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Birol
07-24-2007, 07:49 PM
How does rejection really affect you as a writer? Has the impact rejections had on you changed over the course of your career? Were those changes a conscious choice you made? Does getting rejection effect you differently depending on the type of writing it is, for example getting turned down for a work-for-hire position vs. a short story or poem in a magazine?


Also, how do you really feel about form rejections? Why?

Azraelsbane
07-24-2007, 07:55 PM
Well, I don't have much experience with this. I've been writing for 10 years and I've sent out 1 query letter. I posted the rejection above my bed to remind myself that I need to improve. It wasn't a form letter, and it really didn't affect my writing, since I kept right on going with that, but I never queried again. But that's probably just me being a terrified, lazy git. I guess it could have affected my career though, as I still don't have one ;)

Birol
07-24-2007, 08:01 PM
You've only sent out one query? Do you sub full manuscripts or just not sub?

Meerkat
07-24-2007, 08:20 PM
I used to send one or two full manuscripts with a sketchy cover letter. Two dozen or so rejections introduced a level of inertia that I have not been able to overcome for several months now. I gave away one of my WIPs including all rights to another writer. I can imagine myself getting my ass back in gear any day now!

Timely question Lori, may we ask what causes you to ask it at this time?

Azraelsbane
07-24-2007, 08:22 PM
I don't submit. I just write. Heh. I know, I'm a loser, and it really has nothing to do with a wish to not be published. Being published would be nice, but I have to query first ;)

The one query was to SF&F magazine, for a short story, and it was about 5 years ago. I write short stories and novels, but I can never get up the guts to send out queries it seems. ::shrug::

Azraelsbane
07-24-2007, 08:25 PM
I gave away one of my WIPs including all rights to another writer.

Reading this made me feel physically sick. I mean, that's your choice, entirely, but I would cry if I did that. I think some of my chars would come back and haunt me ;)

Bubastes
07-24-2007, 08:25 PM
I feel a bit freakish because I don't seem to react to rejections. I just toss it, see if my WIP still needs work, and resubmit. So no, rejection hasn't really changed how I approach my, uh, career (I feel funny calling it that). I treat the rejection as a signal that I need to keep improving, but that's about it. Maybe batting over 50% on acceptances to rejections has helped me stay positive, but I'm not sure.

ETA: the one rejection that hurt a bit for me was on a book proposal where I was a co-author with an expert in his industry. The expert already had one book out with a pretty famous author, but wanted to work with me for his second book. His publisher read my proposal and said, in essence, "We like the book idea, we like the proposal, we like the writing, and we want to do the book. But not with MeowGirl as the co-author because she's a no-name writer and won't be able to sell the books." Ouch. The publisher wouldn't even agree to a lower advance. But it was a fair business decision, and so we decided to drop the project.

MidnightMuse
07-24-2007, 08:28 PM
Rejections make me sleepy.

Soccer Mom
07-24-2007, 08:49 PM
I always experience a moment of disappointment. But it fades quickly and I send that puppy back out. The first ones hurt, now maybe I'm tougher.

But I admit that when I send one out that I think is perfect for a market and I get a form reject, that smarts. A personal rejection is always better. I'm not sure why.

Birol
07-24-2007, 09:17 PM
Timely question Lori, may we ask what causes you to ask it at this time?

Honestly, I've been reading submissions for Coyote Wild this past week and there's some really excellent submissions that we're going to have to reject because, they're just not specfic. Most of them are much more literary. This got me thinking about the reasons things are rejected and the perspective writers have about rejections and then I was looking in at the Rejection-Dejection forum and... one thought led to another.



But I admit that when I send one out that I think is perfect for a market and I get a form reject, that smarts. A personal rejection is always better. I'm not sure why.

Having been on the other side of the desk, I really appreciate all the reasons for using form rejections now.


ETA: the one rejection that hurt a bit for me was on a book proposal where I was a co-author with an expert in his industry. The expert already had one book out with a pretty famous author, but wanted to work with me for his second book. His publisher read my proposal and said, in essence, "We like the book idea, we like the proposal, we like the writing, and we want to do the book. But not with MeowGirl as the co-author because she's a no-name writer and won't be able to sell the books." Ouch. The publisher wouldn't even agree to a lower advance. But it was a fair business decision, and so we decided to drop the project.

I believe I remember you posting about this when it happened. That is one of those rejections that would sting because, although it was a legitimate business decision, the reason had more to do with who you are than with the work you were capable of doing.

blacbird
07-24-2007, 09:17 PM
Maybe batting over 50% on acceptances to rejections has helped me stay positive, but I'm not sure.

I imagine that would help.

caw

jhtatroe
07-24-2007, 09:29 PM
I am, I hate to admit, a big ball of self-doubt and rejections don't help. With no acceptances under my belt, every rejection feels like it's whittling off a little bit of a dream and slicing away at the way I've defined myself since... pretty much forever. Logically, I know they're not personal and there are lots of reasons for rejection and yadda yadda yadda believe in myself, but the more rejections I get, the louder that little voice gets that says, "Maybe you've been wrong about yourself all along."

Yet, for some reason, I keep sending stuff out.

Jack Nog
07-24-2007, 10:09 PM
I've only submitted short stories thus far, and these rejections did not help due to form type rejections. I don't know if it's the writing, not the editor's cup of tea, or what.

When I send out the novel and query, we'll see what I get.

Jamesaritchie
07-24-2007, 10:14 PM
Rejections never have bothered me, probably because I started selling pretty well before I received any rejections, but I can't say I like form rejections.

Forms always have a meaning, and that meaning is you didn't even come close. It may be because the writing is bad, or the story is wrong/inappropriate for the magazine, etc., but something is seriously wrong.

But there's another side to this coin. I haven't received a form rejection in a long, long time. There comes a point when a good enough cover letter, one with the right credits, usually means you'll pretty much always receive a personal rejection. It's a professional courtesy sort of thing. This isn't always a good, either.

The plus side is that most editors almost explain exactly why they didn't accept the story, but the down side is that too many tend to be a bit more timid in telling me everything that's really wrong with a story. Editors tend to be nicer than they should be, and this makes it tougher to fix a story.

MidnightMuse
07-24-2007, 10:15 PM
Editing, researching Agents, and writing query letters makes me sleepy, too. There's a big black block in my head, inside which this stuff resides, and a wall of ether around it. As much as I love ether, sometimes it's hard to get through that layer and into the box.

With rejections, the ether wins.

As to Form Rejections - they're fine, but they should use fewer words to convey the point. No, thank you. OR I'm interested, please send more. I would much prefer that to the various and sundry Forms out there in use these days.

Arisa81
07-24-2007, 10:17 PM
I have been writing and submitting (mostly articles, quizzes, poetry) for about 5-6 years now and although rejections don't make me happy, I'm used to them. I know they are a part of the business. I take note of them and move on to submit the work elsewhere. It probably also helps that I do make sales fairly regularly. If I didn't I would probably be more negative about the whole thing.

Soccer Mom
07-24-2007, 10:35 PM
Having been on the other side of the desk, I really appreciate all the reasons for using form rejections now.


Intellectually, I understand the reasons for form rejections, but as an author, I admit that they sting. I KNOW that it's a symptom of how busy an editor is and I know that some folks view a personal rejection as an invitation to write back and complain. But it FEELS like someone saying "You aren't important enough for me to scrawl the words No, Thanks on a scrap of paper." Ouch. Fortunately, I don't get them much anymore, but that seems to make them sting even more.

maestrowork
07-24-2007, 10:55 PM
They used to sting, when I first started out. Now, I'm pretty much immune to them. Just another reason for me to move on and keep trying. If they are personal with nice advice, that's a bonus. Otherwise, I file them.

I guess the impact of rejections lessened after I got a few things accepted. Publication helped a lot, so that I didn't really look at rejections as "I do suck." It became more apparent to me that it was always about the work, and not me, and I was able to more objectively assess my work.

In a way, it was a conscious choice I made. We are responsible for our feelings, and I deliberately told myself not to make a big deal of rejections.

And no, rejections haven't really changed the way I write or the subject matter, etc. I still write stories, and I let the stories dictate how I write them. I am more aware of markets.

I prefer form rejections, really. They are simple -- a no is a no, so I can move on. Column "yes" and column "no." Simple. If it's a personal note, I appreciate it but then it complicates things -- is the editor right or is it just his or her opinion? Do I need to change my story? Etc. Most often they don't really add anything to the mix, and they just become distraction. So, yes, I prefer a form rejection. A "thank you" for the submission would be nice.

pepperlandgirl
07-24-2007, 11:29 PM
Rejections don't bother me at all. I mean, they don't make me happy, but they don't linger with me. They certainly don't make me think I'm in the wrong business. When Vivien and I began writing together, we decided almost immediately that I would be in charge of submissions, because for as much as they don't bother me, they really hurt her. I haven't had many, and every single work of mine that's been rejected has been picked up somewhere else. But I think there are a few reasons why I don't mind rejections so much.

1) There's a Johnny Depp movie called Dead Man, and at one point in the movie, the bad guy sneers, "Fuck me? Fuck you!" and shoots another guy in the head. Every time I get a rejection, I think of that line, and it makes me feel better.

2) Apparently, the purpose of grad school is to make sure that you understand that you know nothing. Why would a rejection from some editor bother me when I have to screw my courage to the sticking place every single morning when I go to school? Getting a form rejection is nothing compared to the constant ego-crushing torture chamber that is graduate school. I mean, my profs give me 3-4 pages of comments explaining how much my term papers suck. A form rejection after that is almost sweet.

janetbellinger
07-24-2007, 11:49 PM
I've developed a thicker skin over the years and so I don't take rejections personally any more although I'd be lying if I said they didn't bother me. I don't mind form letters as I understand most rejection letters are form letters and agents and publishers simply don't have the time to respond personally to a couple of hundred unsolicited submissions each week.

Spiny Norman
07-25-2007, 12:14 AM
I have a pretty thick skin now, but there is usually a great deal of drinking.

maestrowork
07-25-2007, 12:16 AM
ETA: Oh, rejection still stings if it's from an agent/editor I really, really, really want to get. It's more of a disappointment than anything else.

RTH
07-25-2007, 12:24 AM
I've gotten to the point now that if I don't get at least one rejection a week, I don't feel like a writer.

blacbird
07-25-2007, 12:27 AM
I mostly preject myself anymore. The track record being what it is, it's hard to look at anything I write and imagine there being any conceivable outlet for its publication. As for form rejections, a rejection is a rejection, and they all melt into the grand homogeneous continuum.

caw

zahra
07-25-2007, 01:25 AM
I used to be an actress, and the waiting by the phone for my agent to ring tell me yea or nay was never fun. I swore I wouldn't have the same heart-in-mouth attitude to writing.

Five years on, with only one acceptance, and that being a prestigious paid writers course rather than a production deal (I write screenplays), and of course I have exactly the same attitude.

With every rejection, I feel that success is farther off. Even if it's an encouraging letter. I suppose that's because I always feel I've sent off my best on that piece of work.

Earlier this year, I tried writing a short story, and got a swift and form rejection. For a while I was upset, but then started learning how to write them effectively, rather than just conclude that they're not my milieu.

I don't submit enough, I know, because I tend to stop after a couple of rejects and work on the piece in question. I think, 'If they say it, it must be true'. I don't see the point of subbing 10 more times on the same piece if it isn't good enough for the 3 who said no - I want to up its chances before I go again. This applies to production companies and competitions rather than agents. Agents are a different matter - differing opinions and all that.

I'm sure if I had just one script commission, I'd be a bit more sanguine about rejections. Rejections haven't stopped me writing, but if nothing's changed in a couple more years, I'll be reluctant to throw good years after bad.

Jamesaritchie
07-25-2007, 02:12 AM
I used to be an actress, and the waiting by the phone for my agent to ring tell me yea or nay was never fun. I swore I wouldn't have the same heart-in-mouth attitude to writing.

Five years on, with only one acceptance, and that being a prestigious paid writers course rather than a production deal (I write screenplays), and of course I have exactly the same attitude.

With every rejection, I feel that success is farther off. Even if it's an encouraging letter. I suppose that's because I always feel I've sent off my best on that piece of work.

Earlier this year, I tried writing a short story, and got a swift and form rejection. For a while I was upset, but then started learning how to write them effectively, rather than just conclude that they're not my milieu.

I don't submit enough, I know, because I tend to stop after a couple of rejects and work on the piece in question. I think, 'If they say it, it must be true'. I don't see the point of subbing 10 more times on the same piece if it isn't good enough for the 3 who said no - I want to up its chances before I go again. This applies to production companies and competitions rather than agents. Agents are a different matter - differing opinions and all that.

I'm sure if I had just one script commission, I'd be a bit more sanguine about rejections. Rejections haven't stopped me writing, but if nothing's changed in a couple more years, I'll be reluctant to throw good years after bad.

The point of submitting ten more times has nothing to do with good. It has to do with right for the market, and matching that particular editor's taste.

If you want to up your chances of selling, you submit a story until there isn't a single magazine you can find that you that might take it that you haven't submitted it to.

Some of the best stories out there were rejected numerous times before landing at a market where all the factors meshed. I've had stories rejected fourteen to eighteen times, sometimes by magazines that paid only a penny per word, or nothing at all, only to have that same story sell for a thousand dollars or more the next time out.

I'm firmly convinced that the best possible road to success is to follow Heinlein's Rule For Writing every step of the way.

HEINLEIN'S RULES FOR WRITING


1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you write.
3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
4. You must put the work on the market.
5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.




A great explanation of the rules can be found on Robert J. Sawyer's website. http://www.sfwriter.com/ow05.htm

ChaosTitan
07-25-2007, 03:24 AM
How does rejection really affect you as a writer?

It depends on the kind of day I'm having. No, seriously. My writing is influenced by my mood, so my mood also depends on how a rejection affects me. On an average day, it won't affect me much. I'll mull it over, cross that agent off the list, and shoot out a few more queries.

If I'm already having a crappy day, it'll just keep bringing me down. I'll slam a door, seek out chocolate, hug the cat, call myself a hack. But eventually, I get over it and realize it was their loss. ;)

Has the impact rejections had on you changed over the course of your career?

I don't have a career (yet), but yes, the impact has changed over the last few years. I realized something after the first twenty or so query rejections for one manuscript: if I start to expect a rejection, it makes a request for pages that much sweeter.

Fortunately, every rejection I've received on fulls and partials have been personalized in some way. And it is through those personalized rejections that I've been able to troubleshoot a few things within the story that I missed the first (second, third, etc...) time.

Were those changes a conscious choice you made?

Partly, yes. I've become a bit more mellow about certain things over the last few years. I try to keep things from bothering me, because life is too short for that sort of worrying. If they reject me, they reject me. Wallowing in self-pity doesn't change that, just like ranting and raving in the break room over a bitchy customer doesn't make that person any less of a bitch (and yes, we do talk about you after you leave the store :e2brows: ).

Does getting rejection effect you differently depending on the type of writing it is, for example getting turned down for a work-for-hire position vs. a short story or poem in a magazine?

So far I've only put serious effort into agent querying, so I have no comparison.

Also, how do you really feel about form rejections? Why?

They don't bother me if all I sent was a query. It just means that the concept was right for them, that they didn't like the idea or the story. Fine, on to the next person.

I don't even mind forms on unsolicited submission packages (ie, a query with sample chapters). They didn't ask to see my pages, so they may not have gotten any further than the query.

I dislike forms on requested pages/fulls. If you're going to say yes, I'd like to read your stuff, at least tell me why you are rejecting it.

Del
07-25-2007, 04:35 AM
Rejections? Five minutes of hurt, five minutes of why?, and then it's back to 'where the hell will this fit?'

It is the never heard from again rejection I hate. What's up? Did they even get it? Should I send it again? (What do I have to lose, right?) It is the no reply (and I think shortly it will happen more than less) that is making me rethink my position against simultaneous submissions. If it isn't a yes then at least make it a no. Even a form rejection says time to move on. I'm not going to sit and wait uselessly again. REJECT ME, PLEASE!

I've been told my book is great (perfect, fine, good, marketable...nothing negative yet) but my query sucks. I've never been much of a salesman. I learned to write by reading. I've not read enough successful queries to grasp any of the various methods. So, I feel they are rejecting the query. Right or wrong, it is still a matter of being in that one place at that one moment with that one person that can make it happen. Even Harry Potter was rejected 20(?) times.

I reject books all the time. How can I expect someone not to reject me occasionally? Just wind up and pitch again.

swvaughn
07-25-2007, 04:53 AM
:e2cry: <---me, rejected

Shady Lane
07-25-2007, 05:52 AM
It's the weirdest thing, but rejections really don't bother me. And I'm the very sensitive type. Like, I do drama too...and if I try out for a play and don't get the part I want, that's going to make me really upset and self-doubting and all that other gross stuff. But rejections...I don't know. They roll off the back for me.

Shadow_Ferret
07-25-2007, 06:33 AM
Every rejection I get is like a kick in the nuts. Takes all the wind out of me and I curl up into a fetal position until the pain subsides.

Birol
07-25-2007, 07:42 AM
Forms always have a meaning, and that meaning is you didn't even come close. It may be because the writing is bad, or the story is wrong/inappropriate for the magazine, etc., but something is seriously wrong.

I disagree with this. I've sent out form rejections that do not have any of these meanings.

SpookyWriter
07-25-2007, 08:23 AM
I disagree with this. I've sent out form rejections that do not have any of these meanings.Yeah, and thanks a lot for the last one. Pfffttt...

blacbird
07-25-2007, 08:29 AM
I disagree with this. I've sent out form rejections that do not have any of these meanings.

I appreciate this comment, but . . .

at this point, all rejections pretty clearly signify that the work I've submitted is seriously flawed. Probably means the writer is, too.

caw

Novelhistorian
07-25-2007, 08:33 AM
It depends how I feel about the book that week, and who's doing the rejecting. Queries hurt less than partials, which hurt less than fulls. Three fulls in ten days was pretty painful.

After a while, I feel worn down. I've published two nonfiction books but no novels, and every once in a while, it grates on me. But it hasn't stopped me from writing, nor from doing better work.

SpookyWriter
07-25-2007, 08:38 AM
I appreciate this comment, but . . .

at this point, all rejections pretty clearly signify that the work I've submitted is seriously flawed. Probably means the writer is, too.

cawYep, if that's what you believe.

Del
07-25-2007, 08:40 AM
I disagree with this. I've sent out form rejections that do not have any of these meanings.

I think James just meant you can assume a few certainties from a form rejection. Mostly that they didn't care enough about it to comment. The catalyst for the inattention can be inappropriate content for that publisher/agent or you simply don't have a style which appeals to the appraiser. I have to agree. There was something that didn't touch them enough for them to touch you. Evaluating the sort of work the rejecter has accepted could yield some clues that might lead to improvements.

Honestly, there are clues in every reaction. Looking for them will increase your chance of success.

Birol
07-25-2007, 09:22 AM
Yeah, and thanks a lot for the last one. Pfffttt...

Well, if you'd stop submitting bawdy pirate song lyrics, I wouldn't have to reject you.


I think James just meant you can assume a few certainties from a form rejection. Mostly that they didn't care enough about it to comment. The catalyst for the inattention can be inappropriate content for that publisher/agent or you simply don't have a style which appeals to the appraiser. I have to agree. There was something that didn't touch them enough for them to touch you. Evaluating the sort of work the rejecter has accepted could yield some clues that might lead to improvements.

Honestly, there are clues in every reaction. Looking for them will increase your chance of success.

Yes, but I'm saying that's not always the case. Sometimes it is just an issue of time and not having enough of it.

SpiderGal
07-25-2007, 12:53 PM
5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.





Even if we realize down the line that the idea/story isn't that good?

Shadow_Ferret
07-25-2007, 04:07 PM
I disagree with this. I've sent out form rejections that do not have any of these meanings.
Doesn't matter what YOU meant, it only matters how it effects me. To me it's another kick in the nuts whether you meant otherwise.

Twizzle
07-25-2007, 04:57 PM
The best rejection I got was the harshest, right out the gate. He was cold cold cold. It was humiliating. But boy, he told me why. And he was right. It made me want to show him, so I fixed it and then thanked him. He did me a favor. Probably the biggest favor of my life. And I've never had a negative personal rejection like that again. Thank goodness.

I could kiss the man.

Jamesaritchie
07-26-2007, 12:16 AM
Even if we realize down the line that the idea/story isn't that good?

Yes, because writers are almost always wrong about how good or bad their own stories are. As I've said before, I have a story that I swear is one of the best things I've ever written, and no one, anywhere, will take it. They don't even send me "love the writing" rejections, and I almost always get these.

I also have a story that I think is God-awful. Worst thing I've ever written. From my perspective, it's bad in just about every possible way. But it sold first time out for $1,000, and and reprint rights just keep selling over and over. I've made a lot of money form this story. I hate the story, but editors seem to love it.

Now, if you have an epiphany along the way, and see some small change that could make the story better, then make the change. But keep it on the market, and there's a chance it will sell, even if you have to sell it to an editor who has lousy taste in fiction.

Legionsynch
07-26-2007, 02:15 AM
I look at every rejection like a badge of honor. (Of course, I still have to hear back from those agents I really really want). As they add up, I know that I've gotten X rejections, and that's X more than I would have if I'd never started writing. And each time, I'm one step closer to getting to where I need to be.

Namatu
07-26-2007, 02:36 AM
I don't mind rejections. I receive them as acknowledgments of my effort. Forms are disappointing, but they're still acknowledgment. Happily, my first query out to a magazine was accepted (many, many years ago). In between my larger, often stymied works, I'm starting to do shorter ones again so that I can get into a writing-submitting groove. If I don't send anything out, I can't be accepted or rejected so I really don't mind if I get rejected - I'm writing.

maestrowork
07-26-2007, 02:41 AM
I think James just meant you can assume a few certainties from a form rejection. Mostly that they didn't care enough about it to comment.

...or, they simply don't have the time to comment on 300 rejections they have to send out that week. But I don't agree with James that "a form letter means something is seriously wrong with your ms."

The job of an acquisition editor is the find the work that fits their publication need. Nothing more. It's not part of their job to comfort or let the writers know what is good or bad about their work. Thus the form letters. Nothing personal, and you don't have to read into it. If I have to reject 300 rejections a week, I'd use a form latter, too.

Jamesaritchie
07-26-2007, 03:54 AM
...or, they simply don't have the time to comment on 300 rejections they have to send out that week. But I don't agree with James that "a form letter means something is seriously wrong with your ms."

The job of an acquisition editor is the find the work that fits their publication need. Nothing more. It's not part of their job to comfort or let the writers know what is good or bad about their work. Thus the form letters. Nothing personal, and you don't have to read into it. If I have to reject 300 rejections a week, I'd use a form latter, too.


Every editor I know makes the time to respond personally, at least in some small way, to those writers who show promise, or who come very close. It doesn't take long because out of those 300 manuscripts, no more than twelve deserve anything other than a form rejection. You don;t have to comment on three hundred manuscripts, just ten or twelve, tops. This is usually all you'll find worthy of serious comment. Even on the best week ever, you won;t find more than fifteen.

Now, it may be that a single form tells you little, but when you receive a lot of form rejections, there's always a serious problem with either your writing, or your magazine selection process.

Editors who send forms to all writers are not good editors, and are making the job of finding good stories much harder than it should be. And editors who send only personalized rejections are doubling the workload for no good reason.

Yes, there are other, rare, reasons for forms. There are also other reasons for rejection besides bad writing, but we all know that bad writing is the cause far more often than not. Sometimes, rarely, a form may have no meaning, but if a writer receives a lot of form rejections it is not because all the editors are too busy to send a personalized rejection.

An editor who does not encourage good writers is not going to get many good writers, and an editor who does not discourage bad writers is not going to have any time.

And, really, what many seem unaware of is that in the computer age it really takes no longer to send a personalized rejection than it does to send a form.

I honestly do not know a single editor who does not, in one way or another, encourage the good, and discourage the bad. I do not know a single editor who doesn't take the time to write some sort of personalized rejection to the top writers who come through, or who doesn't have a specific meaning when he sends out forms.

With, of course, one exception. I know quite a few editors who have at least two form rejections. Better than 90% of writers get the standard form, which most certainly does, always, without exception, have a negative meaning. Most of the good writers the editors find receive the second, much friendlier, and much more encouraging form. And even these editors take the time to personally write something to the top one percent or so of the best of the best.

You can't blame form rejections on a lack of time, anymore than you can blame the huge numbers of rejections on anything other than bad writing, even though, rarely, there is another reason.

Let me point out one other thing. The fact that a few writers do get some sort of personalized rejections from every magazine out there proves by itself that forms have meaning.

It's probably natural to assume that because you receive form rejections from an editor, so are all other writers, but this is never the case, no matter the size of the magazine, or how busy the editor.

SpiderGal
07-26-2007, 05:25 AM
What James said holds true for even non-fiction magazine writing. An editor at Scientific American told me she gets about 100 e-mails a day. And most other editors, especially at national glossies, would admit to around the same number. Either they don't reply, or they just copy-paste a standard "No, not right for us. We wish you luck in placing it elsewhere. Thanks for thinking of us," rejection (e-mail). Snail mail ones tend to be longer, of course.

Since I started submitting magazine queries in April, I can say roughly 90% of my rejections have been personal, where most of the time the editor appreciated my "idea" and explained why they wouldn't run it.

I hope, James, what you said in reply to my question, applied to magazine ideas, too!