I got a rejection letter in my e-mail today, and it reminded me of something. When submitting a story, poem, novel (or anything else) into publishers, don’t fear rejection. When you’re getting ready to submit your piece, remind yourself of one important fact: rejection is as much a part of publication as acceptance is. If you want to be a writer, expect to be rejected just as much, or more, then you’re accepted. Perseverance, in particular, is especially important.
1. Don’t take it personally.
Your story might have been rejected for a number of reasons. Most editors receive more submissions then they can handle, and so they pick the submissions that will suit their magazine best. Even if your story is really well written, it may not get accepted if it doesn’t suit the publishers current needs. There are thousands of reasons why your manuscript may not have been chosen, but you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to figure them out. So, the best thing to do is take a deep breath, and send your work out to other publishers.
2. Most editors are writers.
Do your best to recognize that most editors are actually writers. This means that, most of the time, editors don’t enjoy sending rejection letters. Some writers assume that editors don’t understand how hard you worked on your manuscript. The fact is that most editors do understand. Part of being an editor is sending out rejections, even if the editor knows that the story is good. An editor’s job is to choose the manuscript that best suits their current needs.
3. Don’t fear hurtful rejections.
Some writers don’t submit their work to publishers for the fear of a hurtful rejection. Don’t worry about it. The majority of rejection letters are polite, and too the point. Most of them are even pre-written, due to time constraints. If the editor does happen to give you a hurtful rejection, the best thing to do is laugh about it and move on.
4. Feedback is a good thing.
Sometimes, an editor may include critique, or feedback on your story. This is a good thing. At first, it may seem like the editor is pointing out all the things that are wrong in your story. However, if they’re taking the time to critique your story, then they probably liked it. Take the editor’s advice seriously, he may have a point. Feedback is a good thing, it means your story has potential.
5. Rejection repeats itself.
Most writers will get rejected several times on the road to success. The reality that most, if not all writers face is a hefty pile of rejection letters. Persistence and dedication are a must for any writer, because if you give up when you’re halfway there, just because of one rejection, you aren’t going to make it anywhere. Don’t let any rejection get you down, just keep submitting. Someone, somewhere, will like your work.
6. Consider the guidelines.
Before you even submit your work to a publisher, read the guidelines, and read them thoroughly. The number one reason that editor’s reject a person’s work is because that person didn’t read the guidelines, and they had no idea what the publisher was looking for when they submitted their work. Don’t fall into this category. Read the guidelines, and tailor your manuscript to meet those guidelines.
If you’re interested in learning more, here are some related articles that might interest you:
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Making your Short Story Short
One of the best ways to market your short story is by making it short. By short, I mean 3,000 words or less. This roughly translates to 10 pages, double-spaced. For some writers, this might seem difficult. However, there are some inherent benefits. If a writer keeps these in mind, cutting down the story won’t seem so bad.
1. Cutting the fat.
2. Detail will improve.
Without all that unnecessary detail, the details you have left will all be vital to the story. Your story will become more vibrant.
This exercise forces the writer to learn which details are necessary, and which aren’t. In learning this, other technical issues come into perspective. Your writing will improve.
4. Publication will become easier.
A shorter story looks attractive to most publishers. A shorter story means more space for other material. Also, always bare in mind that publishers are busy. Some publishers have hundreds of stories to read. If your story is short, but engaging–they’re more likely to enjoy it.
1. Understanding Length.
A good story can fit in 1,500-3,000 words. That’s not to say that your story is bad because it’s 4,000 or 500 words. (However, if your story is only 500 words, it’s more likely to be classified as Flash Fiction–and you should find a publisher that wants Flash Fiction.)
2. Your manuscript… minus 10%.
When editing your story, try to eliminate at least 10 percent of it. It’s a good practice. You’ll be forced to rid of unnecessary detail, and think objectively. Which details are essential?
3. Know your publisher.
Before submitting, always read the guidelines. Every magazine will have them. Most of the time, the publisher will specify a word count. Also, try reading some of the stories said publisher has already accepted. More often then not, you’ll find a clear example of what that publisher likes to read.
4. Keep your hand moving.
Sometimes you’ll need to revise your story two or three times until it’s up to par. Usually this depends on the writer. However, keep in mind that your story will never be perfect. As writers, we shouldn’t expect that. Have confidence in your story, and your content. Sell your story the best you can. If you have confidence in your writing, the publisher will sense it. If you get rejected, don’t sweat it. It happens all the time. Just find a different publisher and re-submit.
Any thoughts on the subject? Feel free to comment, I’d love to hear them!
Article by: Savanna Y Lujan
Categories: Publishing Tips Tags: market, market short story, market story, market your short story, marketing your story, publish, publish short story, publish story, publishing, publishing guide, publishing help, publishing tips, short story, story, write, writer, Writing, writing guide, writing help, writing tips
Publication has been my dream since I was a child. Writing, my passion. Ultimately, I wanted (want) to become and established author--to make enough money doing it that I could live comfortably. As of now, I’m forced to write in my down-time. In order to write full-time, I believe that one has to take steps. The first step is to sit down and write, but there’s still much more to do.
Novel-writing was my most consistent past-time throughout High School. I even finished a couple. Every now and then I would write a short story or a poem, and when my peers read these stories, they liked them. In spite of that; in spite of my passion for writing--I never attempted to submit to a publisher. Why? I didn’t think I was good enough. Not yet. I needed more experience, more practice. Eventually, I figured, I would be some kind of super-writer. Then, I could submit.
There was one major flaw in my plan. How does one determine when he or she is good enough? I couldn’t find an answer to that question--I still had a major lesson to learn. In my senior year, I joined a Creative Writing class. The Instructor to that class was a great mentor for me. Most often she would have us spend half of the class writing on a random topic, and the other half would be spent reading what we’d written and talking about our pieces. That was nerve-wrecking for me, at first. I had yet to understand the importance of sharing. I was nervous, too. What if my classmates didn’t like my ideas; what I’d written? Or worse, what if they stole my ideas? This same fear kept me from publication. Eventually my instructor asked why. Why, when I dream to be an author, when I have talent in writing, don’t I submit some of my work? She told me that there’s no reason I shouldn’t at least submit. It’s important that I share, and make myself known. It’s important that I get my name out there. At the end of the school year, I began submitting to publishers. Since then, I’ve been published five times, and rejected more times then I can count. The moral of the story is: submit your work to publishers. Regardless of if you write fiction, nonfiction, or poetry… there’s a place for everything. There will always be a publisher looking for your work, so do your best to find them. If you’re serious about writing, it’s vital that you get your name out there in one way or another. Throw away any fear that you might have, especially of being rejected, and start submitting.
Categories: Publishing Tips Tags: creative writing, fiction, idea, ideas, publish, publish a book, publish a poem, publish a story, publishing, publishing guide, publishing help, publishing steps, publishing tips, self publish, sharing ideas, write, writer, Writing, writing guide, writing help, writing steps, writing tips