback from our readers.
– Nicely crafted urban fantasy story.
– Edgy piece, nicely written. I had to look up Baba Yaga to get the full meaning of the ending of the story, however.
I or the editors will update you on the outcome as soon as we are able.
This is a further consideration letter eventually resulted in rejection #7 above. This one is interesting because it offers some feedback from their readers. I discuss this rejection in further detail in this post.
Further Consideration 2: 11/20/16
I love this story! I have short-listed it. And it’s a short list.
Would you mind if I held on to this story until the close of submissions, February 1st? We just opened and we’ll receive a lot more submissions.
This particular further consideration letter is interesting for the simple fact the publisher gives me the option to pull the story if I so choose. I’m not going to do that, and I hope my story survives the winter. I discuss this letter in further detail in this post.
One acceptance for the last couple of months.
Acceptance 1: 10/29/16
You’ve done it again! 3rd place in Flash Fear for “Masks,” a truly imaginative piece with some bite to it. Really enjoyable read.
By now we have your PayPal ID and you just sent over another bio, so just let us know if you want anything different for either. We’ll issue your prize payment within about 14 days.
Thanks again for writing such kick-ass stuff.
An acceptance and a third-place finish in the most recent flash fiction contest from one of my favorite publishers. It’s always great when you can find a publisher that digs your stuff enough to keep publishing you.
Two publications this month: a short story and a gaming article.
Publication 1: 10/31/16
My one acceptance is one of my two publications in the last couple of months. My story “Masks” took 3rd place in The Molotov Cocktails Flash Fear contest. I’d been sitting on that particular story for years, but I thought it might be a good fit for the contest. Looks like I was right. You can read it by clicking the link above.
Publication 2: 11/21/16
My second publication is in No Quarter magazine for Privateer Press. I still write game-related articles for my former employer on a pretty regular basis, and this one kicks of a new series where I take elements of real-world fighting styles and apply them to the weapons and warriors of the Iron Kingdoms. The series lets me nerd out with two of my favorite subjects: fencing/martial arts and WARMACHINE/HORDES.
My apologies for the overly long post, but it was a fairly active couple of months. How was your October and November? Tell me about it in the comments.