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what he really liked about my writing, expressed that the quality of my prose surprised him since I told him I was unpublished, and he told me he expected I’d find a home for my stories.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.

The Best Rejection Letters EVER

rejectedCome now, we all know the secret to good writing is ignoring your novel manuscripts and blogging about writing instead (data backs this up; don’t test me.)

When you get a form letter form an editor, you’re hosed. Walk away and have more drinks than you might have been inclined to have initially.

When they take the time to write something like, “this really didn’t hold my interest,” go bite a wood plank in half and vow to send them passive aggressive letters when you make it big.

Recently, I have been getting nicer rejections. One said, “This is great story and you build a wonderful mood. We can’t use it in this issue, but we want to see more from you!”

INDEED? Well, I will crack you open, then. Half of getting a short story published is figuring out what the editor really wants, like figuring out a puzzle.

My latest rejection read: “We very much enjoyed this story, especially the setting, but it lacks ‘x’ element and that is what we want in our anthology. We wish you all the best.”

HOT DAMN.

I like you, mister editor. I will send you kittens.