Well, here we are, one full month into the new year, so let’s see how 2019 is treating me so far.
January 2019 Report Card
Nine submissions isn’t bad, and it puts me on pace for my 100-submission goal. Seven rejections is pretty average, and a lot of these were for submissions I sent in 2018. One acceptance and a couple of publications round out a decent month.
Seven rejections for January.
Both personal rejections were for the same story, and one of them was a short list rejection. Those are always a little tough. You know you got close, just not close enough.
The spotlight rejection this month is one of the personal rejections.
Dear Mr. Rudel,
[Story Title] is a very good story, but unfortunately, it doesn’t quite match our needs for [upcoming] issues. I hope you find a good home for it elsewhere.
What I want to highlight here is something I talk about a lot–writing a good story is only one part of the equation (and important part to be sure) that gets you an acceptance. As the editor states here, sometimes a “very good” story does not get accepted because it just doesn’t fit the content needs of the publisher. There are, of course, many reasons that might be. The voice or style could be a little off for the market, or maybe the story doesn’t match up with stories they’ve already accepted for upcoming issues, or maybe they’ve recently published a story that’s similar, or maybe a dozen other perfectly valid reasons. The point is don’t take these kinds of rejections too hard, but do take the editor at their word and send that story somewhere else.
One acceptance this month from a market new to me. The story “The Sitting Room” is a reprint, and it’s one of the few pieces I’ve written that does not have a supernatural element. You can check it out under publications below.
Two publications in January, both reprints, both free to read online.
Published by Mystery Tribune (free to read)
Published by EllipsisZine (free to read)
And that was my January. Tell me about yours.
Out of interest, have any publishers ever reached out to recall a previous rejection because, say a good story that didn’t fit a particular theme for a publisher at the time suddenly found a niche for it for a later publication? My expectation is “no” because a publisher will get literally hundreds of submissions a month, but curious as to whether expectation meets reality on this one
Excellent question. It has never happened to me, but it has happened to authors I know. I wouldn’t say it’s common, at least in my experience, but it does happen.