FoxyLenz's picture
FoxyLenz from Shangri -L.I is reading Mists of Avalon August 20, 2012 - 4:44am

Actually, it was an email.I must say, as prepared for a no as I was, it still stings a bit. I do feel like a real writer, however. My first big step in this little adventure is done. I have walked out of the shire and am on my way. After work I think I shall have a beer and celebrate my first rejection.


"Dear Lisa,

Thanks for your submission for Horror Factory, THE TUPPERWARE PARTY. There's a lot in it that we really liked, however, we unfortunately will pass on this one.

Feel free to write to us with any queries with questions or further submissions.

Kind regards,

M.E.Prince's picture
M.E.Prince from Georgia is reading A Stir of Echoes August 20, 2012 - 5:13am

Be prepared for a lot of them. In my early twenties, I was trying to sell a fantasy novel. At that time, all the agents wanted physical letters sent to them, and sent rejection letters in the SASE. I seriously papered half a wall with my rejections. Some of them were just little 1" by 2" slips of paper with 'We are not interested at this time.' printed on them.

My point? Eventually it stops stinging and acceptance becomes a pleasant surprise. Erm. I meant that to sound like a good thing. The first time I was asked to resubmit with revisions, I felt completely awesome. Twenty-two-year-old me would have been insulted, but 22-year-old me still thought a fantasy novel she wrote as a teenager was worth selling.

Looking again at the note you got, they really need an editor to take a loot at their rejection notices.

tl;dr Don't stop.

JonnyGibbings's picture
JonnyGibbings August 20, 2012 - 5:46am

Sadly, it goes with the job. If you want to dance you gotta pay the band.

You will more often than not be too horror, too fantasy, too female centric, too erotic, too whatever. Editors often have in mind where they want there titles, books or anthologies to go. Even if you are slightly outside the vision, and another is closer, your work will be cut. It isn't a reflection of your ability at all. Keep going.

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer August 20, 2012 - 6:01am

Congratulations! I keep them in a file on my computer. At some point you just think, "Oh well, their loss." and move on.

SConley's picture
SConley from Texas is reading Coin Locker Babies August 20, 2012 - 7:07am

Expect rejection

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt August 20, 2012 - 7:38am

I've gotten a few over the past two years or so. I tack them on nail in my garage. Just think of it this way, each one will make it that much better when one of your stories is finally accepted. That's how I look at it, at least.

Hector Acosta's picture
Hector Acosta from Dallas is reading Fletch August 20, 2012 - 7:45am

Reply back with ;

"You know what? I reject your rejection."

But congrats, and yeah, I'm still at the stage where every rejection still stings-the worse ones are the ones that you don't even hear back from.

FoxyLenz's picture
FoxyLenz from Shangri -L.I is reading Mists of Avalon August 20, 2012 - 9:00am

   I'm just glad i finished something I felt good enough about to submit. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement :)

sean of the dead's picture
sean of the dead from Madisonville, KY is reading Peckerwood, by Jed Ayres August 20, 2012 - 9:18am

I tell you what, I love that story, so fear not, I'm sure it will get in somewhere.  That was honestly one of my favorites of ALL of the Scare Us! stories.


Courtney's picture
Courtney from the Midwest is reading Monkey: A Journey to the West and a thousand college textbooks August 20, 2012 - 10:09am

I'm really happy when I receive rejection letters, it reminds me that I had the balls to send out a story and that I should try again. The worst feeling is knowing you have no pending submissions, because what type of writer doesn't submit? Either a lazy one, an unconfident one, or one who doesn't actually write and just talks about it.

Bruno Hat's picture
Bruno Hat from Glasgow, Scotland is reading writing and arithmetic August 20, 2012 - 11:51am

Agreed Courtney. I have much more respect for people brave enough to put it out there and have it rejected than those amongst us who are all talk and no action. 

Sometimes they're accepted and sometimes they aren't. It would be a boring world if everybody liked what you did anyway. 

KarenGeneva's picture
KarenGeneva from RVA is reading The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig August 20, 2012 - 5:38pm

A friend in college papered her walls with rejection letters, occasionally writing notes on them (like the one who got her gender wrong). It means you're being brave and getting yourself out there--congratulations! 

imsteph's picture
imsteph from Los Angeles, CA is reading Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany, Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante August 20, 2012 - 8:11pm

I have many, many, many rejections in my gmail.  I kept them all in a folder.  I do not look at them, but they are there if I ever need to count them.  Good luck!  It only takes one non-rejection!

Chris Johnson's picture
Chris Johnson from Burlington NC is reading The Proud Highway August 20, 2012 - 8:33pm

Imagine yourself as an unattractive single man with a medium-income job who cannot get sex off your mind. Rejection is inevitable but you know you'll get what you want if you just keep trying.

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts August 20, 2012 - 8:44pm

Or you could possibly spend the rest of your life miserable and alone, maybe get a prostitute every once in a while (smashwords.)

I actually sift through old rejection letters every once in a while. If I'm doing another draft of something that's been rejected a bunch of times (the rare chance there's actual feedback in the rejections,) or when I'm sending to a place I really want to get into I'll see what I sent them and try to guess if this story might be a better fit. Creating a gmail folder is actually a good idea.

GaryP's picture
GaryP from Denver is reading a bit of this and that August 21, 2012 - 4:58am

Emma C's picture
Class Facilitator
Emma C from Los Angeles is reading Black Spire by Delilah Dawson August 21, 2012 - 6:24am

Chin up, it's bound to happen. And rejection means you're submitting, so you're doing something right. Keep on trying, I quite liked that story and a lot of others here did, too!

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig August 21, 2012 - 11:37am

I have quite the collection, think of it as a little stepping stone on the way to earning your stripes. I track through Duotrope and I like to look over and remind myself for all those nos, there were a few personal rejections (which are still nos, haha) and that sooner or later there will be a yes.

It's progress. Better than standing still.

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt August 21, 2012 - 12:12pm

I just started using Duotrope and I love it. 4 pending responses, and I'm crossing my fingers. I personally don't mind the rejections so much. It reminds me that there are things to work on. It's easy to grow an enormous ego when you've never put yourself out there. And big egos are never good.

EdVaughn's picture
EdVaughn from Louisville, Ky is reading a whole bunch of different stuff August 21, 2012 - 12:28pm

As bad as rejection letters suck I'd rather get one of those than no response whatsoever. That sucks worse.

Mckay Williams's picture
Mckay Williams from Oakland, California is reading slowly... August 21, 2012 - 12:43pm

Yeah, I'll take a thousand rejections before a no response. Thems the worstest.

JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life August 21, 2012 - 7:58pm

Rejection letters are the best frinds you never wanted. 

"Remember, a writer writes. Always."



Michael J. Riser's picture
Michael J. Riser from El Cerrito, CA (originally), now Fort Worth, TX is reading The San Veneficio Canon - Michael Cisco, The Croning - Laird Barron, By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends - J. David Osborne August 22, 2012 - 6:46am

Congrats! I've got a good handful myself at this point, and haven't submitted in a while. It isn't fear, just laziness... I really need to get on it with a few things I've written in the last while. I always wanted to do the Stephen King thing and stick the rejections on spikes. I'm happy that a number of my pieces got personal rejections, and looking back, they were pretty shitty stories. So I'm hopeful for my next batch.

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt August 23, 2012 - 11:22am

Got one just today!

David Ireland's picture
David Ireland from London is reading Confessions of an English Opium-Eater August 24, 2012 - 2:10am

I sent my first submission ever off today (my Scare Us story). I'm hopeful of success, but if it gets rejected I'm still happy. As Courtney suggests, I feel energised having something in play. It feels like a success just to have written something I'm proud of and sent it out.

GaryP's picture
GaryP from Denver is reading a bit of this and that August 24, 2012 - 6:57am

Hopefully everyone who recently got a rejection has already sent that story back out into the void. If not, do that today. 

I think I related this before. Connie Willis (sci fi writer) said that one time, many years ago, she went to her post office to pick up her PO box mail. There was a slip in there saying to come to the front desk. She was excited, thinking it was something cool. Maybe a special delivery parcel from an editor with an acceptance? No. It was all 8 stories she had sent out to magazines returned with rejection slips. She thought about giving up, but because she made a habit of addressing envelopes for the next magazine to send her stories to, she went through with her habit, sending them back out. Eventually, she sold all of those stories and quite a few others. She was recently named a SFWA Grand Master.

And now you know ... the rest of the story (only old people will get this reference).

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters August 24, 2012 - 7:21am

Paul Harvey!   

Am I old??

Good story.