1. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    First rejection

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by picklzzz, Jan 28, 2012.

    Hi all. Well, today I got my first rejection from a magazine. I don't know why, but I feel really down about it. I read several issues, and I thought my story fit the genre well, and I thought the story was very original and well-written (of course I did - I wrote it! - but seriously, it was my best work yet). I got a canned response back through email saying my story "didn't fit their current needs at the time". I'm left feeling confused and empty. I know rejection is the name of the game, but I don't understand why my story was not accepted. I know they have so many submissions and cannot tell everyone or provide feedback. I'm wondering if I should shop it around to other magazines or keep trying to write something they'll accept, or both? I know this may sound naive and such, but it's my first rejection, and I just don't understand why.

    Any advice for how to move forward and not let it get to me too much?
     
  2. jonsnana
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    jonsnana Member

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    Tweak it for a different mag and send it back out. A canned response could mean anything including, "we've filled our needs and didn't even read these, but we are polite enough not to leave you in limbo." Double check that the little details were handled correctly, do your homework for the next publisher and send it out. Nothing earns money sitting at home.
     
  3. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    I have to say - and this is not to try to toot my own horn - but I thought my story was a lot better than some I read in there. I guess I'm new to this and don't understand how they select stories. I just have to get back on the horse. It's hard to even know where to send it at this point. There are so many magazines out there. Is it ok to send it to several at once? Again, new to this here, so sorry if this question sounds silly!
     
  4. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    Yes, you can send it to several at once, unless one specifies that you cannot.

    I've come to like rejection because it means I'm a real writer who was brave enough to put myself out there. Some writers have walls of rejection letters. I have four such letters, and I keep them in a little box.

    Is this the first time you submitted something? First submissions are almost always rejected.

    This is not necessarily about the quality of your work -- maybe this particular magazine has already accepted similar stories and doesn't have a place for yours, for example.

    Try submitting somewhere else. Submit at your top choice, and then to some safeties. Even if one of the safeties accepts you, you'll feel like you've accomplished something. You'll be on your way to greater success one day.
     
  5. jc.
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    jc. Contributing Member

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    I seem to be agreeing with Joanna a lot in recent threads, but I couldn't have said it better myself.

    Also I'm sorry to hear about your first rejection. I'm sure it wasn't a question of your ability, but I can definitely understand how not knowing why would drive you crazy (it would for me, anyway, with my fragile ego). Like the others have stated it's probably just because they've already filled all the slots.
     
  6. Wayne Kernochan
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    Wayne Kernochan Member

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    Meh, at least you got it out of the way

    On to number two :D
     
  7. Wayne Kernochan
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    Wayne Kernochan Member

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    BTW, I had two books subbed by two different agents. Both got high praise from editors, but it was a bad economy blah blah blah

    In the end, the book that took off for me was the one my wife kept telling me to write

    I don't know why she doesn't make me listen
     
  8. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Honestly? Congratulations on your first rejection.

    Only someone who's actually on track to becoming a pro, who actually finishes work and submits it, gets rejected. Most never get rejected because they never make it as far as you have. Keep at it!
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, keep at it. Maybe an editor will remember your name and think "This guy keeps sending me stuff. Maybe he's serious about writing." And he'll read your work with more generous eyes and accept something from you.

    Besides, the list of successful writers who have boxes and boxes of rejection letters is very long. I think the crime writer John Creasey was in the Guinness Book of Records for having the most rejections - over 740 before he had a piece accepted. He went on to publish more than 500 novels. So take heart! Others have been there before you!
     
  10. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    Thank you all so much! I really mean it. Your words and encouragement made me feel a LOT better about it. I know it's all part of the game. That's why I was so surprised how upset I was. But, I will keep submitting and who knows, maybe one day I'll get something published. I'll be sure to let you know if/when I do!
     
  11. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Just to echo the other posters, don't despair. If you want to make a career out of writing, rejection is something you have to deal with. I know how crushing it can be to get a rejection on a story you were very optimistic about, but sadly it happens. Read it over, make any changes you think are necessary, and send it onto a new market :)
     
  12. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    Bless your heart. I seem to be agreeing with you a lot, too. Great minds and all. :)

    Additionally, whenever I think of rejection, I think of John Kennedy Toole, author of A Confederacy of Dunces. He was rejected repeatedly. I mean a lot. So much that he got depressed, barely left the house, began having paranoid delusions about his book, and eventually killed himself. After his death his mother got his book published. It won a Pulitzer.

    I find the story depressing yet simultaneously encouraging.
     
  13. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sometimes a magazine rejects because they have had similar themes in recent issues, e.g stories about mother-daughter conflict. It's not always to do with the quality of the writing, don't feel you have to change it or that yours wasn't good enough.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i think it was faulkner, one of our greatest literary lights, who got something like 99 rejections before his first story was sold...

    the point is to never give up!
     
  15. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    You just have to build up some emotional calluses, and the way to do that is keep submitting. Good luck!!
     
  16. Balmarog
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    Balmarog Member

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    I couldn't find a 'like' button, so here's a big thumb up.


    bs_up.jpg
     
  17. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    Thank you. This place should have a like button. Sometimes I imagine it does for a sec and find myself searching for it before I remember.
     
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  18. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's always the 'Add to this users reputation' button. :) It's like a thumbs up.
     
  19. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    There is?

    I literally know how to post and do nothing else.
     
  20. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Bottom bar of a post, between 'Blog this Post and the '!' triangle for reporting a post is a little sheriffs star. It gives positive rep when you like a post.
     
    1 person likes this.
  21. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    Oh, cool. I give you one reputation point. :)
     
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  22. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Aww. :D Thanks so much happy joanna!
     
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  23. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    And adding rep accumulates and adds to the line of green boxes just above the member's avatar. You can see how much rep you've accumulated, and the posts that earned it, if you scroll to the very top of the page and click on "settings" (conveniently located in the upper right hand corner, right between "My Profile" and "Logout") then scroll down the page and you'll see a listing for "reputation". And, just to show how, I'm going to add rep to both joanna, for bringing up a question that most newbies would probably like to ask, and to TDF for answering it.
     
    3 people like this.
  24. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yer swell EdFromNY! :D For explaining how to view your rep, you have been repped!
     
  25. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    And I have reciprocated; thanks to you both.
     

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