Discussion in 'Traditional Publishing' started by deadrats, Aug 19, 2016.
Another higher tier form rejection, this one from the Molotov Cocktail's "Flash Monster" contest.
I haven't had time to post recently, but since September 9th I've had 32 rejections and 1 acceptance. I'm ok with those numbers, and a few of the rejected pieces received encouragement and specific compliments (although those same pieces also received form rejections elsewhere). Still, I think I received something like five rejections in one or two days and that is pretty punishing!
The fastest rejection came in 5 days, while the longest came in 240 days. I wrote out the whole list but it seemed a bit long to post.
Anyways, good luck everyone!
Hey rejection friends. Hope everyone is doing well, and there has been some good news sprinkled in along the way. No need for me to really catch anyone up on the places that have rejected me in the time I've been away. Let's just say there have been a few. Had to force myself to send out a handful of submissions in September. No word back on any of those yet. I've got a few more to make before the end of the year. I hope. Life's been hard, and sending stuff out less important. Though, I do have new material. I'm just not sure much of it is ready.
A 52-day form rejection from Kenyon Review.
54-day form rejection from Sewanee Review.
A 93-day form rejection from Granta (poetry)
42-day form rejection from Aniko Press.
I just suck lately. Can't seem to get it together. Blowing opportunities and writing shit if writing at all... It's like I'm beating the publishers to it and just rejecting myself before they have a chance to do it.
I'm *this* close to shelving my book. Talk me out of it. Or talk me into it. I don't know. Just feeling bleh
A little context: I've been querying since November 2020, have written a gazillion queries and synopses, written a brand new ending and a brand new opening, changed my UF into Spec Fic. It's had 3 full requests (2 rejections, 1 R&R with a small press - accumulated in the course of 6 months) queried as UF and it's had 3 more full requests (2 agents, 1 editor from Penguin - accumulated in the course of 2 months) queried as Spec Thriller. That's 6 fulls in total, plus 2 referrals (both of which ended in form rejections).
The 3 fulls as spec fic are still out. It's been 2 months for 2 fulls and 2 weeks for the third, I know it's too early. But bloody hell, it's now Nov 2021. I've sent out 132 queries to date with around 40 still open.
Isn't that enough? I'm tired. With 6 requests, I think my writing is clearly fine, and so is the submission package. Considering it's had a higher rate of request within the same time frame as spec fic, I think the change of genre was a good call. Having said that, that might also mean out of 132 queries, half of them were to the wrong genre agents lol.
Sigh. Why can't those with my full just hurry up please...
Well, the hay is in the barn, meaning the work have already been done. You've got fulls pending and more queries circling, so there isn't much else for you to do anyway. Start something new and the work you've already done will run it's course. By the time he hear back from the last submission, you'll probably have something else to be excited about.
Yeah already writing, got about 27k words so far. I just don't wanna keep hoping for a dead thing. But you're right of course that I'll have to wait to hear back from what's already gone out. It's kinda harder because this one clearly has promise, and it's so damn close that I wish I knew what would take it over the line. I shelved my last project without problems after around 40 queries - I don't even remember why I stopped querying that one. But this one? This one I can feel it in my bones - I've got something good here. And yet, sigh.
Maybe I really just have to throw myself into my current WIP. I guess it's hard not to think of the one I'm querying because my WIP is book 2 with the same characters. Meh.
@Mckk -- It can be hard to know when to let go of something. I'm not saying you should, but I've been in somewhat similar situations. Some of my best writing seemed to have served the purpose of getting me close. I think I'm still a better writer for writing the pieces and projects I've shelved which was also probably the purpose for writing them. It sounds like you've made some connections that you can return to when you have something new to show them. And that is a huge deal. Make sure you take advantage of that.
As for the novel in question, really listen to your gut. Keep going if you feel like it, but also be open to altering it and making changes along the way that can improve your chances. It sounds like you've done that somewhat. I don't know. But I do wish you a lot of luck with all your writing.
You’ve been posting here longer than I have, so I know you’re aware of how grueling the submission process can be, but I’d still like to offer some encouragement: keep writing, keep submitting.
Fielding form rejection after form rejection does suck, but hopefully there’s an acceptance letter in the future.
18-day form rejection from the StoryQuarterly fiction contest. This one was a little annoying because I checked Submittable last night and no one had read it yet. At 1 A.M., the rejection was sent out. I'm not crazy about spending money on a contest and knowing someone rejected it after a quick read late at night. Or maybe I'm just cranky this morning because I woke up to watch the lunar eclipse. Then the cat got out, and I spent the rest of the night trying to get it back in. Hope everyone else had a better start to their day.
63-day form rejection from the Voyage women’s first chapter contest.
Grrrr... So, all weekend I've been working on really polishing up a new story. Finally, feeling good about it. Time to submit. Since I've been slacking on submissions, I decide to send this one out to about a dozen places I really like (many of which will close to submissions for the season soon). Then, after paying about $3 to all of these places, I realize I've been sending the wrong file. I was sending an earlier draft of the same story by mistake. Having just put a lot more work into this story I wasn't going to just let this be. Just had to withdraw and resubmit everywhere. I can only hope that maybe it will prove worthwhile to have just gone through this.
Any of you ever upload the wrong file with a submission? Do you withdraw and resubmit like I do? Sadly, I can't say this is the only time I've done this, but I've never done it so many times. Very frustrating and completely my own fault.
Losing money like that stinks. I've sent the wrong draft before. The most embarrassing was a draft that had all my mark-ups still visible, including passages where I pointed out problems I still had. Who would publish that? Withdrawing seems the only option, unless the draft you submitted was so close to final that the final changes were almost immaterial. That doesn't sound like the case here. It's just a shame you're out the money.
This is kind of old, but I've been a little MIA. Trying to catch up a little with all you submitter friends. I do have an MFA. For me, it was the best thing I could have done for my writing career. I spent a year plus really working my craft before applying to programs. I think it's important to really work your craft to the best of your abilities before even applying. At least that's how I approached it.
An MFA program doesn't teach you how to write. You've got to be good to get into a program. What it does is really give you a period of time where reading and writing are your main focus and the focus of your peers. Also, most of my professors seemed more like mentors. There is a whole community wanting you to succeed. I went from a decent writer to a published writer, and I do credit my MFA program for helping me make that leap.
However, it wasn't an instant threshold I crossed. It took a lot of time and work even after graduation before I started publishing. Anyone who has read the beginning of this thread can see how discouraged I felt when I started this long-standing discussion on rejection.
For me, the MFA was worth it. And I would do it again a hundred times over. I can't say I learned how to write, but I did learn how to write better in many ways which ultimately lead to publication and the launch of my creative writing career.
If anyone is here is ever applying or thinking about applying to MFA programs, feel free to message me or tag me in a question on this thread. I'm always happy to help and talk shop with the rejection crew.
This week I submitted a piece and entered the wrong title in the entry field. Fairly minor. I definitely have some pieces under review with what I know is a glaring typo, but it’s on the tenth page or something. I figure if they like the piece to get that far then it won’t really matter.
I also once submitted the wrong piece (it was a finished draft) to the Sun and it advanced through a round or two of review. That was interesting.
In your case, I think you made the right call to withdraw and resubmit. I understand and agree with the existence of reading fees, but they do suck. I’m glad a lot of journals waive the fee in certain circumstances.
But most importantly, glad to hear you’ve got a piece you’re feeling good about!
Finished another story. Yay! I've been writing, but I'm rarely going back to pieces getting them ready to submit. Looking through all the docs I had forgotten, the title of one grabbed my attention. I started to read it. It was pretty good and the errors and such were clearly standing out and easy to fix. I was a little like Wow! Why did I abandon this? I had completely forgotten the story. It was about a year old. The catch was that I never wrote the ending. Must have not known where to take the story to drive it home. But this time I think I nailed it.
So, with a new story to add to my roster, I was able to submit it to a handful of places before they closed to submissions yesterday. I'm pretty happy with this piece. We'll see how it goes. Round 1. Game on!
All together I have 21 submissions out. I like to have 50 active submissions out at a time, but the way life has been kicking my ass has put me in a slump. Most of my current submissions are all pretty recent. There were a few I put out in September, but then I just... I just kind of stopped everything. I've been feeling sad and a little lost. I think I just need to throw myself into my work.
An 83-day form rejection from Crazyhorse.
Personalized rejection from an agent.
Sometimes rejections are a lucky escape. I was close with a start up indie press, a business who had big ambitions and a celeb in the background. They seemed nice people, and I was gutted with their rejection. They did however send me their editorial notes to show how close I’d got and tips for the future.
However, since then a friend of a friend got accepted and their advance was laughably low. Even worse they then laid off half their staff.
So one has to wonder about their longevity.
maybe the rejection was meant to be?!
I think this can be true. Slightly different, but I once had a piece accepted for a journal and the editors never sent proofs for me to check before publication. Apparently this is a practice for some journals, although I didn’t know that at the time.
Anyway, there was a typo in the first paragraph of my story. I should have caught the typo before sending off my draft, but then someone at the journal probably should have caught it as well. Made me a lot more careful in the future.
Separate names with a comma.