View Full Version : Rejections before acceptions

03-04-2005, 09:41 PM
How many rejection letters did you get before that first acception letter?

I only got 2 but i'm sure there is more to come. Actually I got one rejection letter and the other was more or less a notice that the ezine was shutting down. So I guess that can be considered a rejection. How about y'all?

03-04-2005, 09:57 PM
Are you talking about freelance stuff or short stories or novels or non-fiction book? They're all different.

For me (in chronological order):

column -- none. I got accepted right away.
essays -- none. I got accepted right away.
short story 1 -- none.
horror short -- still haven't placed yet. Four rejections so far.
short story 2 -- haven't placed yet. 3 rejections.
novel -- accepted after about 65 (I didn't really count...)

William Haskins
03-04-2005, 11:30 PM
about my first short story publication. this was in 1985. i sent it out to four small press mags who accepted simultaneous submissions.

rejection #1: liked the story but didn't like the ending

rejection #2: thought it started too slow but liked the rest of it.

rejection #3: liked the set-up and the ending, but thought the middle dragged.

the fourth bought it.

(by the way, #3 was correct)

i always thought it was a strange sequence of events, and it definitely taught me a lesson about editorial subjectivity.

03-05-2005, 12:20 AM
It's not much of a poll. If you send to a low-circ print or a low-visited online, you'll have earlier acceptances. Reach for the stars and you'll spend a longer time waiting for that first acceptance.

03-05-2005, 12:39 AM
I agree. Aim high and you're in stiffer competition, therefore possibly more rejections. Aim low, and your chances of acceptances are better. In five years, I have more rejections than acceptances, but my first acceptance was five years ago, right after I first submitted anything. It was an essay for a regional newspaper. It was a good start, and great for getting my first clip. So, it all depends. Keep on polishing your work and submitting and don't ever give up, even when those ezines shut down!

03-05-2005, 03:18 AM
I had more than 40 before I sold my first short story.

It was only after I was selling regularly that I found out that national magazines receive upwards of 400 submissions a week for ONE fiction slot. If I'd known that I might have given up.

Sometimes ignorance really is bliss!


03-05-2005, 11:49 AM
i got rejected by an agent for my n-f novel today, but in truth, i had forgotten I had submitted to them. And also, didn't entirely follow their guidelines (oops!). It was a form letter. I've only submitted to one other at the moment who is at a maybe stage.

i got rejected for a short story but i wasn't hot on it so i haven't submitted it again. It was a form letter.

I got my column write away.

I got one n-f piece published on first try and one denies, with form letter.

I've never received a personalized rejection. It's kind of my goal. But I'll take people taking my stuff too.

I am also pretty new to the game. So I know I have a lot more rejections in my future =)

This is a great topic though, i've always wondered about it myself.

03-05-2005, 05:35 PM
I got about 20 rejection slips when I was 17 and submitting poetry. Boy, were they well deserved.

Non-fic essays accepted right away.

How-to column for an ezine, accepted right away.

I've yet to submit any fiction. But I am about to finish my first decent short story. At least, I think it's decent:) I tend to start writing a fic story, get disgusted with it and bury it in a drawer. That's a habit I plan on breaking this weekend for good. One scene left.

It looks like non-fic is easier to get published than fic, from reading the posts here.

03-05-2005, 06:35 PM
Interesting question and something I've wondered, too.

For my children's books: All rejections. :(
For my first freelance writing article: First submission, no rejection.
For my "weekly writer" job: No rejection, accepted after submission.
For my nonfiction books: No rejections.
For novel rewrite: About 5-7 rejections, not accepted yet.
For novel number 2: More rejections than I'd like to count. :( Not accepted yet.
For poetry: One rejection right after another until I FINALLY got published in a mag at age 17. (My first anthology poem was published when I was 11 after first submission but that's a whole 'nother thread.)
For short stories: All rejections. :(
For greeting card verse: All rejections.