Real-Time Rejection II: The 6th Rejection of “Story X1”

Six rejections down, four more shots at fame and glory. Yep, the 6th rejection of “Story X1” has arrived. If you’d like to see the previous rejections, go here.

I’m a little late with this one–it actually came in on 1/6/17–but some computer mishaps made it impossible to post right away. Here it is in all its form-tastic glory:

Thank you so much for thinking of XXX. Unfortunately “Story X1” is not quite what we’re looking for at the moment. Best of luck placing it elsewhere.

The only thing that stands out about this form rejection is that I received it the same day I sent the story. That’s not unusual, though, and this isn’t the first time I’ve received a same-day rejection from this market. A word of advice, don’t apply too much rejectomancy to same-day rejections. Like any other form rejection, you should focus on what the letter says (we’re not publishing your story) and not what you think the editor or the speed of the rejection means (who knows?). The former gets the story out again right away, and the latter? Well, that way lies madness, my friends. You will never, ever, ever know what an editor thinks about your story unless he or she a) publishes it or b) tells you in a personal rejection. If neither of those two things occur, move on.

“Story X1” is still under consideration at one more market, and they’re pretty quick, so I expect to hear something in the next week or so. Stay tuned for more of the thrilling saga of “Story X1.”

How are your adventures in submission land going? Tell me about your latest rejection or acceptance in the comments.

Real-Time Rejection II: The 5th Rejection of “Story X1”

Well, we’ve hit the half-way point, and “Story X1” has received its 5th rejection. If you’d like to see the previous rejections, go here.

Without further ado, here’s rejection number five:

Thank you for submitting “Story X1” to XXX. We appreciate the chance to read it. Unfortunately, we don’t feel it is a good fit for us and we’re going to have to pass on it at this time.

Thanks again. Best of luck with this.

This is a standard form rejection from a pro market, one that’s in my top-ten list of publications to crack before the end of the decade. The closest I’ve gotten with this particular publisher is a further consideration letter followed by a form rejection. There’s not much you can learn from a rejection like this. The only information here is a) they read the story, and b) they aren’t going to publish it. You’ll never know why, so let these rejections bounce off that ever-thickening rejectomancer hide you’ve been growing and send that story out again.

The good news is that many of the publications I regularly submit to, both pro and semi-pro, have opened up for submissions again in the new year. As such, I’ve sim-subbed “Story X1” out to a couple of my usual suspects, so you’ll either see “Story X1” achieve glorious acceptance, or you’ll get blog posts titled “The 6th/7th Rejection of “Story X1.” Place your bets. 🙂

How are your writing endeavors going in the new year? I’d love to hear about your latest rejection or acceptance in the comments.

Real-Time Rejection II: The 4th Rejection of “Story X1”

Nearly half-way there! The fourth rejection for “Story X1” has arrived. If you’d like to see the last three rejections, go here.

Okay, here’s what number four looks like:

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!

Again, thank you for your interest in our magazine.

This is a new market, and this is my first submission to them, so I can’t quite tell if this is a standard form rejection or a higher-tier form rejection. My gut says standard despite the mention of future submissions. It’s a nice form rejection, and it reminds authors of a very important fact: rejections are not personal and are often not a reflection on your ability as a writer. Not much else to say about this one since there’s no real feedback.

Pickings are a slim right now for horror markets, and a lot of my go-to publishers are closed to submissions until next year. I know I said that after the last rejection, but I managed to find this new market shortly afterwards. I really mean it this time (unless I find another new market). Anyway, it may be a bit of a wait for the next update.

Hey, tell me about your latest rejection in the comments.

Real-Time Rejection II: The 3rd Rejection of “Story X1”

Another notch in the ol’ rejection belt, and the third rejection for “Story X1.” If you need to get caught up on the saga of “Story X1,” go here.

Let’s take a look at that rejection:

Thank you for the opportunity to read “Story X1.” 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.

This is a standard form rejection from another top-tier market. I’ve received this rejection a bunch of times, which is not exactly surprising considering how many submission his particular market receives. Like all the top markets out there, this one is extraordinarily difficult to crack, but you have to keep trying. Perseverance has paid off for me before, and I’ll keep submitting here and to the other top publishers in the horror genre until I get an acceptance or they literally tell me to stop sending them stuff. 😉

Normally, I would have sent “Story X1” out again already, but a lot of the markets I normally submit to are closed to submissions for the moment. So “Story X1″may sit for a bit until one of those markets opens up, which should be some time in early December.

Got any rejection you’d like to share? Tell me about them in the comments.

Real-Time Rejection II: The 1st & 2nd Rejection of “Story X1”

Well, that didn’t take long, and we’ve even got a two-for in rejection land, but it’s not all bad news for “Story X1.” (If you’re just tuning in to the “Story X1” extravaganza, see the first post in this series.)

The first market I chose for “Story X1” is a top-tier, pro horror market, one I would dearly love to crack, and one that is super, lightning fast with responses. I received the following rejection six hours and nine minutes after the submission (which, oddly, is a longer than usual for them).

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 looks like a form letter, and that’s because it is, but it’s also appears to be a higher-tier form letter (a subject I discuss at length in this post). This is my seventh rejection from this particular market, and this is the first time they’ve included that second sentence. Yeah, I know it’s not a personal rejection or glowing praise, but it could be progress with a very tough market, and, better yet, it might tell me a little more about the type of story they’re looking for.

That first rejection came in last night, and I waited to post it until this morning. I sent the story to another top-tier market last night as well, and I’ve already received a rejection. Here it is:

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.

What’s interesting about this letter is that it looks like a higher-tier form letter because of the “send us something else soon,” which, in my experience, is the type of phrase that differentiates a standard form rejection from a higher-tier form rejection. That said, this is my sixth rejection from this market, and I’ve received the same letter each time. That could mean one of two things. One, I’ve received their higher-tier form rejection each time, or, two, they don’t have a higher-tier form rejection, and this is just the wording they chose for the standard rejection. My rejectomancer senses tell me it’s likely option two, but I could be wrong (I often am).

Of course, the saga continues, and I have chosen another top-tier market for “Story X1” and fired my poor, unwitting creation off into the void once more.

See you soon. 🙂

Real-Time Rejection II: The Saga of “Story X1”

Some of you may remember a series of posts I did called Real-Time Rejection: The Journey of “Story X.” If not, here’s the basic gist. I finished a story and then began sending it out immediately. I then posted the responses (rejections) as they came in, in “real-time.” I submitted “Story X” ten times for publication, with the caveat that if it didn’t get published by the tenth submission, I’d retire it and post it on the blog. Well, I submitted it ten times, and it was rejected ten times. I was as good as my word, and you can read “Story X,” which is actually called “The Scars You Keep,” right here. If you’d like to see all the rejection and whatnot, here’s a link to the category archive with all the “Story X” content.

Well, guess what? I’ve got another shiny new story, which I’m calling “Story X1,” and I’d like to document the journey of that piece with the same set of rules. Ten chances at publications, all responses shared with you fine folks, and retirement (and posting) if and when I receive ten rejections.

Like “Story X,” I won’t reveal the real name of “Story X1” until it’s been published or rejected ten times. “Story X1” differs from “Story X” in that it’s a true horror story not dark urban fantasy. That’ll limit my options for publication a bit, but will give me a better shot at markets that publish exclusively horror.

I’m going to start the submission process by sending it to the top-tier pro markets with quick turnaround times. Once those publications have rejected me, I’ll start targeting other publications with longer wait times or those that are in the semi-pro tier. So follow along once again as I offer up a big, steaming plate of schadenfreude for your enjoyment and edification (it’ll be like watching me eat my vegetables and getting all the nutritional benefits yourself).

The first submission(s) for “Story X1” will go out today or tomorrow, and then the fun will begin.