I have submitted two stories to separate magazines…and got rejected twice! Darn it!

They have given me a tidbit of feedback:

“Thank you for submitting “Her Scarf, My Shield” to this magazine. It was well received here, but after some thought we have decided not to accept it for publication.”


“Thanks for submitting “Copper Eyes,” but I’m going to pass on it. It didn’t quite work for me, I’m afraid. Best of luck to you placing this one elsewhere, and thanks again for sending it my way.”

Slightly vague about what I’m doing wrong? I think yes! The feeling I’m getting is that I am almost good enough but don’t quite make the cut. Why? What can I learn from this?

1. Writing for magazines are like writing essays for college scholarships. It’s unlikely that you’ll actually get anything back but sometimes you do it anyways. The difference is that the actual writing process is rewarding when you are writing short stories and it isn’t as fun while writing essays.

2. I need to make sure that I read a few of the magazine’s stories first. If my story didn’t work for the editor, I probably have made the classic mistake of submitting to a magazine that I don’t read through first. Yikes! That’s pretty newbie, isn’t it? I’ll try not to make that mistake again!

3. I can learn how to accept rejection and move on. If I’m going to be a writer, I need to get tough right? It takes talent and a LOT of determination. I better start working on the determination part:)

Any other tips from writer who have done this sort of thing before would be HIGHLY appreciated!! Please comment:)

And back to writing!:)


8 thoughts on “Rejected!

  1. Hang in there. Quite frankly, I do not know anybody personally who has won those things. Believe me, I used to enter and give away my money until my publisher asked me not to bother anymore but to channel my efforts toward publication. For some of these contests, it is a way of making money.

    Keep writing; use the negative to your advantage. Compile all these short stories and publish them as a collection. Keep writing.

  2. Those are good tips. I think you’ve cut to the heart of it right there.

    Literary Nomad is right about contests. I’ve only ever entered ones that had no entry fee and I never would pay to enter one. Writers make little enough off fiction already.

    Expect your work to be rejected multiple times. It’s a good idea to line up five or so markets per story to start off with before you submit the story anywhere. Do your research and read them all, of course. Get your hands on free issues of the markets through the library or online if you can, to cut costs. Make sure your material meshes with the market, or else write a different piece specifically for that market (this last approach is ideal).

    Determine the most desirable market and submit to that first, and set up a sort of ranking for the others. (It’s a good idea to hit the top ones that accept simultaneous submissions together right off the bat.) When the piece gets rejected, move on to the next market down the line. That way you have plenty of fallbacks. It takes a lot of the sting out of rejection knowing that you already have other places to turn, and keeps the submission process efficient, since it saves you having to go back and research markets all over again, which can be discouraging.

    Besides that, always make sure your submission letters are professional and that all formatting follows their guidelines.

    Also you might want to strike that publication name out of your post. Some editors might not like writers talking about their rejection experiences with them or publishing correspondence.

    Good luck!

  3. Good on you for putting yourself out there in regards to sending in your work for consideration. It takes a lot of courage and confidence! You, me, everyone else reading this will be rejected a lot … Hundreds of times. However it only takes that one time where a publisher accepts and prints your work to the world, this is when the smile comes to your face! Keep up your great work and be well!!!

  4. You’re going about it the right way: by looking at it as an on going process and learning from what happnened. It’s a good sign they responded. Sometimes (or usually) they don’t respond, you get a silent pass. Rejection doesn’t mean you can’t submit something else to that magazine. Sometimes it means “not right now.” A friend of mine who is published regularly does two things: when she receives a rejection, she thanks the editor and sends them something else she think they might be interested in, and sends the project that got rejected off to another market. Don’t know if that’s helpful…
    You’re doing great.

  5. Pingback: The Results of the August Triple Decker Challenge: « jacquelinelucca

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