My First Acceptance and a Good Rejection

Possible head shot?

Possible head shot? Are you fooled into thinking I’m professional? 🙂

I got one of the best rejection letters I have ever received this past month. The editor took the time to outline what he really liked about my writing, expressed that the quality of my prose surprised him since I told him I was unpublished, and he told me he expected I’d find a home for my stories. He then let me submit again, even though he had a one-story-per-author rule, just so he could see what else I had.

If I ever get to be an editor, I want to be like that.

I can honestly say that everyone I have met in the sci-fi publishing world so far is really great and welcoming. If I’m lucky enough to get to be a part of that world someday, I’ll be grateful.

I also got my fist acceptance! It’s a first issue of a literary webzine that specializes in genre-bending prose and poetry. I’ll be sure to link to it once it goes live.

My Writing Process

Between working and taking care of my lovely kiddos, writing is hard to find time for. So, I decided to just stay consistent:

  1. Write 50-500 words a day, at night or in the morning. I just do it. I don’t care if it’s good, I just do it.
  2. I made sure to give myself realistic goals. I don’t sit around thinking, “I’m going to get a best-selling novel published!” Instead, I think, “I want to work very hard at getting published in X Magazine.” Maybe X Magazine rejects me few times. It will only make publication with them all the more sweet.
  3. Read. A. Lot. One of the pitfalls I found myself in this week was in being unoriginal. I wrote a story that followed a popular sci-fi trope, and the editor told me that while my writing was great and enjoyable, it wasn’t original enough to make it to the second round. This would be like, say, submitting a vampire story to a horror magazine. The editor is going to put it in a pile with other vampire stories and your competition might beat you.

I’m having so much fun on this little journey. Honestly, that’s the ultimate test.

2 thoughts on “My First Acceptance and a Good Rejection

  1. Hey Becky, I’m an advertising creative/copywriter, so somewhat different to sci-fi, but there will always be parallels among writers.

    There are plenty of passionate people in creative industries willing to give feedback, such as this editor, so when you find them try and learn as much as you can.

    I like your goals.

    Practice makes perfect, as the old saying goes. And with number 2, placing smaller goals in front of you is generally better than staring down a target in the distance. In short, just keep pushing. Whoever wants it most will get it in the end.

    I wouldn’t worry so much about number 3. Luke Sullivan, a legendary copywriter, said in his book, “Until you’ve got a better answer, you copy.” And then once you learn the rules, break them. Copying some of your favourite writers, to a degree, can help you build your skills. You’ll probably find it easier to branch out from that platform than to shoot aimlessly into the dark.

    • I appreciate this feedback so much! Thank you. I’m in art school now and the traditional method I’m studying dictates that students at my school have to do so many master copies before we are allowed to do our own, original work. That’s the mindset I’m in so I’ve applied it to my writing, for better or worse. I like what you say about breaking the rules: So many people want to be Picasso, but he learned the rules and used them as a springboard to create something completely original. That doesn’t just happen ex nihilo!

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