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Aislinn
03-29-2015, 01:18 PM
Double whammy this morning - DSF and Fireside form Rs.

Sara K.
03-29-2015, 03:49 PM
Just got a lovely 16-day personal(?) R from F&SF. "I like the voice of this story and the writing in general, but overall the premise just didn't grab me. I'm going to pass on this one for F&SF, but I wish you best of luck finding the right market for it. I hope I'll see more stories from you in the future."

Nothing I can do about the premise really, so I'm just going to have to hope another editor is grabbed by it.

For anyone wondering, went out at 74.

eyeblink
03-29-2015, 05:22 PM
Just got a lovely 16-day personal(?) R from F&SF. "I like the voice of this story and the writing in general, but overall the premise just didn't grab me. I'm going to pass on this one for F&SF, but I wish you best of luck finding the right market for it. I hope I'll see more stories from you in the future."

Nothing I can do about the premise really, so I'm just going to have to hope another editor is grabbed by it.

For anyone wondering, went out at 74.

That does sound like a personal reject to me and you should send it somewhere else. I suggested this market to another poster on here, but if you're writing slipstreamy SF as I remember you described your work as, you could try Interzone - in the UK but do take online submissions nowadays.

In short, if your story was a complete miss and he didn't think you could write, he wouldn't be encouraging you to send him more.

JJ Litke
03-29-2015, 07:24 PM
Oh cool, I should count mine as a personal, too, then.

It's nice to get good response from pro markets, but with six stories out since the beginning of the year, I haven't made a sale yet. The acceptance rates aren't very encouraging, and I just noticed lately that the acceptance rates for the semi-pro markets don't seem any better.

Capability
04-01-2015, 01:35 AM
It's so nice to see Finlay's still able to give useful advice in his rejections, despite the crazy numbers over at F&SF. I finally subbed another story there and am hoping for feedback (I'm trying to cultivate disinterested fatalism regarding, like, an acceptance. Dream small, etc).

And I feel like I'm due a rejectolanche. A month at Str@nge Horizons! Nearly two at Abyss&Ap3x! Coming up on the window at Ideomancer! SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, REJECT MEEEEE!

ACFantasy
04-01-2015, 07:29 AM
Rejectolanche time!

Double R from CG, single R from Escap3 P0d, and single R from Sh1mm3r.

Tamlyn
04-05-2015, 09:42 AM
Pretty immediate Fireside rejection.

It'll have to wait to go back out until I'm back from holiday though.

Ty Schalter
04-09-2015, 06:43 PM
25-day personal from Terraform. Rack up another lengthy, glowing, detailed, thanks-so-much-and-please-send-us-other-stuff-but-this-one's-not-a-fit R for this story. So awesome, yet so awful.

I keep hoping to sell this scene as a flash/short-short while I develop it into a novel, but every editor wants to see a much deeper dive into the world and emotions of these characters. I need to quit submission-grinding the short and just write the stupid novel.

From a Rejectomancy perspective, the Terraform editors "are currently pickaxing their way out of an inbox avalanche," and profusely apologetic for long/erratic turnaround times. Considering the Grinder stats, it feels like maybe they're starting to get a handle on it?

Thanks,
Ty

DetectiveFork
04-15-2015, 01:47 AM
If you mean from CC/F&SF, his can be pretty personal. All of mine thus far have talked about different aspects of the story and why he's passing. Hope that helps.

Just got my first rejection from C.C. Finlay after about two weeks. His personal comments were very helpful, even if they made me realize that the style of voice I used in the story (which I use in many stories) is probably not going to grab him in other submissions.

Does anyone have any experience submitting to Asimov's? I'm considering them next. (Well, after I likely get rejected from Clarkesworld; the sub started at a low queue number but hasn't moved at all in the last 24 hours.) I saw there have been short response times from Asimov's, but any personal feedback from the readers?

Oh, hello, by the way. :)

WendyN
04-15-2015, 02:13 AM
I saw there have been short response times from Asimov's, but any personal feedback from the readers?

According to the Submission Grinder stats for Asimov's (http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/Market.aspx?mid=6), about 12% of their rejections are personalized.

Aislinn
04-15-2015, 02:17 AM
A painful morning - form rejections from IGMS and Cricket. And the 's' key on my keyboard is sticking.

DetectiveFork
04-15-2015, 02:56 AM
According to the Submission Grinder stats for Asimov's (http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/Market.aspx?mid=6), about 12% of their rejections are personalized.

Oh, cool! I love stats like that but hadn't seen those for Asimov's.

William Green
04-15-2015, 04:38 AM
Received a handful of rejections this past couple weeks:

SF&F: "I like the writing in this but the premise just didn't convince me"

Shimmer: "Stories involving gender politics/explorations are definitely in Shimmer's wheelhouse, but overall this one just didn't win me over; it felt a little less lyrical than we typically lean toward."

Forms from Apex, Betwixt and Nightmare.

UFO was nice enough to let me know they found the story they were rejecting "delightfully creepy".

Carousel sent me a form R for a story I withdrew months ago.

ACFantasy
04-17-2015, 09:49 AM
50-day personal from P0dcastl3.

Gnome
04-17-2015, 08:50 PM
85 day form from k@leidotrope. The rest of my submissions seem to have vanished into the twilight zone.

pdichellis
04-24-2015, 02:03 AM
102-day veto on a mystery reprint from Strange Mysteries anthology. Nice note from the editor, liked the writing and invited me to sub more, but the story wasn't quite the kind of sff/horror strangeness she wanted.

DarkSongofErrin
05-13-2015, 04:17 AM
7 month, 29 day rejection from the New Yorker for a poem. Can't remember why I tried there, forgot it was even out. According to rejection wiki it's a tiered response, but I think they may have just changed their rejection slip.

pdichellis
05-14-2015, 08:28 PM
61-day brush off from Bete Noire on a reprint. No personal note from editor this time. Maybe a policy change, maybe he just didn't like the story at all?

StormChild
05-26-2015, 11:52 AM
41-day form nope from BCS; 3-day form from Clarkesworld.

And out they go again.

StormChild
05-30-2015, 02:10 PM
10-day form from The Sockdolager. And lots of crickets.

Ty Schalter
06-01-2015, 06:02 PM
IGMS slapped the story that's gotten all my nicest personals with their formiest form. 38 days. They REALLY don't dig my stuff over there!

Peace
Ty

pdichellis
06-02-2015, 12:07 AM
17-day freeze-out from EQMM, maintaining my spotless record of rejection by pro-paying markets.

StormChild
06-02-2015, 08:54 PM
4-day "didn't quite work for me" from Nightmare.

Ty, I agree that there's something chillingly absolute about the IGMS form

JJ Litke
06-02-2015, 09:11 PM
Uh oh, I have a story out at IGMS. What does their form say? I mean, I'll probably find out soon enough, but it'd be nice to know if I'm not getting customized disdain.

pdichellis, I've only gotten rejections, too. A couple of nice personal ones, but still rejections. Only recently have I gone through all the suitable pro markets for a couple of stories and sent them down to the semis. Still waiting to see if that works out.

StormChild
06-02-2015, 09:32 PM
My IGMS rejection was "We're sorry to tell you that we will not be using it; you are free to submit it elsewhere."

Clear and to the point.

JJ Litke
06-02-2015, 11:48 PM
Huh, well I guess that is pretty clear. :) Thanks, I guess I'll look forward to getting that email soon.

Ty Schalter
06-03-2015, 05:06 PM
Ty, I agree that there's something chillingly absolute about the IGMS form


My IGMS rejection was "We're sorry to tell you that we will not be using it; you are free to submit it elsewhere."

Clear and to the point.

Yep! Total and complete finality in two clauses. No daylight, no wiggle room, just no.

Peace
Ty

StormChild
06-03-2015, 05:30 PM
0-day form nope from The Dark.

Ty Schalter
06-04-2015, 05:47 AM
231 days after I originally submitted, 191 days after they realized they'd lost it, 186 days after I got the notification it had been bumped up to the EiC, 24 days after I queried again because I feared it had been lost again, Jason Sizemore at Apex thanked me for my "endless patience"—and then passed. :cry:

He did, however, give me some valuable feedback. After a few minutes of utter, why-do-I-even-bother despair, I did a feedback-incorporating polish and subbed it back out to Lightspeed. Onward. Upward.

Peace
Ty

JJ Litke
06-04-2015, 07:01 AM
Ow. Well Lightspeed is sure to be a better fit. :greenie

When I see big numbers along with a rejection on SG, I always feel for that person. Those gotta hurt extra.

vintager
06-04-2015, 06:34 PM
231 days after I originally submitted, 191 days after they realized they'd lost it, 186 days after I got the notification it had been bumped up to the EiC, 24 days after I queried again because I feared it had been lost again, Jason Sizemore at Apex thanked me for my "endless patience"—and then passed. :cry:
Damn it Ty, I was so rooting for you. Honestly.

Ty Schalter
06-04-2015, 09:19 PM
Ow. Well Lightspeed is sure to be a better fit. :greenie

RIGHT. YES. THAT'S THE SPIRIT.


Damn it Ty, I was so rooting for you. Honestly.

Aww, thanks! Really, really appreciate that. It helps. Honestly.

Thanks,
Ty

vintager
06-04-2015, 10:30 PM
Aww, thanks! Really, really appreciate that. It helps. Honestly.
I didn't mean it as sarcasm, I've been really checking this thread once in a while hoping to hear some good news about your story.
Well, at least you got some personalized feedback from Jas0n. The worst thing to me is when they hold your piece for ages, and then send you a letter apologizing for the delay, followed immediately by a form rejection.
Good luck with Lightsp33d!

Ty Schalter
06-09-2015, 06:49 PM
Not sure if it's a tiered form or not, but got a pretty brief form from Lightspeed's John Joseph Adams six days out. Perseverence...

Peace
Ty

JJ Litke
06-09-2015, 07:11 PM
Ty, I got my rejection from Lightspeed this morning, too, eight days out. He did say some nice things, including looking forward to seeing my next submission.

I do have this other story I could send (sci-fi, the first one was fantasy). Maybe I should wait? This one is omniscient POV; I love it, but omniscient is usually a tough sell.

Tamlyn
06-10-2015, 12:39 PM
Got my Lightspeed rejection, 8 days, if there are tiers, it was a form on the lowest tier :)

Just the tiniest bite somewhere, anywhere, would be really nice *sigh*

JJ Litke
06-10-2015, 07:04 PM
:Hug2: Tamlyn. It'll happen. Lightspeed is a tough market.

StormChild
06-15-2015, 01:00 PM
13-day form from Plasma Frequency.

JJ Litke
06-15-2015, 07:01 PM
I got that form R from IGMS over the weekend, so now I am free to submit it elsewhere. :greenie

Ty Schalter
06-16-2015, 07:13 PM
Seven-day form R from Lightspeed. If the last one was a tiered form, well, this other story hit the exact same word-for-word tier. LOL.

Peace
Ty

StormChild
06-16-2015, 09:43 PM
13-day nope from Farrago's Wainscot. Pity; I had high hopes for this one.

StormChild
06-17-2015, 08:50 AM
And 92-day form from Another Dimension. The rejectolanche is beginning to rumble.

StormChild
06-18-2015, 03:57 PM
101 day form from PARSEC. Still rumbling.

pdichellis
06-22-2015, 07:01 AM
Really formy-form 6-month pooh-pooh from a mystery/crime anthology. Held giant hopes for this one. Bigtime boo-hoo.

JJ Litke
06-23-2015, 07:32 PM
Gah, looks like I'm not breaking into L1ghtspeed anytime soon.

Gnome
06-27-2015, 07:19 PM
I've gotten a few rejections in the last little while. I haven't been posting here because the site is crazy slow for me lately. Anybody else having this problem?

My most recent rejection was a 70 day form from Lun@ Station. I only have two subs out right now and I've kind of lost the motivation to write and sub stories.

zanzjan
07-03-2015, 09:21 AM
I've gotten a few rejections in the last little while. I haven't been posting here because the site is crazy slow for me lately. Anybody else having this problem?

Not that's not a direct result of being on dialup internet. Works fine for me from regular connections. I think there may be helpful suggestions over in FAQs or in Tech Help?


My most recent rejection was a 70 day form from Lun@ Station. I only have two subs out right now and I've kind of lost the motivation to write and sub stories.

:( I've been getting a lot of Rs lately too. Leveling up is hard. Persist if you can; if not, take a break and come back at it when you're ready. We all hit quicksand now and then.

Tamlyn
07-03-2015, 02:05 PM
The site randomly decides to be slow for me. It'll be fine, then everything will hang for a while (it only happens to AW).

I got one of those nice rejections today. They liked the story; it just wasn't speculative enough for them (paraphrasing). I wasted a bunch of markets on this one before I realised I had to cut out a chunk in the middle (thank you CC Finlay for the rejection that made me realise that). Maybe I should try to find some multi-genre places to sub it instead.

shortstorymachinist
07-16-2015, 07:49 PM
My W1/S1 starts today, but in the spirit of the challenge I thought I'd share my most recent rejection from two months ago. Subbed to F&SF, a humorous sci-fi piece about doppelgangers. I got a rejection saying they didn't have time to provide detailed feedback, but a specific section made them laugh. I'll take it. Onward!

vintager
07-17-2015, 11:36 AM
I got a rejection saying they didn't have time to provide detailed feedback, but a specific section made them laugh.
"They" are really him. Finlay reads through all of the submissions himself. He's like a Superman of editors.
Source: https://twitter.com/ccfinlay/status/609446915780939777

shortstorymachinist
07-17-2015, 12:45 PM
"They" are really him. Finlay reads through all of the submissions himself. He's like a Superman of editors.
Source: https://twitter.com/ccfinlay/status/609446915780939777

What a champ, holy cannoli.

JJ Litke
07-17-2015, 06:32 PM
And after closing subs for a month, he's been really fast to respond. Except to me. Maybe that means he's considering it. Or maybe it means my sub didn't make it or has been lost. Actually I'm now convinced it's the latter there. Since this story would be a good fit for M0thership Zeta, I'm sure this oversight will only be discovered once their sub window closes. I am a mass of positivity.

CC mentioned something on Twitter a couple weeks ago about checking your place in the queue. I don't see any way to do that for regular subs—he must be talking about that special sub event thingie that happened earlier this year, right? Or is there a way to check F&SF subs that I'm just missing?

vintager
07-17-2015, 06:53 PM
CC mentioned something on Twitter a couple weeks ago about checking your place in the queue. I don't see any way to do that for regular subs—he must be talking about that special sub event thingie that happened earlier this year, right? Or is there a way to check F&SF subs that I'm just missing?
Hey JJ,

You receive a confirmation email with the link to check the submission status. Normally I'd start at number 500 or so in the queue, progress to #100 in a matter of two weeks (he reads about 30 pieces a day), and then get a swift rejection, sometimes sugar-coated with an invitation to send in more stories :)
If you haven't received the email, I'd suggest querying him!

Re Finlay's rejections: when he's not flooded, he still uses the old ' didn't grab me / didn't work for me / didn't win me over' template, more on it here:
http://www.ccfinlay.com/blog/nectar-for-rejectomancers.html

JJ Litke
07-17-2015, 06:59 PM
I have never gotten a confirmation email from F&SF. I've always gotten a response (rejection), though. Why am I the only one not getting these?

I guess I could query him, but I have no idea what to say.

vintager
07-17-2015, 07:02 PM
I have never gotten a confirmation email from F&SF. I've always gotten a response (rejection), though. Why am I the only one not getting these?
Try using this:
http://submissions.ccfinlay.com/fsf/recover/

JJ Litke
07-17-2015, 07:10 PM
Try using this:
http://submissions.ccfinlay.com/fsf/recover/

Thanks, vintager!

Hmm, I guess if I get no response, that means my sub didn't go through?

shortstorymachinist
07-17-2015, 07:18 PM
And after closing subs for a month, he's been really fast to respond. Except to me. Maybe that means he's considering it. Or maybe it means my sub didn't make it or has been lost. Actually I'm now convinced it's the latter there. Since this story would be a good fit for M0thership Zeta, I'm sure this oversight will only be discovered once their sub window closes. I am a mass of positivity.

CC mentioned something on Twitter a couple weeks ago about checking your place in the queue. I don't see any way to do that for regular subs—he must be talking about that special sub event thingie that happened earlier this year, right? Or is there a way to check F&SF subs that I'm just missing?

I never checked my place in the queue, I didn't even know I could until I'd gotten my rejection. I'm probably not as aware as I should be.

vintager
07-17-2015, 07:18 PM
Thanks, vintager!

Hmm, I guess if I get no response, that means my sub didn't go through?
I've just tried it--I get no response either, and I don't have anything submitted to CC at the moment.
However, this could also mean your spam filter is at fault ;) Do you use a gmail account?

JJ Litke
07-17-2015, 07:23 PM
No, Thunderbird. I never get anything in my junk folder, though. And I just added his email to my address book for safe measure.

Huh, maybe it really didn't go through.

vintager
07-17-2015, 07:36 PM
Huh, maybe it really didn't go through.
Query him, JJ!
http://submissions.ccfinlay.com/fsf/info/
I don't know how fast he responds to queries though.

JJ Litke
07-18-2015, 02:07 AM
Aw, he rejected it, but the email bounced. But he did respond to my query, so at least now I know.

Now I'm mildly concerned why I've gotten email bounces. That's a little worrisome.

DarkSongofErrin
07-19-2015, 02:15 AM
24 day R from Lackingtons

pdichellis
07-20-2015, 08:58 PM
288-day bleh from AHMM. My spotless record of rejections from pro-paying markets stays intact!

Best wishes,
Peter

Ty Schalter
07-21-2015, 10:28 PM
1-day form spike from both Mothership Zeta and Clarkesworld. Same story. :tongue

Peace
Ty

S. L. Saboviec
07-22-2015, 04:48 PM
Re Finlay's rejections: when he's not flooded, he still uses the old ' didn't grab me / didn't work for me / didn't win me over' template, more on it here:
http://www.ccfinlay.com/blog/nectar-for-rejectomancers.html

Oh, wow, this was illuminating. I got one "didn't grab me" with a personal note. (Ugh, rejection, tier 1.) He was 100% right about his feedback, and I knew it on some level. I, for whatever reason, didn't allow the idea to percolate to the conscious part of my brain before I started subbing the story. Lesson learned.

My other two, which were during this open period, were "isn't quite what I'm looking for right now," and I don't know what that means because it's not in his blog entry. *spins in circles*

Tamlyn
07-23-2015, 02:10 PM
CC Finlay tweeted which form responses he uses now. I don't know how to link to specific tweets, sorry, but there were about five tweets on July 17th.

S. L. Saboviec
07-23-2015, 07:20 PM
Thanks. I found them:

https://twitter.com/ccfinlay/status/622076429493088257
@ghostwritingcow (https://twitter.com/ghostwritingcow)@adribbleofink (https://twitter.com/adribbleofink)@runpetewrite (https://twitter.com/runpetewrite) Exactly. My personal taste form is "this story just didn't click for me."

https://twitter.com/ccfinlay/status/622077408154222593
"Didn't grab me" - opening hook didn't grab me
"Lost momentum" - middle didn't hold me

https://twitter.com/ccfinlay/status/622077808525729792
"Didn't win me over" - ending didn't work for me
"Pieces didn't come together" - story didn't feel cohesive to me

https://twitter.com/ccfinlay/status/622078503475777537
"Not what I'm looking for right now" - not what I'm looking for right now, maybe later
I try to keep it simple.

JJ Litke
07-23-2015, 07:23 PM
Here they are: https://twitter.com/ccfinlay/status/622077408154222593
https://twitter.com/ccfinlay/status/622077808525729792

He says: "Didn't grab me" - opening hook didn't grab me "Lost momentum" - middle didn't hold me
and
"Didn't win me over" - ending didn't work for me "Pieces didn't come together" - story didn't feel cohesive to me

I've gotten the "didn't win me over" one, and I started working on a new ending for that story.

Oh oh, and to get a direct link to a tweet, click on the time stamp for that tweet. I had to look it up some time ago when I was trying to do that, it's really not intuitive at all.

_Sian_
07-23-2015, 09:15 PM
Form R. Fairly short turn around, so I'm presuming it was the story and not their number of subs. Revised for coherency and shot it off again.

eyeblink
07-23-2015, 10:03 PM
Here they are: https://twitter.com/ccfinlay/status/622077408154222593
https://twitter.com/ccfinlay/status/622077808525729792

He says: "Didn't grab me" - opening hook didn't grab me "Lost momentum" - middle didn't hold me
and
"Didn't win me over" - ending didn't work for me "Pieces didn't come together" - story didn't feel cohesive to me

I've gotten the "didn't win me over" one, and I started working on a new ending for that story.

Oh oh, and to get a direct link to a tweet, click on the time stamp for that tweet. I had to look it up some time ago when I was trying to do that, it's really not intuitive at all.

I had what looked like a personal R from the last but one guest-edited issue last September, but it did contain the words "didn't grab me". Full text: "Thanks for submitting "Beside the Sea" -- I'm always happy to see stories from writers who have been in F&SF. This story just didn't grab me -- I felt that it developed too slowly -- so I'm going to pass on it. But best of luck to you placing this one elsewhere, and thanks again for giving me a chance to read it. I hope to see another story from you next time submissions are open."

Meanwhile, I have at least two at different places which I think have fallen into the black hole of no response = not interested.

_Sian_
07-24-2015, 03:38 PM
Personal R in less than an hour. Nice to get very specific comments on the story, but gosh, that was quick.

ACFantasy
07-24-2015, 05:22 PM
Out of curiosity, Sian, where did you get the 1-hour personal R from?

pdichellis
07-25-2015, 08:47 PM
10-day quickie snub from LampLight. But scored one on the Braggage forum too (from mystery 'zine OMDB!) so not all bad.

Best wishes,
Peter

_Sian_
07-25-2015, 10:20 PM
Out of curiosity, Sian, where did you get the 1-hour personal R from?

Diabolical Plots. I think they close pretty soon if you want to get in.

It was a flash piece too, so it wouldn't have taken him long to read, but always good to get specific comments.

BethanyCM
07-26-2015, 02:47 PM
0-day R from Diabolical Plots. Took longer than an hour but no personal comments like Sian so I probably just sat for a while before being read. :)

_Sian_
07-26-2015, 08:42 PM
Bloody hell, they're quick aren't they?

BethanyCM
07-26-2015, 11:28 PM
Yes ma'am. Waiting on the probable F&SF reject so I can send it to DSF. ;)

shortstorymachinist
08-04-2015, 07:59 PM
3 day rejection from F&SF, Finlay is a machine. Got a "Beginning hooked me but lost steam in the middle, ending was nice but not strong enough." I'm making rejection progress, whoohoo!

JJ Litke
08-04-2015, 08:07 PM
Great feedback, machinist! It helps so much to know what to work on. And having a good opening hook is great.

shortstorymachinist
08-04-2015, 08:16 PM
I'm pretty happy all things considered. Although now I'm deliberating whether or not I should revise before re-subbing somewhere else. He said he couldn't see what larger character arcs or themes were developing in the middle, and I'm afraid if I try making it more obvious I'll just break it. I think I'll sit on it for a couple days.

Gnome
08-10-2015, 09:03 PM
I just got a form rejection for Unlikely Story's clown issue. I only have one sub still out, but I am beginning to think it is a no-response rejection.

_Sian_
08-10-2015, 11:47 PM
Got a form R back form Daily Flash Fiction. I sort of expected it - not sure how to make what I've written any better, but it's definitely the weakest piece in the stable atm.

I may sit on it for a bit...

ACFantasy
08-12-2015, 04:28 PM
Got a detailed personal rejection from Diabolical Plots. Will definitely be taking their comments into account for the next revision.

BethanyCM
08-14-2015, 08:42 PM
Is Clarkesworld really holding 81 stories? Subbed at 82 in queue and haven't moved, but still Under Review. That's a first for me... or I have a bad memory?

pdichellis
08-14-2015, 08:59 PM
4-day nope from McSweeney's (Internet) on a humor piece. Editor included a funny note about the piece, so perhaps he at least got a chuckle from reading it.

BethanyCM
08-14-2015, 09:38 PM
That's awesome. I'm at 461 days w McSweeney's (Quarterly) and not sure I believe Submittable that it's still "In Progress."

William Green
08-15-2015, 02:08 AM
That's awesome. I'm at 461 days w McSweeney's (Quarterly) and not sure I believe Submittable that it's still "In Progress."

Damn, I checked SG last night and saw my Quarterly submission is coming up on one year so I thought, "I'll bet I'll be getting a response any day now." LOL Guess not.

BethanyCM
08-15-2015, 04:49 AM
Damn, I checked SG last night and saw my Quarterly submission is coming up on one year so I thought, "I'll bet I'll be getting a response any day now." LOL Guess not.

It's....only making my eye twitch a smidge. Just a smidge.

CL_Hilbert
08-15-2015, 11:52 PM
Is Clarkesworld really holding 81 stories? Subbed at 82 in queue and haven't moved, but still Under Review. That's a first for me... or I have a bad memory?

I think they're slowing down a little. Usually I'm in and out within a day, but I've been hovering at 47 for a bit now and I doubt it's because of an improvement on my end. ;)

BethanyCM
08-16-2015, 03:22 AM
Yeah I went from 82 to 30 suddenly and stayed there overnight and just got my form R. Sooo. There you have it.

pdichellis
08-24-2015, 03:09 AM
3-day no way from Flash Fiction Online for a crime story reprint.

JJ Litke
08-24-2015, 08:55 AM
Drabblec@st sent me a form R right in the middle of the Hugos on Saturday night. That seemed like particularly mean timing, and it definitely put a damper of the rest of the ceremony. Then an R rolled in tonight from Periheli0n. It's been a really discouraging weekend.

BethanyCM
08-24-2015, 10:40 PM
3 day form from Asimov

_Sian_
08-25-2015, 01:00 AM
I almost think I would rather Rs of under 10 days. All mine take at least 20, which gets my hopes up, and then it's just a form R....

DetectiveFork
08-25-2015, 07:49 PM
Of the last four stories I sent to F&SF, all four were rejected with form letters. However, two stories got the "didn't grab me" letter and two got the "isn't quite what I'm looking for right now" letter. I know that the former means the story lost the editor right at the opening. But does the latter mean he actually got through the story and didn't have major problems with it, but it's just not what he needs for the magazine right now due to space, style, theme, etc.? I wonder if the second form letter is actually better than the first, and therefore a little more encouraging. Maybe it's silly to read too much into this, but F&SF is really generous in providing different form letters that give you SOME idea about why the story was rejected. It's feedback I value, but I want to make sure I'm interpreting it correctly. Granted, a personal rejection (which Finlay did give me on one story) is much better. lol

Ty Schalter
08-26-2015, 04:22 PM
You're right, "didn't grab me" is lost him very close to the beginning, "isn't quite what I'm looking for" (or similar) means he read all the way through but then didn't think it had a place. His personals, yes, are usually quite personal/detailed/helpful.

Peace
Ty

_Sian_
08-27-2015, 02:02 AM
Well, I got my wish. 7 day rejection. Although the other one out is nudging up to 35 days.

*spins* *resubmits* *merry-go-round*

You might as well laugh about these things, eh? :P

shortstorymachinist
08-28-2015, 07:22 AM
Form R from Asimov's in two days, that was lighting fast. Trying to decide if I should wait a few days and resub to Uncanny.

pdichellis
08-29-2015, 12:27 AM
10-day hard cheese, pal from Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. My spotless record of rejection by pro-paying markets remains intact!!

DetectiveFork
08-29-2015, 03:15 AM
You're right, "didn't grab me" is lost him very close to the beginning, "isn't quite what I'm looking for" (or similar) means he read all the way through but then didn't think it had a place. His personals, yes, are usually quite personal/detailed/helpful.

Peace
Ty

Thanks for confirming that, Ty. I wish more publications used slightly tailored rejection forms like F&SF does.

CL_Hilbert
09-05-2015, 08:47 PM
Got a personal from Beneath Ceaseless Skies at 37 days.

(ETA: Whoops, had a brain fart. Originally, I wrote this was a rejection for my piece at SH and was very sad, but it was a rejection for a different story at BCS, subbed at the same time. Suddenly everything makes sense. They never like anything I do. I'm still in at the hard market! Whoo!)

JJ Litke
09-05-2015, 09:12 PM
That does make it tough to decide what to do with the feedback. But getting a personal R from SH is pretty good, I haven't gotten that far with them yet. :)

Ty Schalter
09-05-2015, 11:25 PM
The story I subjected to the torture of SYW just got a detailed 15-day personal from Urban Fantasy. Of the two editorial assistants, one voted to accept and the other reject. Got a lot of very usable feedback. Going to try to give this one more polish before sending on to Fireside.

Peace
Ty

DetectiveFork
09-05-2015, 11:34 PM
Got a personal from Strange Horizons at 37 days. Feel kind of weird about it. She liked the things I didn't (and have since changed), but didn't enjoy the things I was proud of. Strange.

It's good that they were considering it and decided to write personally but, as JJ said, it's hard to decide what to do with that kind of feedback. Do you prepare a version of the story that goes against your instincts, restoring the things SH liked and changing the things you were proud of? Or do you stick with the version you like and submit elsewhere? Making it to 37 days at a tough market like Strange Horizons and being under consideration is a feat, so it can make you think.

I personally have a submission that's been with SH for 24 days. I usually get rejections from them in 7-14 days, so I'm hoping the story made it past the first reader. But at the same time, they could just be a little more backed up than usual with slush.

Yesterday I got a 10-day rejection from F&SF for a story I had high hopes for, so it hurt a little more than most. The editor was generous enough to offer personal comments, though. On the plus side, he liked the voice. In the only other personal rejection I've received from him (for a different story), he cited the voice as the main problem, so that's an improvement. He also liked the pacing. But he felt the premise just didn't play out well, and I'm not sure how to change that without just writing a different story. So at this point I think I'm going to try a couple other markets to see if this story will get anywhere.

CL_Hilbert
09-06-2015, 12:16 AM
It's good that they were considering it and decided to write personally but, as JJ said, it's hard to decide what to do with that kind of feedback. Do you prepare a version of the story that goes against your instincts, restoring the things SH liked and changing the things you were proud of? Or do you stick with the version you like and submit elsewhere? Making it to 37 days at a tough market like Strange Horizons and being under consideration is a feat, so it can make you think.



Well, in my case it turns out I misread the rejection letter. I subbed a lot of stories 37 days ago. The rejection I got today was actually an R from Beneath Ceaseless Skies for a different story. (I guess I'm so fixated on the story at SH, I auto-assumed it was them.)

37 days at BCS is absolutely a different matter entirely. That's not nearly close to the editor for them. But I have never done well at BCS. This rejection is no longer surprising or strange to me.

(I feel much better, as it turns out. I'm used to getting kicked early at BCS. And also, the comments make a lot more sense when applied to the right story. :tongue)

DetectiveFork
09-06-2015, 12:19 AM
So your story with SH is still under consideration? As for BCS, that's cool that they offered helpful comments (not sure if that's standard procedure with them) .

CL_Hilbert
09-06-2015, 12:57 AM
Yes my story at 37 days is still out at SH. (Though Duotrope tells me there's been a few 40+ days rejections, so I can see the editor must be moving around on their to-read pile; fingers crossed)

And all rejections from BCS are personal, so that's not something to brag about. I have such markedly different tastes from their slush readers that while their critiques are okay, they rarely change my mind about anything. IMO, when you have a 100% personal R rate, you have to find a flaw in the story to comment on, even when you'd rather write "not what we're looking for" or "didn't win me over." I'm confident enough about the BCS story that while I can see their point, if I changed it, it wouldn't be my point.

shortstorymachinist
09-07-2015, 04:25 PM
Got the R from Uncanny in about a week. Considering how long some of you said it took last time, I'm happy I can send it out again so quickly.

DetectiveFork
09-07-2015, 07:46 PM
Got the R from Uncanny in about a week. Considering how long some of you said it took last time, I'm happy I can send it out again so quickly.

Yeah, nothing like waiting 150 days or whatever for a form rejection. Analog is one magazine that gives me pause whenever I think about submitting something to them. They're incredibly prestigious, but they take so long to get back to you. I wonder why their slush process is so different from their sister magazine, Asimov's, which replies (at least with rejections) in a couple of days. And then you have F&SF, which to my knowledge is a one-man slush-reading operation and tends to reply within a few days. I'm really hesitant to submit anything to Analog and put in on hold for so long unless it's been offered to several other publications first, even if they're not as widely circulated as Analog. But that means there's a good chance Analog won't bite if no one else did. It makes me wonder if Analog or any other publication with a long response time is getting less quality material sent to them because (we sometimes impatient) authors are sending stories elsewhere first.

shortstorymachinist
09-07-2015, 07:50 PM
Yeah, nothing like waiting 150 days or whatever for a form rejection. Analog is one magazine that gives me pause whenever I think about submitting something to them. They're incredibly prestigious, but they take so long to get back to you. I wonder why their slush process is so different from their sister magazine, Asimov's, which replies (at least with rejections) in a couple of days. And then you have F&SF, which to my knowledge is a one-man slush-reading operation and tends to reply within a few days. I'm really hesitant to submit anything to Analog and put in on hold for so long unless it's been offered to several other publications first, even if they're not as widely circulated as Analog. But that means there's a good chance Analog won't bite if no one else did. It makes me wonder if Analog or any other publication with a long response time is getting less quality material sent to them because (we sometimes impatient) authors are sending stories elsewhere first.

Interesting you say this, as I have indeed submitted to F&SF, Asimov's, and Uncanny, and am about to send to Analog. Huh.

DetectiveFork
09-07-2015, 08:07 PM
Interesting you say this, as I have indeed submitted to F&SF, Asimov's, and Uncanny, and am about to send to Analog. Huh.

I don't want to deter you; just realize that you might have to put the story out of your mind for a few months. Over in the "Middling It" thread, Aggy queried Analog a few days ago and the editor said they're currently reviewing stories submitted in March.

shortstorymachinist
09-07-2015, 08:11 PM
I don't want to deter you; just realize that you might have to put the story out of your mind for a few months. Over in the "Middling It" thread, Aggy queried Analog a few days ago and the editor said they're currently reviewing stories submitted in March.

Maybe it will be good to have it out of my mind for a while, and thanks for the heads up.

CL_Hilbert
09-09-2015, 01:01 AM
And now I got the Strange Horizon's form R, 40 days exactly. I know it made it to the editors, but not well enough to leave an impression, apparently. :/

DetectiveFork
09-09-2015, 10:17 AM
And now I got the Strange Horizon's form R, 40 days exactly. I know it made it to the editors, but not well enough to leave an impression, apparently. :/

That's a bummer. Was it only a form rejection?

CL_Hilbert
09-10-2015, 12:28 AM
It was only a form, but it was signed by the editor. If it doesn't make it to the editor, in my experience, you get a letter signed by someone not an editor.

DetectiveFork
09-10-2015, 02:35 AM
It was only a form, but it was signed by the editor. If it doesn't make it to the editor, in my experience, you get a letter signed by someone not an editor.

That's true; I've noticed that my (quick) rejections from SH have been sent by editors clearly identified as first readers.

_Sian_
09-10-2015, 03:27 PM
I'm on day 48 for SH. It's killing me.

JJ Litke
09-10-2015, 06:54 PM
There's a wiki for rejection tiers—I noticed there's not much difference in SH's.
http://www.rejectionwiki.com/index.php?title=Literary_Journals_and_Rejections

DetectiveFork
09-10-2015, 09:04 PM
I've noticed that a few of us have submissions with SH for longer than usual. I'm hoping that means we've all struck a chord with the editors rather than they're behind on reading. :)

_Sian_
09-10-2015, 11:26 PM
I think they're behind - that's what annoys me, I'd much rather know, then spend time wondering if they've actually read something.

Their status page says they've gotten to everything before the 15th of July. So some poor soul has waited 50+ days now.

ETA: Also, thank you for the tierage. That's very useful to have....

DetectiveFork
09-11-2015, 01:13 AM
Strange Horizons was closed to submissions earlier this year for a bit and then, when they reopened, things seemed toe be moving very quickly. Maybe they get bogged down with stories pretty fast.

JJ Litke
09-11-2015, 02:31 AM
There's a lot of short-time Rs showing up in SG for Strange Horizons, too, though. Maybe you guys made it through to a second round?

DetectiveFork
09-11-2015, 03:36 AM
There's a lot of short-time Rs showing up in SG for Strange Horizons, too, though. Maybe you guys made it through to a second round?

Very interesting. I hope you're correct!

_Sian_
09-11-2015, 08:26 AM
I just wish they'd less us know "yes, we've read it" vs "nope, never seen it before, given us a bit."

*goes back to her muesli*

DetectiveFork
09-11-2015, 04:27 PM
I just wish they'd less us know "yes, we've read it" vs "nope, never seen it before, given us a bit."

*goes back to her muesli*

The numbered queue system that (too few) publications use is a beautiful thing.

JJ Litke
09-11-2015, 06:45 PM
Ugh, another form R from DSF. I should unsubscribe and forget they exist so I'll stop trying to sub to them.

DetectiveFork
09-14-2015, 06:55 PM
A new sci-fi story I was really proud of failed to make a dent at either Asimov's or F&SF. My confidence in this piece is quickly deflating.

zanzjan
09-14-2015, 08:01 PM
:( Fork. Each of the markets, IME, has very individual tastes, so it may not be that it's not a good enough story, just that it's not the right story for those two markets. Have you had betas look at the story already?

DetectiveFork
09-14-2015, 08:18 PM
:( Fork. Each of the markets, IME, has very individual tastes, so it may not be that it's not a good enough story, just that it's not the right story for those two markets. Have you had betas look at the story already?

I haven't taken advantage of that here yet, although I did have a trusted reader comb over this story really well and help me improve it a great deal. You're right about those markets. I sometimes tend to view it as "not good enough" rather than "not right for."

_Sian_
09-15-2015, 04:09 AM
Nice personal rejection from Shimmer, booted it across to Uncanny.

Hopefully they're quicker than they were last time....

DetectiveFork
09-16-2015, 01:30 AM
Nice personal rejection from Shimmer, booted it across to Uncanny.

Hopefully they're quicker than they were last time....

Do you think you were close with Shimmer? I've read their guidelines and I'm deathly afraid I'll accidentally write and send them something offensive. lol

Tamlyn
09-16-2015, 12:18 PM
Had a rejection on a flash story today. It was off the nice, long 'you made it to the final selection stages' type but still, in the end, a rejection :(

CL_Hilbert
09-22-2015, 12:49 AM
Got a 2 day personal from Asimov's. That's unusual. (for me, anyway.)

DetectiveFork
09-22-2015, 01:01 AM
Got a 2 day personal from Asimov's. That's unusual. (for me, anyway.)

For me, a personal rejection from Asimov's would be a victory. lol You must have impressed them at least a little.

_Sian_
09-22-2015, 10:33 PM
Do you think you were close with Shimmer? I've read their guidelines and I'm deathly afraid I'll accidentally write and send them something offensive. lol

Got a personal rejection, which was nice. They have a high rate of personal rejections, so I wouldn't say no.

Uncanny said no with a form, and Urban Fantasy said no with a "Kept me reading through till the end, not un-suprising enough for us" I do like knowing they read the thing though, so I'll try again with them after their ten day cool-off period.

BethanyCM
09-23-2015, 02:47 AM
Sian, can I ask how long Uncanny took?

JJ Litke
09-23-2015, 03:34 AM
Dunno about Sian, but I just got a three-day R from Uncanny. It's like they picked up the vibes from it about how much they would hate it, and skipped ahead in the queue so they could reject it as fast as possible.

BethanyCM
09-23-2015, 04:29 PM
Thanks, JJ. They are all over the place. Still waiting.

_Sian_
09-24-2015, 02:47 AM
6 days for mine.

DetectiveFork
09-25-2015, 11:30 PM
I just got a 1-day rejection from Uncanny. ONE DAY! I suspect it was because my story was 6,000 words and 6,000 words is their upper limit; maybe they just don't need those right now. Or maybe the editor actually looked at the story and absolutely hated it, I don't know. It was just odd to get rejected so fast when the average time is closer to two weeks.

WendyN
09-26-2015, 02:22 AM
I just got a 1-day rejection from Uncanny. ONE DAY! I suspect it was because my story was 6,000 words and 6,000 words is their upper limit; maybe they just don't need those right now. Or maybe the editor actually looked at the story and absolutely hated it, I don't know. It was just odd to get rejected so fast when the average time is closer to two weeks.
I got a 1-day from them today as well.

_Sian_
09-27-2015, 05:31 PM
On the various cues - do they represent how long you have to go before the story is read?

William Green
09-28-2015, 08:00 AM
It's always depressing to get a form rejection from a magazine after your previous submission got an encouraging personal. Especially when it's one of those rejections that includes a list of all the remedial reasons your story might have been rejected (too many spelling errors, you need to actually read our magazine and see the kind of work we publish...)

_Sian_
09-28-2015, 11:03 PM
7 day rejection from clarksworld. Still waiting for F&SF and SH.

DetectiveFork
09-30-2015, 01:06 PM
Got a 47-day rejection from Strange Horizons. I can see the story made it past the first reader all the way up to one of the four main editors, but alas, still a form rejection. I know SH is slammed with submissions, but I really wish they'd more often give some indication as to why they rejected your story. Even a few different form letters like F&SF uses, saying things like "didn't grab me" or "didn't hold my interest" would be helpful.

_Sian_
09-30-2015, 05:53 PM
I saw the spate of rejections pop up on the various trackers. Sorry DetectiveFork.

Mine is still there. Looked at their "here's where we're up to" page, and they've done everything up to the 24th of July. Mine landed with them on the 25th of July.

Hopefully, I should have an answer in a week or so. Been 68 days and counting....

ETA: no longer hopeful of a personal if they're still dishing out forms at 47 days. Given that they promise to get back to you in 40 days and all... :(

*gives DF a hug*

DetectiveFork
09-30-2015, 07:27 PM
Aww, thanks, Sian, I need it! I'm still pulling for you. Your submission has been there so long, I feel like they have to be giving it careful consideration.

I also just got a 163-day form rejection from Analog. But I'm actually relieved about it, as I came to feel long ago that the story probably wasn't the best fit for them. It's good to finally have it free to send elsewhere.

CharlyT
10-01-2015, 03:47 AM
2 rejections today - one from Bartleby Snopes (4 days, lit mag) and one from Asimov's (2 day). The lit one was a flash that I've sent out to 20 mags on a simultaneous sub (16 still pending), and the SF I fired off to Clarkesworld within 5 minutes of getting the form rejection.

Anyone else find it easier on the hopes to have a ton of different pieces out on subs?

CL_Hilbert
10-01-2015, 04:35 AM
2 rejections today - one from Bartleby Snopes (4 days, lit mag) and one from Asimov's (2 day). The lit one was a flash that I've sent out to 20 mags on a simultaneous sub (16 still pending), and the SF I fired off to Clarkesworld within 5 minutes of getting the form rejection.

Anyone else find it easier on the hopes to have a ton of different pieces out on subs?

Ha! I honestly don't think I know of 20 different mags that allow sim subs. I usually just submit and wait, submit and wait.

JJ Litke
10-01-2015, 06:55 AM
Woohoo, another personal R from As1movs! I knew this one wasn't really right for them, but I didn't want to self-reject, either. So this was really a good response.

DetectiveFork
10-01-2015, 09:22 AM
Woohoo, another personal R from As1movs! I knew this one wasn't really right for them, but I didn't want to self-reject, either. So this was really a good response.

Very impressive. I think personal comments from them are rare.

_Sian_
10-01-2015, 06:00 PM
Yay JJ :D Personals are always a good thing.

CharlyT
10-01-2015, 10:26 PM
Ha! I honestly don't think I know of 20 different mags that allow sim subs. I usually just submit and wait, submit and wait.

I've started using Submission Grinder for my list of mags to submit to and just check the "allows simultaneous submissions" checkbox. Then I go through the list, checking to see if my piece could be suitable for that market.

DetectiveFork
10-02-2015, 01:03 AM
I've started using Submission Grinder for my list of mags to submit to and just check the "allows simultaneous submissions" checkbox. Then I go through the list, checking to see if my piece could be suitable for that market.

That's actually a brilliant idea.

William Green
10-02-2015, 01:49 AM
I've noticed Submission Grinder is often inaccurate about simultaneous submissions. Many, many times they'll have a market listed as No SS, but when I click through to the magazine's website, their own guidelines say they accept simultaneous submissions.

CL_Hilbert
10-02-2015, 02:23 AM
I mostly use Duotrope and I've noticed the opposite there. Sometimes they'll say that a place accepts simsubs but when you go to the market's website, it either doesn't or doesn't say anything about it. I tend to err on the side of caution. (But then, with my few simsubs in the past, I also hated when I sold something and had to go dredge up the contact info for the other places to withdraw the sub.)

Of course, anymore lately I just don't sub to many simsub+ places, so it's not a problem I encounter very often. Most of bigger fantasy markets tend not to like 'em.

_Sian_
10-02-2015, 04:36 PM
I here simsubs are common in lit magazine. I think it really depends on the genre/market coventions

CharlyT
10-02-2015, 09:38 PM
I've noticed Submission Grinder is often inaccurate about simultaneous submissions. Many, many times they'll have a market listed as No SS, but when I click through to the magazine's website, their own guidelines say they accept simultaneous submissions.

I always send a "Suggest Correction" note whenever I see a discrepancy. I don't think anyone could ever keep up to date with the hundreds of markets changes in policies.

DetectiveFork
10-03-2015, 07:40 PM
It seems like most of the paying sci-fi/fantasy mags disallow simultaneous submissions.

JJ Litke
10-03-2015, 08:22 PM
Most of the pro markets don't want sim-subs. Seems the lower you get on the pay scale, the more likely they are to be okay with it. I guess the pros can afford to make that requirement, but the lower markets can't.

That's genre, like Siam said, apparently the lit markets are more lenient. They're also a lot more likely to not respond, whereas the genre markets are generally really good at that.

William Green
10-03-2015, 10:34 PM
I always send a "Suggest Correction" note whenever I see a discrepancy. I don't think anyone could ever keep up to date with the hundreds of markets changes in policies.

I never noticed the link to do that until you pointed it out. Will do so. Thanks!

Tamlyn
10-04-2015, 02:36 AM
I'm on a mini-holiday but have been checking email etc anyway. Kind of wish I wasn't since I got three forms yesterday *sigh* Plus I had another story I was told I'd hear by the end of last month, and I've seen the acceptances go out but haven't heard so I imagine it's a rejection.


Sending the stories back out will have to wait till I'm home again, but I'm running out of pro markets for one of them :(

DetectiveFork
10-04-2015, 02:53 AM
Many of the semi-pro markets aren't TOO bad. Once you get down to Token it can start to get disheartening. lol

Tamlyn
10-05-2015, 10:01 AM
I like a lot of semipro markets and do sub stories there; this particular one is supposed to be one of my better ones though and I can't even crack a pro market with it.

CL_Hilbert
10-06-2015, 01:51 AM
Got a lovely 2 day personal from Shimmer today. It was of the "beautiful writing; wrong market" variety. Just a little too swords & sorcery for them, apparently, but very nice to hear they liked the writing.

DetectiveFork
10-07-2015, 12:05 AM
I just wanted to share that the same story Strange Horizons rejected last week at 47 days with a form letter from the main editors (which at least gave me some small satisfaction) got rejected AGAIN yesterday by SH, only this time with a form rejection from a first reader! Way to kick me when I'm down and take away even the little hope I had, guys! They hated it so much, they rejected it twice! lol (I'm certain it was a glitch of some sort, as I hadn't submitted it again.)

JJ Litke
10-07-2015, 02:10 AM
Ow, over-eager first reader!

vintager
10-07-2015, 03:39 PM
I'm no a friend of first readers. An SFWA-level market receives, let's say, 1200 subs a month; normally at least 20 slushers would be employed: ~60 stories a month per head.
At that rate, is it really this hard to read each piece to the end? It's not like they have to write professional reviews or some such.
"I didn't immediately understand why they felt threatened so I dropped your piece although the writing is beautiful." Really now? How about reading one page further to find out?

Ty Schalter
10-07-2015, 04:59 PM
I'm no a friend of first readers. An SFWA-level market receives, let's say, 1200 subs a month; normally at least 20 slushers would be employed: ~60 stories a month per head.
At that rate, is it really this hard to read each piece to the end? It's not like they have to write professional reviews or some such.
"I didn't immediately understand why they felt threatened so I dropped your piece although the writing is beautiful." Really now? How about reading one page further to find out?

I've often wondered about how markets train their slush readers/monitor their work. Not enough to actually try being a slush reader, ha ha, but often. I love subbing to markets where the EiC reads the vast majority (if not all) of the submissions, because not only do they turn pieces around much faster and give much more useful feedback, you know you're getting the best possible evaluation of your work.

Peace
Ty

CL_Hilbert
10-07-2015, 05:22 PM
I was a slush reader for awhile at a semi-pro market. My criteria was usually if the writing was skilled, had a decent pace and the tone fit the market, I passed it up. If there were glaring errors or the characterization felt off, I bounced it. Although, with the market I worked at, a piece needed a rejection by at least two of the slush readers for the form R to go out. If anyone liked it, it was held for majority vote/passed on up.

What I found working as a slush reader, though, is that of those 60 subs/mo, a lot are more similar than you'd think. Sometimes it's the same theme, sometimes it's the same plot, same tone, same kind of characters. When you hit the 40th sub of the month that sounds like something you've read, with a vaguely familiar main character doing an vaguely familiar thing, you pass regardless of the quality of the writing.

Not saying this was necessarily the case with your sub, vintager (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?126263-vintager), just that 60 subs/mo is a far bigger time investment for the person who has to shift through them than it sounds like to the person who subs just one.

(Especially since slush reading is an unpaid position and most of the actual work gets shoved into weekends and evenings. You try reading 60 subs of varying quality over four Saturdays and a handful of weeknights when you've got your own writing/subbing/day job stresses to consider. Your patience suffers more than you'd think. ;))

vintager
10-07-2015, 05:52 PM
I love subbing to markets where the EiC reads the vast majority (if not all) of the submissions, because not only do they turn pieces around much faster and give much more useful feedback, you know you're getting the best possible evaluation of your work.
Absolutely, Ty!
BTW is there a list somewhere of such markets? I know of only one, namely F&$F where the great C.C.F. is slaving away at the moment.


I was a slush reader for awhile at a semi-pro market. My criteria was usually if the writing was skilled, had a decent pace and the tone fit the market, I passed it up. If there were glaring errors or the characterization felt off, I bounced it. Although, with the market I worked at, a piece needed a rejection by at least two of the slush readers for the form R to go out. If anyone liked it, it was held for majority vote/passed on up.
Thanks a lot for the info, CL! Unfortunately, this system isn't prevalent--I wish it were; I know for a fact that at least at 4p3x they just assign each piece to a single slusher.


Especially since slush reading is an unpaid position and most of the actual work gets shoved into weekends and evenings. You try reading 60 subs of varying quality over four Saturdays and a handful of weeknights when you've got your own writing/subbing/day job stresses to consider. Your patience suffers more than you'd think. ;))
Many bring up exactly this argument. What I don't understand is, why then do slush-reading in the first place? Does it open the road to eventually becoming an editor yourself? If so, why would a person whose dream is to become an editor shift the work to Saturdays?
I'd like to become a professional writer, and I dedicate two hours a day to that. I have a hard-ass job (IT department at a major bank), a little one year-old kid eagerly awaits my return home, and I have to do an hour of jogging, otherwise I'll die of elevated blood pressure. And still I manage to make these two hours. It was similar when I was studying classical guitar.
I'm mystified by the fact that slush readers--I don't mean you personally, CL_Hilbert!--often make it sound like they're doing community service. There must be something in it for them, no?

DetectiveFork
10-07-2015, 06:44 PM
Fascinating discussion about our friends, the slush readers, sometimes the only other people outside our writer circles to read our work! :) I tend to view it as, although I wish every editor-in-chief would read all the slush, the first reader system must work to a satisfying enough degree to produce a selection of work that is appropriate to the publication. I'm sure we don't all get a fair shake with every story, but overall it must function the way it's supposed to. I often do wonder what compels the slush reader. Building their way to a higher editing career? Networking connections in the publishing world? A simple love of fiction? The thrill of discovering new talent and great stories?

CL, excellent insight about so many stories being similar. Writing toward a market is a tough balancing act. You don't want to write a story that is just like everything else they publish, but you also don't want it to be so different that it doesn't fit.

Kaitlin Brianna
10-07-2015, 11:39 PM
I've thought about becoming a slush reader, although I never have. In my case, the motivation would be improving my own writing and better understanding the submissions process. I've heard a lot of slush readers say it was very helpful in that regard.

In the end, I've never pursued it because I'm already busy enough that it's hard to find time to write. But I'm not going to criticize slush readers. If there weren't a good supply of people willing to volunteer their limited free time to read stories, it wouldn't be possible to have such a variety of markets for us to submit to.

The editors of these publications are trying to put together a great book or magazine or website and have created processes to help them do so. The goal isn't to create a perfect meritocracy for us writers, but to put out something people want to read. No one really owes us anything.

CL_Hilbert
10-08-2015, 12:26 AM
Many bring up exactly this argument. What I don't understand is, why then do slush-reading in the first place? Does it open the road to eventually becoming an editor yourself? If so, why would a person whose dream is to become an editor shift the work to Saturdays?
I'd like to become a professional writer, and I dedicate two hours a day to that. I have a hard-ass job (IT department at a major bank), a little one year-old kid eagerly awaits my return home, and I have to do an hour of jogging, otherwise I'll die of elevated blood pressure. And still I manage to make these two hours. It was similar when I was studying classical guitar.
I'm mystified by the fact that slush readers--I don't mean you personally, CL_Hilbert!--often make it sound like they're doing community service. There must be something in it for them, no?

I did slush reading because it's an awesome feeling to be the person who finds the gem first. On the other hand (at least in my case) sometimes you read several piles worth and don't find a gem. You get bored. You read too much of the same old, same old, and you get burnt out.

There are only so many hours in a day. In my day job, I assist special needs individuals with extremely aggressive behavioral issues. I'm beat when I get home (sometimes literally), but like you, I still have a list of other responsibilities to attend to. Though unlike you (at least I'm assuming), I don't have a partner to split the workload of child care/bills/food/cleaning/ect with.

So no matter how passionate I am about slush reading, I just don't have the mental energy left for 60+ subs during the weekday. By necessity then, everything gets shoved to Saturday. Trying to get through that pile all at once... you can see where it starts to feel like "community service." I can only assume the other slushers you talked to must have been in similar situations. Having a support system to divvy up the responsibilities must really help free up time.

But if you're looking to understand how publishing works or get a foot in the door, slush reading is a nice thing to have on your resume if an editorial position opens up somewhere. It lets a future employer know you have a certain tenacity and that you understand what it means to select pieces to specification.

At the end of the day, it's a job, like anything else. There are enjoyable aspects and not. I think it depends on what your priorities in life are.

vintager
10-08-2015, 10:24 AM
I did slush reading because it's an awesome feeling to be the person who finds the gem first.

But if you're looking to understand how publishing works or get a foot in the door, slush reading is a nice thing to have on your resume if an editorial position opens up somewhere. It lets a future employer know you have a certain tenacity and that you understand what it means to select pieces to specification.

Thanks a lot for the clarification, CL!


In my day job, I assist special needs individuals with extremely aggressive behavioral issues.

Kudos. I have a lot of respect for people like you.


I don't have a partner to split the workload of child care/bills/food/cleaning/ect with.

You should've mentioned you're raising a child alone, CL :) This explains the Saturdays.

vintager
10-08-2015, 04:05 PM
No one really owes us anything.
No one owes anyone basic courtesy. However, if one doesn't exercise it, one shouldn't be surprised when he/she gets called names.

It's really very simple. As CL has correctly put it, slush reading is a job. Yes, it's unpaid, and yes, it's your own choice whether to take it or not. Thus:

--If you do take the job and you can't muster enough mental energy to perform it on the weekdays, instead shifting all of the load to Saturdays and then mindlessly grinding through the heap of manuscripts that has amassed itself on your desk--then, pardon my French, you suck at this particular job.
--It is not a bad thing in itself, we all suck at something--but once you realize your own unsuitability, you should inform your employers and step down, freeing the place for someone more motivated and perhaps more capable.
--If you still retain the job, making up excuses for your behaviour, then you'll be rightfully called... something.

vintager
10-08-2015, 04:12 PM
Just to clarify: things I wrote above are general considerations, applicable to any job.

DetectiveFork
10-08-2015, 07:25 PM
I know where you're coming from, but I guess I accept some more leeway with slush readers and editors, especially those who are volunteering or receiving token pay at smaller publications. So many of these publications are half business, half labor of love.

CharlyT
10-08-2015, 09:37 PM
I once volunteered as a reader for a novel contest. I was honestly floored by the number of submissions that had an inordinate amount of basic English problems: run-on sentences galore, homonym issues out the wazoo, and that doesn't even touch basic punctuation and capitalization problems. I have to be honest and say that I rejected those by the end of the first paragraph. My heart goes out to the slush readers who wade through the stacks and stacks of submissions like that.

My only wish is that they (slush readers) had a slightly wider variety of forms for rejection. There's nothing a writer can really do about being #112 today of the same type of story, but if it's due to a preponderance of grammar issues or some other easily remediated skill deficiency it might improve the level of submissions to be better than soul-killing.

DetectiveFork
10-09-2015, 12:32 AM
So right, CharlyT. It would be immeasurably helpful if readers had like one sentence they could paste in regarding reason for rejection, even if it's blunt: grammar, doesn't hold interest, similar to other purchased stories, etc.

Ty Schalter
10-09-2015, 03:03 AM
Absolutely, Ty!
BTW is there a list somewhere of such markets? I know of only one, namely F&$F where the great C.C.F. is slaving away at the moment.

Last year, Neil Clarke said at a con he's still reading ~70% of the Clarkesworld slush himself. I do believe Scott Andrews chews through a healthy percentage of the BCS slush, too. It seems like pro/semipro shops are either one incredibly motivated iconoclast, or a loose collective.


What I don't understand is, why then do slush-reading in the first place? Does it open the road to eventually becoming an editor yourself? If so, why would a person whose dream is to become an editor shift the work to Saturdays?

From what I've read, reading slush for almost any length of time gives you an immediate insight into just HOW OFTEN people make a lot of the same mistakes, and HOW UBIQUITOUS some of the common guideline-mandated no-nos are. You also get a great feel for what everyone's submitting (still zombies, Clarke tweeted the other day, despite putting "zombies and zombie wanna-bes" at the very tip-top of his Hard Sell list with a parenthetical "seriously, I'm not kidding"), which lets you zig when everyone else is zagging.

I'd really like to dip my toe in to slush-reading sometime soon to gain that insight, but during the NFL season/school & kid-activity season it's a non-starter.

Peace
Ty

vintager
10-09-2015, 03:14 PM
I know where you're coming from, but I guess I accept some more leeway with slush readers and editors, especially those who are volunteering or receiving token pay at smaller publications. So many of these publications are half business, half labor of love.
I totally agree! I was speaking mostly in relation to the heavyweight guys, like $trang3 H0riz0n$.


My only wish is that they (slush readers) had a slightly wider variety of forms for rejection. There's nothing a writer can really do about being #112 today of the same type of story, but if it's due to a preponderance of grammar issues or some other easily remediated skill deficiency it might improve the level of submissions to be better than soul-killing.

So right, CharlyT. It would be immeasurably helpful if readers had like one sentence they could paste in regarding reason for rejection, even if it's blunt: grammar, doesn't hold interest, similar to other purchased stories, etc.
I think the problem here is--correct me if I'm wrong--that in most magazines, slushers are not granted the powers of rejection. What they do is they pass the story to an editor (assistant one or a managing editor) with a short review (didn't like the first scene! the pace is outrageously slow! it was Saturday and I was tired!) and a recommendation to drop it. The editor then sends out the actual rejection without reading the story.

Naturally, as an editor, you wouldn't want to put your own signature under someone else's words--which you didn't even have the chance to verify.

vintager
10-09-2015, 04:23 PM
Last year, Neil Clarke said at a con he's still reading ~70% of the Clarkesworld slush himself.
That totally came out of the left field for me! I thought he had an army of drones working on the manuscripts.


I do believe Scott Andrews chews through a healthy percentage of the BCS slush, too.
I do tend to get similarly tailored rejections from BCS. "Beautiful writing," "loved the feel of the world," and then "intangible" (this one seems to be a must), "didn't coalesce" and "not as much A as I needed to feel B". Is this Sc0tt Andrew$' handwriting?


I'd really like to dip my toe in to slush-reading sometime soon to gain that insight, but during the NFL season/school & kid-activity season it's a non-starter.
That's what I call a sense of responsibility. You don't go like "Yeah there's a lot of kid-related stuff on the horizon... Aaaah doesn't matter, I'll sign up anyway... Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday-Friday: no time, no time... Saturday: why do these bastards send in so many manuscripts?! Don't they have anything better to do?!"

mistri
10-16-2015, 11:17 PM
I don't think slush readers should 'have' to read on the weekdays. It's a job, and surely it's up to their 'employer' (whether paying them or not) to say when they should read. I suspect many see it as hiring freelancers, so as long as the job gets done correctly, they don't actually mind when it's done.

I don't think any of us are owed weekday reading. Most people in publishing, agents and editors alike, do heavy reading at home, there's just no time in the working day.

Of course if you can't do the work in a timely fashion - meaning getting through the amount of submissions as required by your employers, then yeah, it's time to realise it may not be the job for you.

Fwiw I have read slush as an employed editorial assistant as well as freelance (books not magazines though) and the urge to procrastinate is always there, as well as the eagerness to find the next great story!

As a writer I started off aiming for the quick response markets. Nowadays, as I am beginning to run out of markets for some stories, I'm quite happy to have some at the slower markets so I get a bit of breathing space between Rs and getting ready to submit elsewhere!

vintager
10-18-2015, 03:31 AM
As a writer I started off aiming for the quick response markets. Nowadays, as I am beginning to run out of markets for some stories, I'm quite happy to have some at the slower markets so I get a bit of breathing space between Rs and getting ready to submit elsewhere!
Please don't get me wrong; I couldn't care less for response times. If a slusher leaves all the work for a Saturday and then does the said work thoroughly, with great care and consideration, I'd be totally happy. I'd be happy to wait for months if I was convinced my story would get a fair treatment. Only I know people, and this isn't the scenario that's likely to happen.

An editor would do that. Probably. An editor would see a heap of manuscripts on a Saturday morning and say: "Hey, that's a lot of work. Tell you what: I'll chain my ass to the chair for the next 10, 12, 14 hours--I'll invest as much time as needed."

Would a slusher do the same? As the work keeps piling up, doesn't it produce a certain discouraging effect on people? Aren't they likely to put off the moment of starting to work as much as possible?

As weeks go by, I usually become more and more convinced that my piece landed with a 'Saturday slusher.' This hypothetical person will get to my story, sure, and then this person will devote a whole of two minutes to it. I couldn't immediately understand why the characters were worried, so I ditched your piece, sorry. After all, there are 50 more manuscripts on my table right now, and they all require my attention.

Who cares? The stories that make it through will still be good. A first reader is judged by the quality of his/her acceptances, not his/her rejections; as long as the pieces he/she recommends are solid, the editors will be happy.

CL_Hilbert
10-18-2015, 06:20 AM
As weeks go by, I usually become more and more convinced that my piece landed with a 'Saturday slusher.' This hypothetical person will get to my story, sure, and then this person will devote a whole of two minutes to it.

Well, yeah. But is that necessarily a bad thing? How much time do you think your average reader spends on a given story before skipping to the next? As a reader, two minutes is enough for me to decide whether or not I want to invest further time in reading a story.

Personally, I find it helps to think of slush readers less like gate keepers and more like an audience. If I can't hold a (potentially distracted) audience's attention for more than two minutes with a particular story, something in my story needs reworked.

vintager
10-18-2015, 11:29 AM
Personally, I find it helps to think of slush readers less like gate keepers and more like an audience. If I can't hold a (potentially distracted) audience's attention for more than two minutes with a particular story, something in my story needs reworked.
CL, I respect you, but I think you're way off the mark here. And it's distressing because many other first readers must feel the same way.

When I sit down with a book, or indeed a magazine, I'm in a certain mood. I welcome the prose. This mood perhaps can be approximated if you devote some of your time to a story after a hard day's work; this mood is markedly different from the one you get when you glance at a heap of 50 manuscripts on a Saturday. If you've been to a college, I'm sure you know the latter feel from the last day before an exam.

If the Saturday slusher represents some mythical audience, I sure as hell don't want to write for it.


How much time do you think your average reader spends on a given story before skipping to the next?
Me--about five seconds. If, however, I decide to stay, and something suddenly feels off to me--for whatever reason--I won't be going: "Piiiing! Grounds for rejection! Next one!" I'll read some more, see if this was perhaps intentional, or maybe if I missed something.

DetectiveFork
10-18-2015, 04:37 PM
Fifty-one-day, second round rejection from Andromeda Spaceways and not even any personal comments like they usually offer. Very disappointing. Accompanied by a form rejection from Uncanny. Morning's off to a great start. I'm starting to really think I don't have it.

vintager
10-18-2015, 06:16 PM
Fifty-one-day, second round rejection from Andromeda Spaceways and not even any personal comments like they usually offer. Very disappointing. Accompanied by a form rejection from Uncanny. Morning's off to a great start. I'm starting to really think I don't have it.
Oh come on! Is it your 14-days rejection sitting there at the GRNDR? Tell you what--I got one at 12 days :) A form one, too.

DetectiveFork
10-19-2015, 05:04 AM
Oh come on! Is it your 14-days rejection sitting there at the GRNDR? Tell you what--I got one at 12 days :) A form one, too.

It's actually the 51-day Andromeda Spaceways rejection that really got to me. They were totally silent for a month and my story was in Round 2. Then they come back to life and reject it without even a hint of a reason. I thought my writing and that mag had the same vibe, but I guess not in this case. Uncanny wasn't a huge surprise, I guess, and hadn't gone long enough for me to start really hoping. lol

BethanyCM
10-19-2015, 06:35 AM
Sorry about that, Detective. (That's a fun handle, so there's always that!) :) Chin up.

BethanyCM
10-19-2015, 07:13 AM
And a 44-day form from Unc@nny for me!

DetectiveFork
10-19-2015, 07:16 AM
Sorry, Bethany. Plenty of disappointment to share today! :) And thanks! Detective Fork was a comic strip I drew for a long time (yes, about a crime-solving piece of cutlery).

BethanyCM
10-19-2015, 07:20 AM
We just dust and move on. Love the story, it's already out. Wrote 1200 words today. Life is good. ;)

- - - Updated - - -

Okay, just processed the whole "crime-solving-cutlery" part of that. :D

JJ Litke
10-19-2015, 08:02 AM
Uncanny R (no surprise), and a 109-day form R from Cr0ssed Genres. I was really hoping for that one, it matched their theme so well. It was already rejected by a number of pro markets, though. I don't know if I should keep trying with it or just let this one go.

I'm afraid the next few Rs on top of this are going to seriously hurt.

Tamlyn
10-19-2015, 01:23 PM
Sympathy for all. I got my 44-day Uncanny today as well. I saw the others pop up on Grinder and knew it would be waiting for me when I got home.

DetectiveFork
10-28-2015, 10:04 AM
Anyone else fighting the ire that rises whenever you glance at your email and see, yet again, a preview that basically reads, "Thank you for submitting X story. Unfortunately..."

Tamlyn
10-28-2015, 12:28 PM
I don't get angry at rejections. I have my email client set to my personal email on the main window so I can't see the actual emails (unless they come in while I happen to be staring), which means I play a 'who's rejected me today?' game. Then I am sometimes sad but not angry. And it means I'm pleasantly surprised if I get spam or something instead of a rejection! :P

vintager
10-28-2015, 03:17 PM
Anyone else fighting the ire that rises whenever you glance at your email and see, yet again, a preview that basically reads, "Thank you for submitting X story. Unfortunately..."
Ire is exactly the right word. I get high levels of it whenever I see just the 'thank you for submitting ...' Because I know what'll follow ...
Though I don't fight the ire, I embrace it :)

Aggy B.
10-28-2015, 04:13 PM
Regarding slushers: I always assume the slush pile is like a less skilled version of the SYW forum. It takes less than sixty seconds to determine if most of the stories I run across there are worth more time. Here's the thing, I've never continued reading on one I thought was not good enough yet and discovered I was wrong. A slusher rejecting after the first page or so is doing their job. They don't need to be in the right mood to dig deeper into the stories to see if maybe by the fifth page it becomes readable.

I've only been upset about rejections twice, and both times it was for a novel. My submission sanity improved greatly as soon as I internalized the idea that rejection is part of the process. An optional part, in the way that some stories need eight editing passes and some only need one.

Anyway. Sorry to hear about the Rs folks. I'm waiting on a few big ones myself.

mistri
10-28-2015, 06:19 PM
It feels a while since I've had a personal rejection. I did have a short at Urban Fantasy (which used to do personal Rs) but I saw they were going on hiatus while they looked for a new editor/slush editor, so I decided to withdraw while the mag future seems slightly uncertain. Luckily it's with a newish story so plenty of markets to get rejected at in the meantime :)

JJ Litke
10-28-2015, 07:40 PM
Ire isn't the right word for me. Frustrated or upset, maybe, sometimes just resigned. I was indignant once when the personalized feedback indicated they'd misinterpreted a detail in the ending, but I had to realize that meant I hadn't made it clear enough. So I made it clearer.


Regarding slushers: I always assume the slush pile is like a less skilled version of the SYW forum. It takes less than sixty seconds to determine if most of the stories I run across there are worth more time. Here's the thing, I've never continued reading on one I thought was not good enough yet and discovered I was wrong. A slusher rejecting after the first page or so is doing their job. They don't need to be in the right mood to dig deeper into the stories to see if maybe by the fifth page it becomes readable.

I have had the opposite happen, great opening leads into disappointing novel. And some stories I've liked weren't seize you by the balls amazing at the beginning. But it does seem a bad sign if I already dislike it in the opening.

The thing that's upsetting for me isn't the rejection itself, it's the idea that maybe I'm not good enough yet. Maybe this story is too extreme, or too boring, maybe the writing sucks, or the structure is off. That makes getting feedback at AW more upsetting than rejections—with Rs I can imagine it just wasn't the right timing or fit, but with AW I get the awful reality of "no, it's really not good enough." :) Honest critique is necessary, but it can be painful.

ETA: mistri, they're still doing personal Rs, I just got one recently. It was very helpful, and I made a few tweaks before sending it back out.

DetectiveFork
10-28-2015, 08:42 PM
You guys have great perspectives on dealing with rejection. Like channeling your anger into something more useful. :) I'm just at a point where I've never got an acceptance and, like JJ describes, I'm questioning if I have the writing ability I need to succeed. The ire I feel isn't really directed toward the publications. It's at myself for once again failing to capture their interest, and at the circumstances. I'm thinking about getting involved with the critique system here. It's a big leap to put your work out there, and also a time commitment to provide critiques yourself, which obviously I'd want to do in a helpful capacity.

JJ Litke
10-28-2015, 09:15 PM
Well if you're starting your submissions at the top, like we're supposed to do, acceptance might not happen for a long time. That's how it was for me, anyway. It takes a long time to go through all the pro markets, so you're looking at many months-worth of rejection possibilities just at that level. I'm afraid it's a little soul-crushing to do it the "right" way. At the semi-pro level they still hand out more Rs than acceptances, so even there you aren't guaranteed anything.

You could always try to find a local crit group or post in SYW to get some idea of where your work is at. If you use SYW, you are guaranteed to get some harsh feedback. I find it helpful to participate in other threads there so you can get a feel for who you agree with, then put more stock in what those people say.

CL_Hilbert
10-29-2015, 02:37 AM
It takes a long time to go through all the pro markets, so you're looking at many months-worth of rejection possibilities just at that level. I'm afraid it's a little soul-crushing to do it the "right" way. At the semi-pro level they still hand out more Rs than acceptances, so even there you aren't guaranteed anything.



On that note: I wrote a story in 2009 that just released this month in Kaleidotrope. It took me six years to sell/publish that particular story and in the meantime I cannot tell you how much my writing has grown and evolved. The story it became in the end is a far throw away from the one I had in '09 (and it still has some structure and characterization problems I wish I could fix).

Don't give up! You'll get there. Maybe you can't publish the stories you write this year. That's fine! But if you keep writing, you'll be better next year.

vintager
10-29-2015, 02:02 PM
The ire I feel isn't really directed toward the publications. It's at myself for once again failing to capture their interest, and at the circumstances.
Well each time I get a rejection I'm angry at the publication--mostly at the slushers. We're on the opposite sides of the barricades, that's just the way it is; I think it's natural to feel anger and resentment.

JJ Litke
10-30-2015, 07:54 AM
Oh wow, I just got a personal note on an R from IGMS! I knew it wasn't a good match for them, so the rejection doesn't surprise me. Getting a nice statement about how they liked it was lovely.

I need the markets that want humor to open up again. This story should be a strong contender for those.

vintager
10-30-2015, 05:22 PM
Oh wow, I just got a personal note on an R from IGMS! I knew it wasn't a good match for them, so the rejection doesn't surprise me. Getting a nice statement about how they liked it was lovely.
Wow, congrats, JJ!

Ty Schalter
10-31-2015, 03:37 AM
44-day R from Strange Horizons. From Lila Garrott, but letter-for-letter identical to every other form.

Peace
Ty

CL_Hilbert
10-31-2015, 04:39 AM
I saw that up on the grinder just now (where I am stalking on behalf of my own 45 day sub there). There's a 44 day personal R reported on Duotrope, I wondered if it was the same person and one entry was a mistake. Sad to see it wasn't. I feel like anything kept longer than 40 should automatically get a personal. :/

JJ Litke
10-31-2015, 05:01 AM
Sorry, Ty. That does seem a good sign that they held it for a while, the majority of their subs get Rs faster than that.

Ty Schalter
10-31-2015, 05:30 AM
I saw that up on the grinder just now (where I am stalking on behalf of my own 45 day sub there). There's a 44 day personal R reported on Duotrope, I wondered if it was the same person and one entry was a mistake. Sad to see it wasn't. I feel like anything kept longer than 40 should automatically get a personal. :/

It's hard not to agree, but hey. Glad I know for sure it made it up to the big kids' table!


Sorry, Ty. That does seem a good sign that they held it for a while, the majority of their subs get Rs faster than that.

Thanks, JJ. I sure was hopeful on this one... ah well.

Peace
Ty

DetectiveFork
10-31-2015, 04:41 PM
44-day R from Strange Horizons. From Lila Garrott, but letter-for-letter identical to every other form.

Peace
Ty

Sorry, Ty. I feel, and have felt, your pain.

- - - Updated - - -


Oh wow, I just got a personal note on an R from IGMS! I knew it wasn't a good match for them, so the rejection doesn't surprise me. Getting a nice statement about how they liked it was lovely.

I need the markets that want humor to open up again. This story should be a strong contender for those.

I didn't know IGMS even gave personals. It must have made an impression, at least.

vintager
11-02-2015, 01:06 PM
Aby$$ n Ap3x: remained in the queue for 90 days without a word from them, queried, and they had indeed lost my piece. After clearing up the confusion I resubmitted, and in one day got a nice personal R from their EIC with an invitation to send in more of my work.

Here's the punchline: the lady loved everything about the piece except for one scientific concept which I thought bullet-proof. To shape that particular concept, I consulted my wife who has a PhD in molecular biology. That's such a bummer I have no words to describe it.

Bottom line: if you're waiting for 90 days or more, and neither a rejection nor a "held for further consideration" notification came your way, don't wait another 3 months as the guidelines suggest. Query now.

DetectiveFork
11-02-2015, 06:57 PM
You should have your wife contact the editor to argue the point. :-D

JJ Litke
11-02-2015, 07:20 PM
Rats. Mine's at 87 days. I was hoping that was a good sign.

vintager
11-02-2015, 09:10 PM
Rats. Mine's at 87 days. I was hoping that was a good sign.
That may be a good sign, JJ. In my case, they've misplaced the manuscript.

Evelyn
11-07-2015, 02:44 AM
Hi Folks!

I've decided to join the W1/S1 fray. I've got three stories out now, and another in the hopper.

I just yesterday got a great personal rejection from C.C. Finlay and an invitation to submit again. (Yeah! He loved the premise!) I turned around and submitted the story to Clarkesworld...

A different story has been with S.H. for 24 days. Fingers are crossed.

DetectiveFork
11-07-2015, 06:41 PM
Good luck, Evelyn!

DetectiveFork
11-19-2015, 07:28 PM
Just finished a story I worked a long time on and really believe in, sent it to F&SF first and already heard back with a "didn't grab me" rejection. So bummed out. I was sure it could at least hold the reader's attention, but I am once again questioning my entire storytelling ability. Well, on to the next pub...

vintager
11-20-2015, 08:09 PM
I was sure it could at least hold the reader's attention, but I am once again questioning my entire storytelling ability.
Do you participate in any workshop / critique circle?

DetectiveFork
11-20-2015, 08:48 PM
Do you participate in any workshop / critique circle?

No, but I know I should. How much of a time commitment do you find it to be?

Alma Matters
11-21-2015, 06:36 PM
Hey guys,

I'm also (very) new to this - I recently subbed to Nightmare Magazine and got my very first rejection ever.

Brynn
11-21-2015, 07:25 PM
Congrats, Alma Matters! Your first rejection is an accomplishment. ;)

DetectiveFork
11-21-2015, 08:38 PM
I'm about to cross the line of 50 straight rejections. And that's just this year! (Of course, I was very sporadic about submitting stories before that.) It never gets easier, although some rejections are harder than others. I have my fingers crossed that I'll make my first ever sale before the year is out. There are a few pieces that have been with different publications for quite a bit longer than the usual relative response times for rejection. I'm hopeful, but have learned never to get my hopes up too high.

I did find that there is a creative writing critique group that meets a couple of times a month not too far from where I live. I'm working my way up to joining it, but have to get past my anxiety of showing my work to that many people. Also need to make the time.

pdichellis
11-21-2015, 09:48 PM
18-day kablooey from EQMM, maintaining my perfect record of rejection by pro-paying markets.

DetectiveFork
11-21-2015, 09:57 PM
18-day kablooey from EQMM, maintaining my perfect record of rejection by pro-paying markets.

At least they were mercifully quick. Hitchcock form rejections can take nearly a year!

Speaking of long wait times for rejections, I have to kind of laugh when I look at the Tor.com submissions on Grinder. I have a piece that's been with them for 156 days. Two weeks ago I saw a bunch of rejections in the 140s and figured I would hear back soon. Last week there was a batch of rejections in the 150-day range. This week it's 160! I'm never gonna hear back if their backlog always somehow grows by 10 days. lol

BethanyCM
11-21-2015, 10:15 PM
I did find that there is a creative writing critique group that meets a couple of times a month not too far from where I live. I'm working my way up to joining it, but have to get past my anxiety of showing my work to that many people. Also need to make the time.

Even if you can't physically join a critique group, you should definitely have virtual CPs. Especially if you're having trouble or aren't getting feedback. You need people who are also publication minded and familiar with the process and standards of publication, otherwise how do you even know you're on track? Something to think about!

WendyN
11-21-2015, 11:10 PM
Speaking of long wait times for rejections, I have to kind of laugh when I look at the Tor.com submissions on Grinder. I have a piece that's been with them for 156 days. Two weeks ago I saw a bunch of rejections in the 140s and figured I would hear back soon. Last week there was a batch of rejections in the 150-day range. This week it's 160! I'm never gonna hear back if their backlog always somehow grows by 10 days. lol
Same here. I'm at 163 days and keep thinking, "Oh, good, I should get that response sometime this week..."

pdichellis
11-22-2015, 12:41 AM
At least they were mercifully quick. Hitchcock form rejections can take nearly a year! lol

True. My AHMM rejections have run just under 300 days, but I've seen several (Duotrope and Grinder) well over 300.

But I think the mystery market champ for excruciating waits is Woman's World (pays $500 for solve-it-yourself flash mysteries, MWA approved market). Response times there range from six months to never. I resubbed one after 300 days and it's sitting at nearly two months the second time around. Got another one there at almost 150 days.

And here's the kicker: Everything to/from WW goes via snail mail/SASE only, with no Duo/Grinder stats, so no clue about Received, In Progress, Queue Position, Recent Responses, etc. Whew! Maybe the biggest mystery is why I submit there.

vintager
11-22-2015, 12:38 PM
No, but I know I should. How much of a time commitment do you find it to be?
Hey DetectiveFork, sent you a long private message so as not to clutter the forum.

CL_Hilbert
11-24-2015, 02:16 AM
Form rejected at SH after 65 days. You'd think they'd at least give me something after keeping it 25 days longer than they were supposed to. :/

DetectiveFork
11-24-2015, 02:26 AM
Form rejected at SH after 65 days. You'd think they'd at least give me something after keeping it 25 days longer than they were supposed to. :/

I think this is the new norm, sadly, based on all the 60-70 day form rejections I'm seeing on the Grinder. Sorry, CL. :-( And Vintager, your PM was most appreciated!

DetectiveFork
12-02-2015, 06:15 PM
Last night, I got a 50-day form rejection from Strange Horizons (at least from one of the main editors) and a 10-day form rejection from Betwixt. And now both are temporarily closed to submissions.

Aggy B.
12-02-2015, 07:17 PM
Last night, I got a 50-day form rejection from Strange Horizons (at least from one of the main editors) and a 10-day form rejection from Betwixt. And now both are temporarily closed to submissions.

A lot of markets will temporarily close through December. I always use it as an opportunity to reorganize and possibly revise anything that's not out on submission.

DetectiveFork
12-02-2015, 09:22 PM
A lot of markets will temporarily close through December. I always use it as an opportunity to reorganize and possibly revise anything that's not out on submission.

Definitely good advice!

pdichellis
12-02-2015, 10:35 PM
58-day raspberry from horror/dark humor anthology. Micro humor list about grave robbing "not what we're looking for." But was it at least funny, I wonder.

Best wishes,
Peter

JJ Litke
12-02-2015, 11:55 PM
Another R, and damn, I feel so thoroughly discouraged.

DetectiveFork
12-03-2015, 02:22 AM
Another R, and damn, I feel so thoroughly discouraged.

I'm right there with you. We all are. At least in this thread. :)

JJ Litke
12-03-2015, 03:05 AM
It helps to not be alone. :)

BethanyCM
12-03-2015, 03:13 AM
Boo. Sorry to hear it, JJ.

I've settled in for probably a long-ish and definitely long wait since I subbed to Lightspeed's POC Destroy SF issue and Tor.com. Trying to focus on writing book 2 for the pub, so hopefully I'll forget about it completely. Really don't have any other shorts I can send out w/o going through and revising so. Oh and that McSweeney's sub from April 2014 could someday come back, I guess... and also don't believe.

Evelyn
12-04-2015, 01:11 AM
I'm sitting at 58 days for Strange Horizons...I'm sure the R will show up any day now. Sorry to hear about the R, Detective.

I've got a story out at Tor.com, so that one will be a while.

_Sian_
12-06-2015, 07:06 PM
Resubbed my piece to SH (they did ask for it). Hopefully they like the changes etc etc, but given the times I'm seeing with responses etc, I think I'm just going to put it out of mind till they email me

DetectiveFork
12-07-2015, 01:48 AM
Resubbed my piece to SH (they did ask for it). Hopefully they like the changes etc etc, but given the times I'm seeing with responses etc, I think I'm just going to put it out of mind till they email me

I've been wondering how you were doing with that. How did you manage to cut back the length while increasing the world-building? Now that SH is closed to submissions, maybe their response times will pick up. Fingers still crossed for you!

DetectiveFork
12-07-2015, 06:40 PM
44-Day form rejection from Triptych Tales. I had high hopes for this one, as most rejections come within a few days from them. Most rejections that make it further seem to get personal rejections, but no such luck with this one.

_Sian_
12-07-2015, 08:49 PM
I've been wondering how you were doing with that. How did you manage to cut back the length while increasing the world-building? Now that SH is closed to submissions, maybe their response times will pick up. Fingers still crossed for you!

Originally the reason for one of the characters doing what they were doing was a lot more complicated, so I made that a bit more straightforward - that cut out some need for explanation. And I basically started the story with more cues as to time and place and had a bit more explanation conveyed through character a's annoyance at the actions of character b. So an extra paragraph of exposition, lots more cutting just re normal editing (i'd repeated myself sometimes, gotten a bit wordy in others). Some scenes were easier to trim the fat from than others.

Ty Schalter
12-07-2015, 10:56 PM
Five-day form from Uncanny. I had a WIP I'd planned to submit, but ran out of time before the window closed. I subbed another which has gotten a lot of nice Rs (but I knew was a terrible fit for Uncanny), and yup. At least I tried!

Peace
Ty

DetectiveFork
12-08-2015, 01:57 AM
It was worth a shot, Ty! I think we've all discussed this before, but I don't know how to interpret submission data from Uncanny. I have a story that's been with them for 41 days. But I see recent form rejections from them ranging anywhere from 3 days to 63 days, with scattered personals in-between. So I'm not getting my hopes up.

Sian, I'm glad to hear the re-edit went well. The way you describe it, it sounds like it might have actually served the story well in the end. I really hope I'll be reading it soon in the virtual pages of SH.

Thanks for the empathy, Evelyn! Those rejections smart, some more than others. I've still got one out at Tor.com, now at 172 days. I'm pretty positive it won't make it, so at least it won't be a surprise. I haven't seen data from Tor since the end of November. Maybe they do their reading in waves. Good luck with yours, and yes, patience is a must. :)

zanzjan
12-08-2015, 04:53 AM
Good luck, Sian! And sorry about the R, Fork.

I've got one possibly lost-in-the-catacombs story that's been out for much longer than typical for the market it's at, but that market does have wildly fluctuating response times. Sent an email two months ago and nothing, but also not unprecedented. Still hoping to hear before year's end. Been so bogged down in endless novel revisions I feel like I've lost my momentum with short fic. :(

Ty Schalter
12-08-2015, 07:26 PM
It was worth a shot, Ty! I think we've all discussed this before, but I don't know how to interpret submission data from Uncanny. I have a story that's been with them for 41 days. But I see recent form rejections from them ranging anywhere from 3 days to 63 days, with scattered personals in-between. So I'm not getting my hopes up.

The opening and closing of windows seems to affect it; I know the last time they closed they basically just stopped reading slush as soon as they got what they needed (leaving many dozens of stories, including one of mine, orphaned). I queried, and got a variation on the usual form, apologizing for the delay and including the line "We hope you'll consider submitting again when we re-open for submissions in early September." This also came from managing editor Michi Trota, rather than a submissions editor.

The super-fast form I just got is identical to my first sub there, and from the submissions editor. No line asking me to submit again in the next window, so it's clearly the lowest level. *shrug*

I guess what I'm saying is, there may be two separate piles going right now? As you say, it's really tough to interpret.

Peace
Ty