Submission Statement: August 2021

And there goes August. A better month than July, but just barely.

August 2021 Report Card

  • Submissions Sent: 11
  • Rejections: 9
  • Acceptances: 0
  • Publications: 1
  • Further Consideration: 1

I did manage a solid number of submissions in August, and 11 more gives me a total of 71 for the year. I’m still on pace for 100. I also managed a bunch of rejections, most within the last week of the month. I knew those birds were overdue to come home and roost. No acceptances again, but a further consideration letter has me daring to hope (foolish man; I know). One publication, which I’ll talk about below.

The big picture here is that my dismal year for acceptances continues. I could go on about why that’s happening, but it would be just conjecture and theory. The truth is that it just happens. It’s happened before, and, as always, when I least expect it, the acceptances will start rolling in again. Just gotta be patient and keep doing what I’m doing: writing and submitting.


A whopping nine rejections in August.

  • Standard Form Rejections: 4
  • Upper-Tier Form Rejections: 4
  • Personal Rejections: 1

Yeah, lots of rejections last month, and most of the form variety. I did get a personal rejection, which is maybe the nicest one I’ve received. It’s below.

Dear Aeryn,

We appreciate the opportunity to read [story] and we appreciate the time and effort you spent crafting it. Unfortunately, we have chosen to not accept this story for publication.

This doesn’t mean the story was necessarily bad. It might have been accepted had the magazine been able to publish stories more frequently. Sadly, we can only currently publish one story a month, and we receive hundreds of excellent submissions per month. This means we must reject many stories we enjoy and appreciate. We do not accept revised stories at [publisher], but we hope you have success finding a home for this story, and we encourage you to submit another story to this magazine.

We really loved this worthy and thoughtful story. It reached the final round of submissions. This is rarified air that the vast majority of submissions to [publisher] do not reach. I hope this news provides some measure of consolation, even though I know this rejection letter must be disappointing.

Personal note: This is such an intriguing, devastating piece. You recognize that so much of what makes the best stories (especially speculative stories) work is ambiguity, that which transcends rational comprehension. The mysterious dialogue between the two figures at the center of the story is great, and the idea of the protagonist having to make a choice they don’t quite understand is a striking, unsettling one that denies the audience simple catharsis. This is a fantastic piece, and I really do hope you’re able to get it published.

I like how this publisher does their rejections. They give you the form bit up front, which is good as such things go, and then they tell you how far you got in their submission process, and finally they leave a thoughtful bit of personal feedback. I don’t expect every publisher to send rejections like this, but I appreciate it mightily when they do.


Just one publications in August. The final Rejectomancy article over at Dark Matter Magazine. I’ll be penning a new article series for Dark Matter starting in October, so keep an eye out for that.

“Acceptance Rates: What Are the Odds” at Dark Matter Magazine

And that was my month. How was yours?

One Comment on “Submission Statement: August 2021

  1. Nice personal rejection indeed. I know the market and sub often to it, but never got a personal rejection.

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