View Full Version : The Lowly Rejected Writer

10-27-2004, 12:43 AM
Ever notice how some editors treat you differently when they reject you?

I know one editor who acted pretty rude when he rejected me and this other editor at another magazine is ignoring my subsequent E-mails.

Ugh. It's like you're blacklisted if you get rejected. :(

10-27-2004, 04:55 AM
I'm wondering about those subsequent emails. Do you mean new submissions or follow-ups on a rejection?

10-27-2004, 05:00 PM
So far I've really just had the usual polite brush off. But I generally stay away from a market for a while after a rejection to give them a chance to forget me ;)

10-27-2004, 11:44 PM
Hi, Fern,

The e-mails are follow-up pitches.

I actually have a system for rejections.
The Rejection Dancewww.worldwidefreelance.com/articles/rejdance.htm (http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/articles/rejdance.htm)

10-28-2004, 04:51 PM
Oh UGH--I can tell you why most of those editors don't answer you.

It works like this, get query. Don't need article/story, or it doesn't fit with needs, or it does not meet our guidelines or it simply sucked. Send rejection.

Wait for it.

Wait for it.

What am I waiting for?

I am waiting for the I am brilliant e-mail and you suck as a person and an editor and then the well if you didn't like that how about this.

Now, not every follow up e-mail (I'll call them that to be nice) is a you suck and I curse you for not recognizing my brilliance, e-mail. But most of them are. Do I feel like being sworn at? Do I feel like being told I suck sh**?

No way.

But I see an e-mail show up within a day or two of a rejection from said rejected author---(I used to open them) now I just delete them unread.

The majority are of the I am great and you suck variety. (I don't need those in my day) Unfair? Maybe. But most editors I know don't subscribe to the send me another proposal school of queries. If we wanted to see more work by you we'd ask.

There was an article a few years back that said if you flood an editor with queries (and what a flood is depends on the editor) that they will relent just to shut you up. All those multiple queries do is annoy.

Now, if a week, or better two go by and I get another query (say for the next months magazine) I will open it and treat it as a new query. Too close to when the last rejection went out--no way, I delete unread.

If you are querying for articles or stories, I would suggest a different sort of dance. Send to several a month (in your genre) then at the start of the next month, send queries to the same places again--this way there is enough time in between them not to make it seem as if the e-mail may contain another rant for daring to reject the author.


10-28-2004, 09:36 PM
Gosh. You know, leave it to the unprofessional, whining writers to ruin it for the rest of us!! (sigh) I was always told a follow-up pitch after being rejected was the way to go. But after reading that, why bother?

I'll do as you suggest, though, and wait til next month.

I will say this: Not all of my follow-ups were ignored. A few magazines did read and respond to them.

11-05-2004, 09:26 AM
I think it all depends on the editor. If they reject me and I have something else I think fits I send it to them. There are some editors who continue to reject me, others eventually found something in my work they liked and published, most have given me a personal non form response. Only once did I encounter an editor I thought was unprofessional who "simply don't reply to work we don't intend to publish". With no simultaneous sub rules and long waits for response, that's impractical for writers.

11-06-2004, 01:44 AM
Look at this from another point of view: What about an initial query letter with a few pitches? Like one pargraph pitches one idea, the next another, etc.? At least this way, we can get a chance to have an editor pick something they like, instead of rejecting our initial pitch then ignoring all the rest.

I've been told this is a bad idea but you never know. I've been accepted twice on my third pitch. It would save time.

11-09-2004, 01:00 AM
I've done that with a few editors Greenwolf, but it's only been after I worked with them. Well, somewhat. I did have two places, after asking whether they worked with freelancers, ask for multiple feature ideas, but they did ask for several specifically from me.

11-09-2004, 01:33 PM
Well, given my recent luck, maybe I can try it and see how fast I get blacklisted.

Er, not that I want to.... :gone

11-30-2004, 09:58 AM
It does depend on the editor. An editor who doesn't welcome continuing submission from a rejected writer is a bad editor. Some of the best writers we have never would have seen print had their editors followed this policy.

William Saroyan sent the same editor 33 stories in one month. The editor hated most of them, but the 20th or so story that came in was "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeeze,'' and a career was made. So was the name of the editor. Joyce Carol Oates sent fifty stories before selling one to "The Atlantic Monthly."

This is the one area where I hate e-mail submissions. They're too easy for editors to ignore. Good editors read everything that comes in.

11-30-2004, 10:02 PM
An editor who doesn't welcome continuing submission from a rejected writer is a bad editor.

Agreed. You never know; there could be that diamond in the rough just waiting to be read. I've sold many articles on my third try.