Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I know rejections aren't personal, but for some reason that's how they can feel sometimes. I must say my immunity has grown - they generally don't worry me too much anymore. I get over them in a couple of minutes and send the pieces out to other markets pretty quickly.

It has been quite a while since I've had one that hurt.  And that one was more about the circumstances surrounding the rejection than the rejection itself.

The goal is to aim high while not getting your hopes up. Never count on the sale. But I must admit I feel a little surprised at a rejection I received a few days ago. I wrote a story aimed at a particular market, figured I'd nailed all the criteria and guidelines, and received a form rejection within eight hours.

That rejection doesn't hurt either, but I am a little curious as to the reasons why my story didn't advance to the next round of selections.  Of course it's bad form to ask, and there's no obligation for the editor to tell me. And ultimately it probably wouldn't help me anyway.

But sometimes just a few extra words would be appreciated.


Gitte Christensen said...

I also got a super quickie rejection that hurt a few days ago, possibly from the same publication you submitted to - they were just as speedy with their rejections last time I gave them a shot. After all that work and polishing... Ah well, such is the writing game.

Steve Cameron said...

Yeah, I imagine it is the same one. Which is fine - an editor can choose whichever stories they want to.

It didn't hurt too much - especially as I've had a few wins recently. But I was surprised at the speed of the rejection, as I felt it was just right for that market.

As I said, it''s out again, and I'm reasonably confident this story will sell somewhere.

Pete Aldn said...

I had two rejections from agents within a day of submission last week. Didn't hurt at all.

The only one that really got under my skin in living memory was a PERSONAL (not form) rejection that told me "You're writing is good. But it needs to be special." Now, while the fellow was probably correct, and while I need to take encouargement to dig deeper from that, it did get under my skin because it felt like an insult. Took me a few days to get over it. Just happy that I conducted myself professionally and sent him a (short!) thank you note for the time he put into his feedback.

Steve Cameron said...

And that, of course, is the answer. Grow a thick skin and act professionally.

I heard about a new author who sold a book on first sub and never had to face rejections. Apparently had a hard time coping when reviews started arriving as she hadn't developed a thick skin.

Maybe these rejections and comments in private are characted building for us.