Posts Tagged ‘rejection letter’

What we really think about rejection?

June 30, 2014 3 comments

Somewhere, deep inside, isn’t this how we all feel when one of those rejections come along?










On writing: submitting another short story

March 11, 2014 12 comments

I recently found out that Cemetery Dance Publications, one of my favorite publishers of dark fiction and horror, is accepting submissions for one remaining slot in their upcoming publication, October Dreams 2, an anthology of Halloween-themed short stories. So of course, I can’t resist … I must submit a story, despite the overwhelming odds against acceptance (I wrote about my first submission/rejection here). But I’m okay with that, because as one of my blog friends reminded me when my last story was rejected, I’m aiming for the top, and acceptance into publications of this caliber is hard. So if ever one of my stories is accepted then it will mean even that much more.

Don’t get me wrong, though … I’ll still be disappointed if/when the rejection comes, but at least this time I’ll remember that I’m in the company of hundreds of other talented writers who also were rejected. There is some comfort in that 🙂

So, off I go into my next big adventure. I’ll keep you all posted.

Wish me luck!


On writing: The inevitable rejection

July 16, 2013 28 comments

So, back in January, I accomplished one of my goals for 2013: I submitted a short story to Cemetery Dance magazine. With high hopes I’d pressed that submit button, sending off my short story of which I was so proud. And then I’d waited … and waited … and waited. After a while, I’d waited so long I didn’t really even feel like I was waiting for anything anymore. But to be fair, they did warn that due to the deluge of stories it would likely take several months before I’d hear back from them. Well, they were wrong. It took over five months! But, on the positive side, I did hear back.

While I’d like to tell you I received a personal note from the managing editor of the magazine/publisher, Brian Freeman — you know, something telling me all about how it was a wonderful story but they just couldn’t quite fit it into this quarter’s magazine but they’d sure like me to submit again — the truth of the matter is that I received a “form” rejection from some unknown underling in charge of reading through the slush pile (at least I assume it was the slush pile … who knows, maybe I made it further along). I suppose I can understand why it happened, though. With the sheer volume of material that’s submitted to some of these magazines, especially one of the caliber of Cemetery Dance, it’s nearly impossible to personalize rejections. Otherwise, nothing would ever get published. But still, it would have been nice …

To put a positive spin on things, though, you could say that I accomplished something else in 2013: I got my first rejection 🙂 At least that means I wrote something, and that I overcame inertia and fear and actually submitted it, knowing full well that in all probability it would get rejected. But I consider it a part of my growth as a writer. After all, if you can’t handle rejection, there’s no reason to be a writer, unless, of course, all you want to do is keep your stories to yourself, hidden somewhere on your computer. But that’s not me. I’d like at least one other person besides my lovely wife to read something I’ve written.

I’d like to thank all those who left encouraging comments on my original post. I appreciated each of them. One in particular, though, had some advice that I plan to follow. I’d like to thank Michael over at Parlor of Horror for taking the time to give me some good suggestions on what to do with my stories. So thanks, Michael 🙂

I’ll post the rejected story soon, then some of my other work. Eventually, I’ll even post some of my W(s)IP. I’d also like to find a writing buddy at some point, or an alpha reader, preferably someone serious about their writing and their interest in reading over works in progress. I’ve also heard about some folks having great success with online writer’s groups, so I’d like to pursue that as well. I’ve already got an account on; now all I need to do is become active within the community.

Should make the remainder of the year interesting, and hopefully productive.


My first novel: a retrospective – Part 6 (the end)

April 30, 2012 5 comments

So on and on I typed, my second novel growing from just a germ of an idea to nearly three quarters of a book. All the while, I did my best not to think about the book publisher that had gone bust and tried not to let my mind wander away from writing while I awaited a response from the agent I’d queried. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait much longer before I received a piece snail-mail from the agent (in my SASE, of course). In it, the agent wrote that they’d love to read the whole novel. All I had to do was send it to them.

Awesome. Another step in the right direction. If I could win over an agent, I might have a chance with the book getting published. Another trip to the copy center and the USPS, and it was soon on its way to New York City, destined for the hands of an agent that thought I just might have something worthwhile. Again, my confidence was boosted. So, while pondering a great future as an author, I once again typed away, figuring it was only a matter of time before I was discovered.

Some number of weeks later, I checked the mail and found a self-addressed stamped manuscript box from the agent. I’d assumed that if they liked the book, they wouldn’t send it back, so I expected just another rejection. I was surprised, though, by what it contained: yes, a rejection letter, but also copious notes about what the reader had considered problems with my (first) draft. Simultaneously, I was both encouraged and discouraged. It was great that they’d thought enough of my book to personally provide some suggestions, along with a request to resubmit my book after I was finished making the changes. But the sad fact was that they didn’t want my awesome first novel as I’d originally written it. While mature authors know that a first draft of a first novel is going to be, for the most part, crap, I was still under the newbie delusion that everything I wrote down was great stuff. Apparently, though, mine wasn’t as great as I thought it was.

And we have, as they say, now come full circle, back to part I of this retrospective. It was this point in time where, rather than take suggestions and continue working to make my book better, I somehow imploded and became disillusioned enough to pack it all in and give up on a dream. Perhaps the ease with which I threw in the towel was indicative of how sincere my desire was to write, that perhaps I was writing for all the wrong reasons. Given the outcome, I’d say that was probably true, though the passing of years has made that aspect of the journey a bit fuzzy. Bottom line: I wanted to be a writer and write books, but I didn’t have the passion to forge ahead through endless rejections, and to put my butt in the chair and work at the craft of writing until I got it right.

It’s kind of sad to look back on that part of my life; I really did give up so easily. I often wonder what might have been, what I might have accomplished had I really pursued writing for the right reasons and been mature enough to deal with the hard work of achieving such a goal.

What might have been …

I should write that on a post-it note and stick it on my monitor.


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