Tag Archives: short story rejections

Rejections #213-222: Ellery Queen, Ideomancer, Apex, Bull, Unstuck, Word Riot, Plots With Guns, Pulp Modern, Storyglossia, Barrelhouse

Hey, did you know there is a Rejection Wiki out there? Well, there is.  I’ll be adding all my rejection letters there from now on.  If you’re a writer, and you’re being rejected (I repeat myself), head on over and contribute.  I’ll all for lifting the shroud of secrecy that hovers over this submitting stuff.

Okay, on with the show.

Plots With Guns kindly considered a story that was 1000 words below their usual minimum requirement, which I appreciated.  Unfortunately, they found it to be a little too elliptical.  Not to worry, though – since I submitted the original piece, I’ve written a sequel, and good-hearted Sean O’Kane, editor, agreed to look at the two in tandem.  I’ll keep you posted.

Pulp Modern still ain’t buying what I’m selling, but I’ve submitted again because it’s an inaugural issue, and dammit, I want in there.

Ideomancer was “intrigued by the situation set up, but found the ending’s implications more interesting than the story itself.”  That hurts, a little, but I appreciate the comment.

Unstuck enjoyed the story and hopes I will submit again.  Okay.  Maybe I will.

Apex’s letter reads like a next-of-kin letter: We regret to inform you &c.  Don’t worry, Apex.  I’m not taking it that seriously.

Kevin O’Cuinn of Word Riot and I have played our last round of I-send-’em, he-rejects-’em for a while.  As with elimae, I don’t have any more stories coming down the pike that he’s likely to appreciate.

Ellery Queen gave my story careful consideration &c.

My story isn’t exactly what Bull is looking for.

Storyglossia appreciated &c.

Barrelhouse thanks me &c.

Rejections #211 & 212 – Digital Science Fiction and Pedestal

Digital Science Fiction has bad news.  Regretfully &c.

Pedestal – one of those places I’m going to crack one of these days, dammit! – enjoyed reading but &c.

Rejection #210 – elimae

elimae liked the writing, but it just wasn’t right for the mag.

Too bad, too, because it’s the last straight literary story I have the in the pipeline, so it’s unlikely I’ll be submitting there again in the near future.  I’m on to crime, fantasy, and SF.  Probably should pick a focus, but they’re all so damn fun.

Rejections #163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168 – AGNI, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Five Points, Shenandoah, Metazen, Corium

Shenandoah sent me a nice, detailed rejection.  My writing is “bold and transgressive,” but the ending leaves something to be desired.  I will work on this.

AGNI gave my work careful consideration, but decided it wasn’t for them.

Hayden’s Ferry Review appreciates the opportunity &tc.

Five Points really enjoyed the piece, but didn’t feel it was right for them.

Metazen thought the piece was well-written, but not right for them.

Corium says it’s not a good fit &tc.

Rejections #163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168 – AGNI, Hayden's Ferry Review, Five Points, Shenandoah, Metazen, Corium

Shenandoah sent me a nice, detailed rejection.  My writing is “bold and transgressive,” but the ending leaves something to be desired.  I will work on this.

AGNI gave my work careful consideration, but decided it wasn’t for them.

Hayden’s Ferry Review appreciates the opportunity &tc.

Five Points really enjoyed the piece, but didn’t feel it was right for them.

Metazen thought the piece was well-written, but not right for them.

Corium says it’s not a good fit &tc.

A personalized rejection from my end – Rejections #161 & 162 – Witness and Electric Literature

Electric Literature thanks me &tc., but I have a personal connection to this form rejection.  A couple years ago when Electric Literature was just starting out  and I was a writer for TeleRead, they were looking for publicity and contacted me and I wrote a couple pieces on their project, including one piece that was not favorable to the story/animation in question, but very complimentary of what Electric Literature was trying to do.  I was in touch with the co-Editors, and they seemed like nice guys.

So, a couple years later, I have a piece I think might work for them.  I write them.  Before, when I was spreading the good word, they’d get back to me within hours.  Now, nothing.  Well, fair enough, I decide.  Guess I shouldn’t be trying to jump the queue that way.  So I send them my story like anyone else, though I do mention our past connection in the cover letter.

Was I trying to use a personal connection to help get published?  Hell yes, I was. 

Little that it mattered.  After a standard 192-day wait, I got the standard auto-reject, with nary a word of my past word-spreading on their behalf.

No question, having connections helps in getting published.  But not all connections were created equal.  The tenuous ones – like as not they help not at all.

Meanwhile, Witness admired many elements of my work, but have decided the manuscript isn’t right for them.

Failure, noted

I’ve had a couple acceptances on the writing front as of late.  But I wouldn’t want to give you the impression that this is the normal run of things.

After a four-year hiatus when I was working on a couple novel manuscripts, I started sending short stories out into the world on July 28th, 2010 (thanks to the magic of Duotrope, I know this down to the date).  Since then, I’ve received 135 rejections to 5 acceptances.  That’s a success ratio of 3.6%.

It seems unfair, somehow, to just list the successes, while pretending the failures don’t exist.

So I set up a new page up above: Failure. I created the first draft of the page almost a month ago, when I got my 100th rejection.  But I chickened out on making it live for reasons obscure to myself.  Well, no more.

I’m also going to be posting on each new rejection as it comes in.

I am inspired in this by Roxane Gay and Dan Moreau.  They are very good writers, the both of them.  You should go read some of what they have written.  Also, they have both handled myriad rejections with great public aplomb.  I aim to be like them.