January has come and gone, and here’s my first submission statement for 2018. A very productive month, and since this level of production will likely be the norm this year (I hope), I’m changing the format of these posts so you don’t have read the same rejections over and over again. 🙂
Okay, first, here are the raw stats:
January 2018 Report Card
- Submissions Sent: 20
- Rejections: 15
- Acceptances: 0
- Publications: 0
I sent, to put it mildly, a fuck-ton of submissions in December. (Yes, that the proper industry term.) That’s mostly because I finished a bunch of new stories. Though productive, it was a disappointing month in one obvious way. I was hoping for at least one acceptance out of the pile of submissions I sent, but it was not to be. Hopefully, my efforts will bear fruit in February.
Yep, a whole bunch of these. It’s not all bad news, though. I’m focused primarily on pro markets now, and though they are tough to crack, some of the rejections I’ve received tell me I’m at least getting in the ballpark. Here’s a breakdown on the types of rejections I received in January.
- Standard Form Rejection: 5
- Upper-Tier Form Rejection: 5
- Personal Rejections: 5
Like I said earlier, I’m not going to show you every rejection. Hell, you’ve probably seen most of the form rejections anyway. Instead, I’ll just show you a few highlights from the month. Oh, and you’ll notice I’ve stopped using XXX to hide the story title and the name of the publication. That’s because the combo of “submission” and “XXX” come up pretty frequently in Google searches that, uh, have nothing to do with writing. I can’t imagine how disappointed those folks must be when they end up on my blog.
Highlight Rejection 1: Sent 12/27/2017; Rejected 1/25/2018
Thank you for considering [publication] for your story [story title].
Though several of our staff members enjoyed the story, it did not receive enough votes to make it to the third and final round of voting. We wish you the best of luck finding a home for this story elsewhere and hope you will consider us for future submissions.
This is a higher-tier form rejection and a good one. Here’s why. I’ve been trying to crack this pro market for a while, and this is the closest I’ve gotten to an acceptance. Sure, close-but-no-cigar rejections can be disappointing, but this gives me some indication of the type of story they are more likely to publish (in addition to reading the stories they offer on their site). It’s good data, and armed with that info, I feel like I can better dial in the type of submissions I send to this market.
Highlight Rejection 2: Sent 1/8/2018; Rejected 1/17/2018
Thank you for sending [story title] to [publication]. We enjoyed this story, but unfortunately, it’s not quite right for us. We have to reject many good stories for a variety of reasons unrelated to their quality. We wish you the best in finding this a good home and look forward to your next submission.
We loved this story’s core concept, but we felt it lost steam once things fell back on [ending plot point].
This is a type of personal rejection I’ve seen with some regularity with pro markets. It’s a standard or upper-tier form rejection with an added note from the editor. As you can see, they liked the central concept of the story but weren’t crazy about the ending. This is good feedback (always appreciated), and I’ll file it away for a possible revision.
Highlight Rejection 3: Sent 1/12/2018; Rejected 1/22/2018
Thank you for giving me a chance to read [story title]. I thought this was a clever premise and had some really fun moments in it, even if overall the story didn’t quite win me over as a good fit for the magazine. Although I’m going to have to pass on it for [publication], I wish you best of luck finding the right market for it and hope that you’ll try us again with your next story.
Okay, the best of the bunch. This is a rejection with an editor’s note from one of my bucket-list publishers. If I apply a little rejectomancy (can’t help it), part of the reason for the rejection (the not a good fit part) might be that I sent a story with strong horror undertones to a magazine that primarily publishes fantasy and sci-fi. The story has some sci-fi elements and a liberal dose of dark humor, but if I’m honest with myself, that’s just the crunchy candy shell on what is essentially a light horror story. Anyway, this tells me (along with two other rejections in the same vein) that the story might have legs if I can find the right market for it. Oh, and I will absolutely send my next (more appropriate) story to this publisher.
And that’s January. How was your month?