PDA

View Full Version : The "You're Very Close But This is Still a Rejection" Rejection



faerydancer
08-20-2009, 11:06 PM
Hey everyone,

This should teach me not to get my hopes up. I submitted a story a few weeks ago and got a nice note from the slush reader that she loved it and was sending it for a full board review. I did my little happy dance, because this is the closest to publication I've ever been. Then today, I received a note saying they were rejecting it.

On the one hand, I'm ecstatic because they really did like the story. She even said, "there's so much to love about this." Happy dance commences. But the reason for reject was simple and something I should have caught prior to submission. I guess I'm playing the "why didn't you add the thing you knew you should have added in the first place?" game.

Thanks for reading my rant. Point of post: A positive, encouraging, you-were-this-close rejection makes me feel like maybe I should keep plugging away at this and completely defeated all at once.

Best,
Brenda

jennibly
08-20-2009, 11:52 PM
Welcome to my world, Brenda. lol.

I've been getting these a lot. Enthusiastic requests for partials followed by jubilant requests for fulls followed by emails that start out sounding like ohmygodthiscouldbeitforme! but ultimately are rejections along the lines of "You'd be a great author if you had written something else."

Honor the disappointment but definitely stay encouraged and keep plugging away!

the addster
08-21-2009, 12:06 AM
I know the feeling well. I've got so much, we don't want this, but if you do something else, we'd sure be interested, that I'm doing something else.

Hell, I'd almost like to see a form rejection, the personal ones are getting too personal.

ink wench
08-21-2009, 12:07 AM
Sorry, Brenda. :Hug2: I know that feeling. Try to focus on that positive part, then make the edit and send that story back out. Sounds like you're very close with it!

HorsebackWriter
08-21-2009, 02:35 AM
I think sometimes we see it like: write, submit, publish. And yet, there are all these steps in between that are easy to miss when we have our eyes focused on the prize.

Good for you, for writing. Good for you, for the courage to submit. And *good for you* for getting feedback from professionals as to what can make your rejected story into an accepted one. Those moments of feedback are priceless gems.

It may be a few extra steps to get where you're going, but so doable. Obviously you have talent, and the talent has just been validated.

Good for you! Happy Dance, commence again! : )

Em

arkady
08-21-2009, 07:02 PM
But the reason for reject was simple and something I should have caught prior to submission. I guess I'm playing the "why didn't you add the thing you knew you should have added in the first place?" game.

Well if it's that simple, it should be easy to fix. Did they say anything about resubmitting if you make the changes?

faerydancer
08-21-2009, 11:40 PM
Thanks everyone for your comments. You sure know how to make a gal feel better. =)

jennibly: It definitely seems to be the standard fare for the writer, doesn't it? I need to learn to be more motivated by my disappointment--especially the close calls.

the addster: I know what you mean. Sometimes it's easier to brush off the form rejections. But I'm coming to realize it really is all about submitting the right story to the right market. I had one editor at another mag say this story was boring, repetitive and nothing much happens, while the one that rejected it recently loved it all but one little thing. It's so subjective.

ink wench: Thanks for the hug, hehe. I'm trying to keep positive. Started working on edits yesterday. It's so hard to tell if your edits are "enough" sometimes. Think I'll need to beta it again to get a good sense if I've hit the target.

HorsebackWriter: Wow that just lifted my spirits tenfold! I do treasure those personal feedback moments, they tell me so much more than other feedback, sometimes. Because when it comes down to it, what the editor thinks is what stands between you and publication. I am definitely happy dancing over here. =)

arkady: No, there wasn't an invite to resubmit. They wanted me to explain why certain things happen in the story and while this will technically require only a small addition of new words, it might change the story a bit. I'm working on using their suggestions to submit it somewhere else. But I have a new story idea in mind that I think is right for them as well. So it looks like I'll be busy hehe

ccarver30
08-25-2009, 03:25 AM
Ya know what I hate? When an agent apologizes for a form letter rejection. You're NOT sorry or else you wouldn't HAVE a form rejection letter!! WHY do they even bother to say sorry???

JKabol
08-25-2009, 03:38 AM
brenda,

hey; i'm johnathan.

i dont get it. do you know know what they referred to, why specifically they sent it back? or was it that they said no because they had some questions about the story. it may not be a bad idea, while you are in the midst of editing/rewriting, to post it up for others to review for a week or so. then take it down before you submit it elsewhere?


just a thought-

childeroland
08-26-2009, 09:31 PM
A positive, encouraging, you-were-this-close rejection makes me feel like maybe I should keep plugging away at this and completely defeated all at once.

Yeah, just got one of these.

AngelicaRJackson
08-31-2009, 02:37 AM
The even-worse-variation on that was my first almost-sale while I was still in college. I submitted a short story to the college lit mag (actually wins awards and pretty good quality) and they called to let me know they wanted to publish my piece. They asked me to meet with them and go over a few things; they ultimately asked me to change the ending slightly. I wasn't entirely comfortable with that and declined to do so, and they said okay.

A few months later as publication was approaching, I ran into the advisor and asked if they were planning any author reading events, etc, as I would be happy to participate. He gave me a strange look, and said, "Somebody did let you know we killed your story, didn't they?"

No, they hadn't, and months of validation were undone in just those few seconds. Here I'd been walking around thinking (and telling everybody) that I was a Writer, capital W. On top of the rejections I'd been getting for other works, it almost made me give up writing altogether.

But I ultimately discovered that what made me a Writer was actually writing, whether those pieces ever saw the light of published day or not. And the final irony, I later changed the ending and liked it much better!