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Maryn
06-17-2008, 08:36 PM
I got my second "good" rejection in a month from a premier market in one of my short story genres. Clearly I'm close, but not there. I have no idea what the only two really good markets for my short fiction want, even though I read both and consider what I submitted better than what either has been publishing.

So I find myself at a place dishearteningly familiar, at the corner of What's-The-Use for my short stories and Too-Scared for the novel. (How long can I tinker with the query and synopsis, you ask? Forever.)

Maryn, lost and whiny

Marian Perera
06-17-2008, 08:57 PM
Just send out a few queries to agents whom you think will reject you. The best in the business. Then if they accept, it's dancing snoopy time, if they reject you, well, you expected it all along, and either way, you won't be scared any more.

Good luck! :)

StoryG27
06-17-2008, 08:59 PM
:Hug2:

Sorry. That sucks.


Let's go get drunk.


My treat.

gettingby
06-17-2008, 08:59 PM
Rejections are heartbreaking, even the "good" ones. It's like saying you had a good break up. And getting close is sometimes worse than a flat out rejection. Nobody wants to be the first to lose. I have been rejected by some of the best places, even after requested rewrites and once writing on spec. The rejections are sometimes encouraging with a little "don't give up" or "try me again" or "this almost made it." The thing is you are good enough, but something else was off. I don't write short fiction so it is a little different, but the feelings you have are ones we have all had. Try lesser mags with the rejected stories to build up your experience. And keep at it. Believe that this is going to happen for you. Good luck!

David McAfee
06-17-2008, 09:21 PM
:Hug2:

Sorry. That sucks.


Let's go get drunk.


My treat.

I'd take her up on that. Storygirl never offered to get me drunk when I was feelin' poorly...

I know what you mean, Maryn. Rejections are hard. When published authors write about needing a thick skin, they ain't kidding.

Keep yer chin up, Maryn.

jst5150
06-17-2008, 09:24 PM
Maryn,

Chin up, thick skin and remember that the person in the submissions chair can change as often as western NY weather. Keep submitting. Keep submitting. Keep submitting.

VGrossack
06-17-2008, 09:28 PM
The thing is, sometimes it's not about the story or the writing at all. The editor has no time, or the magazine or the publisher has financial difficulties, or the advertisers or the commercial people demand something different. There's good writing - it makes a huge difference - but there are also the circumstances pushing around the publishing world, and one can influence them only slightly.

Remember that you love to write, and if you're getting "good" rejections, that your writing has merit. And hugs.

CaroGirl
06-17-2008, 09:28 PM
Yeah. Me too.

Let's make a pact not to give up, though. We must believe that the right magazine is out there for our story and the right agent is out there for our novel. Personally, even if my dream never comes true I never want to stop dreaming it.

All the best!

Caro, who is not Maryn

Calla Lily
06-17-2008, 09:37 PM
Do. Not. Give. Up.

*hands Maryn hard lemonade*

And if you've been tinkering with the novel forever, I really recommend taking a deep breath and sending out a few queries. *crosses fingers for Maryn*

ink wench
06-17-2008, 09:55 PM
Sorry, Maryn. :Hug2: I know that feeling. Get sending that novel out. I've been there-done that with the procrastination. It didn't help so it was time for a new mindset. Keep on submitting, start querying. Make those people fear seeing your name in their slush. That's what they get for rejecting you. Good luck!

III
06-17-2008, 10:02 PM
:Hug2:

Adam Israel
06-17-2008, 10:03 PM
Maryln,

Two close rejections isn't a bad thing. It means the story was strong but not right for that editor. Keep submitting and you'll sell it eventually.

Phaeal
06-17-2008, 10:05 PM
Maryn, if there's one thing I hate doing, it's showing other people up. But here goes!

I've been rejected over a dozen times (each) by the THREE top mags in SF/F, and guess what? All those rejections (36 plus) have been FORM REJECTIONS! I even got one form rejection for SOMEONE ELSE'S STORY!

[Low murmurs of astonishment from the crowd.]

Yeah, I rock. And guess what? I've gotten dozens of form rejections from the "secondary" and "tertiary" markets too.

[The crowd slowly rises to its collective feet.]

I stand here now, poised for my greatest accomplishment ever! Yes! I will boldly submit to The Rejected Quarterly and await the most prestigious rejection of all!

[Riotous cheers.]

Whew, being Rejection Queen is tough enough without near-miss pretenders like Maryn trying to horn in. I mean, she's going to get published any day now!

;)

ChaosTitan
06-17-2008, 10:05 PM
:Hug2::Hug2:

KTC
06-17-2008, 10:11 PM
That's enough from you YOUNG LADY! You're the champion here... you are unallowed to dreamstomp yourself! Find another market. Sometimes these markets are self possessed... don't fret. It's not an indication of your ability. Wise up, Janet Wise!


Kevin, hoping he earned a sig-line comment from the young lady.

Red-Green
06-17-2008, 10:17 PM
Sometimes there's no way to make sense of it. As a slushie, I typed up so many "glowing" rejection letters that made me wonder, "Why aren't we publishing this story?" Inevitably it had little to do with the story and often had to do with editorial negotiations, editorial tit-for-tatting, timing issues, space issues.

That said, I know that pain. Got a really nice rejection from one of my favorite lit mags, telling me how much they liked the story and asking me to send more. Uh, damn. So, what am I supposed to send? The story I didn't think was quite good enough in the first place? Oy.

Like I told somebody else, the reason you have to keep bothering, is if you give up, you have to go do something else meaningful with your life. No slacking off, so there's no reward for quitting.

MidnightMuse
06-18-2008, 02:19 AM
Join me and Storygirl at the bar, we'll take turns buying rounds.

I've achieved a state of Apathetic Nirvana, wherein I write, submit, say "Fvck it all" and go drinking. Then lather, rinse, repeat. But, in the words of the great Hemmingway "I am not a drunk who writes, I'm a writer who drinks."

So, stop fussing with that query - just hit SEND!

Another martooni, tarbender! :e2drunk:

dgiharris
06-18-2008, 02:24 AM
you know what always helps me?

I go out, and I read a few lines from a few authors that I think can't write their way out of a wet paper bag.

After reading a few paragraphs of that stir-fried dog shit, I am reinvogorated knowing that if they can get published, so can I.

GOod luck

Keep the faith,
Never give up, Never surrendor!

Mel...

HorsebackWriter
06-18-2008, 04:37 AM
Why bother? Because you're a writer, which is wonderful. Because these circumstances are helping you grow in ways you may not even realize yet, which will then make your writing even better. And, because as you get these rejections, it makes your sucess story even more glorious when you tell it in the future.

Lastly, because if you keep trying, one day that "yes" will come. And, you'll be so glad you kept the faith.

Em

Blondchen
06-18-2008, 05:11 AM
There are certain businesses in this world where you have to expect rejection. It sounds defeatist, I suppose, but I consider it more realist. In any industry where even the best, the icons, the most talented or most prolific have been rejected more times than they can count, I think you have to go into it expecting the rejection. You have to. You have to know you can handle it because there will be more, always. Always, always more.

Besides, you can chalk up 500 rejections, but the one acceptance will open a new world - "published author." Seems worth it to me.

Mandy-Jane
06-18-2008, 05:21 AM
Don't like to see you sad. You're always so happy! No advice for you; just a :Hug2:.

JenWriter
06-18-2008, 05:28 AM
Everyone experiences these moments, I think. Just pick yourself back up and keep going. What separates the successful writers from the non-successful ones is determination. You keep at it, and you can do it. The more you write, the better you'll get and the more likely you'll be to find the right story for the right person.

arkady
06-18-2008, 04:06 PM
you know what always helps me?

I go out, and I read a few lines from a few authors that I think can't write their way out of a wet paper bag.

And they probably couldn't. But they got published, and I haven't. So it only makes me more frustrated.


Lastly, because if you keep trying, one day that "yes" will come.

Maybe, maybe not. It isn't a given.


Sometimes there's no way to make sense of it.

Knowing this is all that keeps me going. That and knowing that if I quit, my chances are exactly zero.


In any industry where even the best, the icons, the most talented or most prolific have been rejected more times than they can count, I think you have to go into it expecting the rejection. You have to. You have to know you can handle it because there will be more, always. Always, always more.

I tell myself this with every query.

MsJudy
06-18-2008, 06:46 PM
Well, what IS the use?

No, I mean that as a non-rhetorical question. Why are you doing this?

Is it because you hope someday to be published and famous and rich? Then yeah, so far it's not working and maybe you should look for another way to get famous and rich. Publishing is really not the most reliable way.

Is it because the ideas in your head are so abundant that if you don't write them down you will go crazy? Well, then, keep going, because it hurts a lot when your head explodes.

Or is it because you'd love to share those abundant ideas with the world, and you really, really want to entertain and delight the rest of us with your stories? In that case, the encouragement you've gotten with those "almost-but-not-quite" rejections means you are getting closer and closer to your goal, so chin up and keep going.

The short fiction market is so constrained by weird factors like timing and available space, it can be very much a matter of luck to get the right piece in the hands of the right person at the right time. But it can be done.

I do know it sucks. The waiting, the hoping. Hang in there.

Troo
06-18-2008, 07:52 PM
I've been rejected over a dozen times (each) by the THREE top mags in SF/F


Now that's persistence! :D

Cranky
06-18-2008, 07:55 PM
I don't have any advice, either, besides "Keep submitting!"

But I've got :Hug2: to spare. So here, have another. :Hug2:

Maryn
06-18-2008, 09:59 PM
Someone in my critique group has strongly urged me to go through all my old stories, polish as needed, and always have something on submission with both my near-miss markets. I can do that.

Today I'm sending the one EQ (that's Ellery Queen) rejected to AHHM (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine). I wish I could do the reverse, too, but their needs are slightly different and the fit is poor, since there's a supernatural element AHHM likes, but EQ won't tolerate. Oh well, I've got more.

Thanks, everybody, for the encouragement.

Maryn, steadfast for now

dgiharris
06-18-2008, 11:46 PM
Well, what IS the use?

No, I mean that as a non-rhetorical question. Why are you doing this?

Is it because you hope someday to be published and famous and rich? Then yeah, so far it's not working and maybe you should look for another way to get famous and rich. Publishing is really not the most reliable way.

Is it because the ideas in your head are so abundant that if you don't write them down you will go crazy? Well, then, keep going, because it hurts a lot when your head explodes.

Or is it because you'd love to share those abundant ideas with the world, and you really, really want to entertain and delight the rest of us with your stories? In that case, the encouragement you've gotten with those "almost-but-not-quite" rejections means you are getting closer and closer to your goal, so chin up and keep going.

The short fiction market is so constrained by weird factors like timing and available space, it can be very much a matter of luck to get the right piece in the hands of the right person at the right time. But it can be done.

I do know it sucks. The waiting, the hoping. Hang in there.

I think this bears repeating. IMO, our profession is a labor of love. On a comparitive basis, the amount of time we sink into writing far exceeds that of many other 'things'. We are artists, and almost all artforms are labors of love.

Personally, I feel it is spiritual. These stories I have inside of me MUST be told. It is not an option for me. I have hundreds of ideas running around in my head and they collide and produce a 'new' story almost on a weekly basis.

So I put the work in, get them out of my system, polish them up and try to find them a good home in a mag somewhere.

IMO there are two components to getting published.

The first component is writing 'publishable' material. I think this is where most writers fail or refuse to put the work in to learn the craft. Similarly, I feel many writers do not have the ability to subjectively compare and assess their works as relates to other works that are published.

Step 2 is simply finding a publisher/mag that is a good fit for your story. This trips a lot of writers up because they think just because they have a good story, they should be able to get it published. But there are a lot of factors in play here (many mentioned above). And in this step, it is persistance that is the key.

I only have a few pubs, this was my break out year. I've been submitting since 2006 but didn't truly complete my 'step 1' until this year. I'm still learning and am by no means an expert. But I do know that persistance is the key. Persistance in constantly honing your craft, learning, and improving. And persistance in researching your potential targets and firing away with the utmost stubborness.

ANyways, good luck. Hang in there. It is only a matter of time.

Mel...