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.
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.
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.
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.
Congratulations! I keep them in a file on my computer. At some point you just think, "Oh well, their loss." and move on.
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.
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.
I'm just glad i finished something I felt good enough about to submit. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement :)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
As bad as rejection letters suck I'd rather get one of those than no response whatsoever. That sucks worse.
Yeah, I'll take a thousand rejections before a no response. Thems the worstest.
Rejection letters are the best frinds you never wanted.
"Remember, a writer writes. Always."
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.
Got one just today!
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.
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).
Am I old??