My Writers Circle

Writing => The Writers Circle => Topic started by: Laura H on November 04, 2011, 03:19:30 PM

Title: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on November 04, 2011, 03:19:30 PM
Lot's of talk of rejections today since the Machine of Death emails went out.
How do you deal with rejections?  Have you had any really snarky or particularly thoughtful ones? 
I'm finding that I can take rejections as long as I have other submissions out at all times keeping hope alive  ;D

Found this -

http://www.writersservices.com/mag/m_rejection.htm

 :) :) :)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: thatollie on November 04, 2011, 03:25:36 PM
Well, now that I've written another little story I can allow myself to participate. This the first time I've ever had to deal with rejection and I think I might have fallen apart if I didn't have my current project to keep me going. I'm childish and I hate to lose. Thanks for starting this thread.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: 510bhan on November 04, 2011, 03:30:48 PM
Not yet brave enough to face regular rejections, so when I have had a novel rejected, I review it again and see if there are any improvements I can make before I resubmit . Short stories I don't worry as much about, I just try and write something new, different -- and better ;D

It's the waiting is the hard part for me. Once I know whether it's yea or nay I can cope with things much better.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on November 04, 2011, 04:14:43 PM
The MOD email was well done, but the BEST rejection I received was for the Memory Eater anthology.  I made the 2nd round for consideration, but ultimately got cut.  The editor-also a writer - sent me a personal email detailing EXACTLY why he rejected my story.

After pouting for a few weeks I went back with fresh eyes and took his crit to heart.  I've since reworked the piece and I now have a much stronger story that I've submitted elsewhere. 

It's nice when a "no" comes with advice  :)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: 510bhan on November 04, 2011, 04:18:00 PM
Lucky old you . . . my memory eater rejection was just: sorry, not this time, basically.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Chrissie on November 04, 2011, 04:22:24 PM
 ;D
I like this thread. How do I cope? At first I feel devastated as if it's my child that's been rejected which in  a way it is. I never tell anyone in my family or my friends, at first. And then I realise that the story still has merit, or else why would have thought it good enough to submit in the first place, and do some reworking - and try somewhere else. To date, nothing I've sent elsewhere has succeeded, but there's a first time for everything!
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Maimi on November 04, 2011, 04:30:41 PM
I think the worst rejection is no word at all. I'll take "No thanks" or "If you don't hear from us in X weeks we're not interested" over no response any day.

How to cope? Success. That's why you only take a moment to drink a comforting cup of hot cocoa before sitting back down at the keyboard. 8)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Chrissie on November 04, 2011, 05:09:29 PM
I think the worst rejection is no word at all. I'll take "No thanks" or "If you don't hear from us in X weeks we're not interested" over no response any day.

How to cope? Success. That's why you only take a moment to drink a comforting cup of hot cocoa before sitting back down at the keyboard. 8)
Or a comforting glass of white wine - works wonders for me! Hic  ;D
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Gyppo on November 04, 2011, 05:14:11 PM
I'll second Maimi's viewpoint.  To me there is nothing worse than black hole syndrome, where you just keep sending stuff into a black hole and never hear anything at all.  Rejections can be dealt with in a variety of ways.  You can cuss, scream, sulk, go out and break something, (chopping firewood or hurling large heavy knives into a board can be really therapeutic), or whatever works for you.  

But fifteen minutes is plenty.  Any more is self indulgent.

After that look at the work, re-work if necessary, and then send it back out.

But the black hole offers the illusion of hope, that someone somewhere may still be looking at at.

Best of British magazine have an 'organised black hole'.  If something instantly appeals, or if they have a suitable slot, you hear from them in a couple of weeks, maybe much less.  But they also tell you that all submissions are dated on arrival and kept for up to eighteen months.  So if you missed the cut or the deadline for any seasonal article there's a second chance still lurking in the wings.

After 18 months they will destroy the article unless you've sent a prepaid return envelope.

So at least you know where you stand.

But having plenty of stuff 'out there' is the best way of keeping hopeful.

Never, never, never send one thing out and wait until you get an answer before sending another one.  Life's too short for that kind of waiting game, even if you're only in your early twenties.  When you're in your sixties you can feel the clock running down on your opportunities.

Keep submitting.

Gyppo

Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Maimi on November 04, 2011, 06:18:22 PM
Never, never, never send one thing out and wait until you get an answer before sending another one.
That'd be like stopping your search for work after applying for one job, until you heard from them. Not good or profitable.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Gyppo on November 04, 2011, 08:44:01 PM
I lost track of the number of students I had, whilst an active tutor, who said things like "I've sent something out to test the waters.  To see if it's worth carrying on." [1]

They often couldn't understand, or accept, that a piece which was rejected by one magazine could be eagerly snatched up by another.  Sometimes magazines which appeared identical at a superficial reading.

They seem to think there is some universal fixed standard of acceptance.  Just as many believe there is some magical success formula, which, once learned, means every damn thing you send out gets accepted.

[1]  We, as writers make that decision.  Not the publishers.  They decide what they want.  The two things aren't always in alignment ;-)

Gyppo
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Matt Walker on November 05, 2011, 04:25:11 AM
When I was sixteen and got rejections for my first novel, they really ate at me. My heart would pound, I felt light headed and sick, and then ultimately crushed. Most rejections now don't phase me at all (I've had well over 100) for different things. Hey, they're still disappointing, but I'm used to them!

It's also worth noting that publishers have come back to me and said they "loved" my story and accepted it, despite it being rejected half a dozen times previously. Stating the obvious, but getting rejected doesn't mean your story is crap!
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on November 05, 2011, 09:19:20 AM
Great points!  And Matt, I was certainly not equipped to deal with rejection of my writing at such a young age.  I just wasn't that kind of 16 year old.  Good for you for putting yourself out there so early.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on November 06, 2011, 04:40:24 PM
Just got word that I was cut from another "short list".  Ah well, I still have 3 out there and I'm going to make a point to put send some more this coming week.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Gyppo on November 06, 2011, 06:03:23 PM
Getting onto short lists means you're doing something right, but maybe not in the right places.  Quite possibly it came down to editorial whim preference at that point, rather than your own ability Look for similar markets and re-sub.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: 510bhan on November 06, 2011, 07:20:53 PM
Boo hoo -- one of my little babies didn't make the cut at Story Quest . . . but two others have made it to Round 2! ;D
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on November 06, 2011, 08:19:28 PM
oOOH - Fingers crossed for you, Sio!

Did you hear by email today?  I have a horse in that race, as well. 
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on November 06, 2011, 08:23:21 PM
Getting onto short lists means you're doing something right, but maybe not in the right places.  Quite possibly it came down to editorial whim preference at that point, rather than your own ability Look for similar markets and re-sub.

Gyppo

Thanks for that insight, Gyppo.  Up til now my take has been always a brides maid, never a bride. I've even considered changing my online name to bridesmaid  :P
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: thatollie on November 06, 2011, 08:37:05 PM
You know, this is a perfect companion thread to the "Where are you submitting next" thread. I'll have to go dig that one up.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on December 07, 2011, 08:53:48 AM
Just heard back on a submission to Daily Science Fiction - a rejection, but I did get "P.S. it was an almost for us"

So I'll re-read, recheck, and resubmit the little orphan  :)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Sam Cooper on December 07, 2011, 08:55:37 AM
Great news, regardless of the rejection. It takes something to submit, and their interest is there, so next submission could change to acceptance.

Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Matt Walker on December 07, 2011, 09:54:59 AM
Great, Laura - a personalised rejection from a pro market is no easy feat!
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Maimi on December 07, 2011, 10:20:24 AM
Just to share a year--well, it'll be a year in ten days--of highs and lows with one publisher:

DEC2010
     -Submitted query and chapter to publisher. :)
     -Confirmation of submission received. ;)
     -Feedback received: Loved the premise, very excited about the story and we just need a tweak to the chapter. ;D 8)
     -Resubmitted tweaked chapter. ;)

From January to July
     -Letter of Acceptance and request for manuscript received. :o ;D
     -Manuscript submitted. ;)
     -Follow-up email sent, due to no word in over three months. ???
     -No word after another month prompts another kind nudge. ???
     -Apology for delay received. Feedback: Loved the story. Three senior staffers read it and noted two tweaks needed before it can be accepted for publication. ;D :o 8)
     -Resubmitted manuscript. ;)

How has this ended?
                       ??? :( :'(
I believe Gyppo called it the black hole syndrome. :)

Although there are no guarantees the journey will end with a contract, it's educational. Don't lose heart or let a negative attitude rob you of moments that should be celebrated.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Annmarie on December 07, 2011, 10:23:07 AM
Doesn't sound like rejection to me, Maimi! I think I know how this will end, and it ain't a black hole.  :)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: 510bhan on December 07, 2011, 10:24:03 AM
Hopefully you'll soon be posting on the Success thread. ;) ;) ;)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Maimi on December 07, 2011, 10:42:46 AM
Thanks for the encouragement, Annmarie and Siobhan. :-*

It's hard to take silence over a long period as good sign. Fortunately, there's always a project and submitting elsewhere to keep the forward motion going. :)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on December 07, 2011, 10:58:23 AM
Maimi, you have been on a roller coaster!

Here's hoping for closure before year end  ;D 
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Matt Walker on December 07, 2011, 04:33:23 PM
Hopefully it will be a great news Christmas present for you, Maimi! Have you queried again recently?
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Maimi on December 07, 2011, 04:50:54 PM
Awe, thanks guys. :)

Matt, that's a negative on contacting them recently. I'm thinking about waiting until it's a solid year in a little over a week. :)
I've also put that project aside while working on a script. And the possibility of going the independent author route hasn't escaped my attention.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Ken100 on December 07, 2011, 05:58:29 PM
Maimi, all of the above sounds encouraging to me. I have everything crossed for you that you get a publication deal early in 2012. If I could offer up a little piece of advice from my (admittedly) limited experience... Don't push too hard for an answer. I did that several years ago with a manuscript that I had submitted, and had gone through a couple of stages of reading, but then I heard nothing for months. I eventually emailed them with an ultimatum, ie make a decision or send it back.
What do you think they did?
Yep! Sent it back! (Although I did get a very nice email telling me how good they thought it was...)

Recently I have been submitting short stories to competitions.
So far I have had...
1 story shortlisted.
1 Highly commended.
1 commended.

Oh well, keep on persevering....

Ken :)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Maimi on December 08, 2011, 12:02:48 AM
Thanks for the advice, Ken.

Oh well, keep on persevering....
... no matter the hurdles. :)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Gyppo on December 08, 2011, 06:38:48 AM
It's the only way.  They only count the winners after they've crossed the finishing line.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Marniy_Jones on December 08, 2011, 04:47:00 PM
My favorite rejection *now* ehm was from Marion Zimmer Bradley Fantasy Magazine.

MZB was notorious for crushing the hopes of writers with her form letter rejection checklists.

I got "Suspension of disbelief doesn't mean hanging it by the neck until dead." 

Others got, "Give up writing; you have no hope." So, I guess I wasn't that terrible.

Wow, that hurt.  I was a teenager.  I haven't submitted anything in a long time, but I'd like to think I have a much thicker skin now, because I'm so much older and have maturity and perspective and uh stuff.   ::)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Gyppo on December 08, 2011, 05:06:59 PM
I got "Suspension of disbelief doesn't mean hanging it by the neck until dead." 

;-)

I once told a writing student "I know I told you the two most useful items of punctuation are an initial capital and a final full stop, but I didn't expect to find them at the opposite ends of an otherwise unpunctuated 400 word piece."

I challenged her to read it aloud to the class, expecting her to wheeze to a halt around fifty words but she managed it.  I'll swear that woman knew how to breathe through either her arse or her ears.

She got her revenge by offering me a lift home after class a couple of weeks later.  She drove as she wrote and spoke ;-)

Gyppo 
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Ken100 on December 08, 2011, 05:17:19 PM
... no matter the hurdles. :)

Quote
They only count the winners after they've crossed the finishing line.

 :) :) :) :) :)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on December 08, 2011, 11:08:35 PM
My favorite rejection *now* ehm was from Marion Zimmer Bradley Fantasy Magazine.

MZB was notorious for crushing the hopes of writers with her form letter rejection checklists.

I got "Suspension of disbelief doesn't mean hanging it by the neck until dead." 

Others got, "Give up writing; you have no hope." So, I guess I wasn't that terrible.

Wow, that hurt.  I was a teenager.  I haven't submitted anything in a long time, but I'd like to think I have a much thicker skin now, because I'm so much older and have maturity and perspective and uh stuff.   ::)

Holy Freeholies!  That would have done me in!
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Wolfe on December 10, 2011, 08:42:52 AM
Let me tell you the truth about people who send these kinds of scathing rejections: they're failed writers.

They do that to feel better about themselves. They're lashing out in the way they feel certain agents and editors did to them. Ironically, and more often than I like, these people end up being gatekeepers to the publishing world.

So, if you wonder why certain works got rejected, wonder no more.

Of course, I must admit, I desperately wanted to send similar comments to projects that wasted my time. The difference between a professional and a pathetic is your ability to know that today's hack may be tomorrow's bestseller. It's not anyone's place to destroy someone else's dream. You never want to be the one who history will quote calling the next Hemmingway or King a hack who will never sell copy.

A critic will never live that down.

That's why agents and editors use the generic rejection letter. If you have nothing nice to say, you seriously need to shut the hell up. But, in publishing, this tact often disappears in the haze of a deadline.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: A.W.M on December 10, 2011, 09:09:33 AM
Good to see you had a chance to stop by MWC again, Wolfe.  Always enjoy your input and take special notice when I see you have posted.  Keep the visits coming.  Happy Holidays. 
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Chandara5 on December 10, 2011, 05:35:44 PM
My first rejection was at sixteen. It was a sticky with something like...dialogue needs work, written on it.  If I knew that was a good thing i wouldn't have felt crushed. Live and learn.

I think I handle rejection well. The first is the query and that sucker is hard to write. But when they ask for pages and then the full and then you gotta wait... Let me know before I burst.  :o 

I have a full out with an agent now and I'm stalking my email.  :)   

Keeping fingers and toes crossed.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: CarrieSheppard on December 11, 2011, 12:10:15 PM
Rejection central?! I'm getting divorced, does that count?  ;D

I have to confess to have only had one rejection - and only one submission. I guess I really ought to put it about a bit more (after all, my husband did...)  ::)

Happy Sunday all!

Carrie
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on December 14, 2011, 08:46:42 AM
Whoa - that's a rough one, Carrie.  Sounds like fodder for writing though  ;)

Go start submitting!  You've gotta be in it to win it.  That's why I buy powerball tickets  ;D
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Maimi on December 14, 2011, 08:58:15 AM
My first rejection was at sixteen. It was a sticky with something like...dialogue needs work, written on it.  If I knew that was a good thing i wouldn't have felt crushed. Live and learn.

I have a full out with an agent now and I'm stalking my email.  :)
Good for you for sticking with it. :)

Congratulations on having an agent consider your full, too. Hopefully good news will arrive soon. Just don't give yourself carpal tunnel syndrome by hitting the refresh button too many times on your email page. :D
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Matt Walker on December 14, 2011, 11:46:48 AM
I have a full out with an agent now and I'm stalking my email.  :)   

Keeping fingers and toes crossed.

Me too and me too and me too! Hoping for a great Christmas Prezzie!  :D
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Chandara5 on December 14, 2011, 11:51:33 AM
 :D ;D

Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Sean Patrick Fox on December 15, 2011, 01:39:20 PM
I'm eagerly anticipating my first rejection letter  ;D
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on December 15, 2011, 01:51:03 PM
That's the spirit, Sean  ;D
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Ken100 on December 15, 2011, 02:55:33 PM
I'm eagerly anticipating my first rejection letter  ;D

I've got a box full of em. Thinking of pasting them on the wall in some kind of abstract art thingy, and submitting it for the Turner prize. What should I call it, though?  :)

Out of all those rejections I have 3 personal replies, and they are the ones I treasure like gold dust. :)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Gyppo on December 15, 2011, 03:01:15 PM
Scan them and turn it into a e-book.

Author's Progress.  It could become the Pilgrim's Progress of the 21st century.  It has all the same ingredients, Giant Despair, The Slough of Despond, etc.

Gyppo

PS:  Seriously, I would suggest a bonfire, except for the personal replies which are always worth hanging onto.  Hoarding them can lead to a culture of despair.  Learn what there is to learn from them and then move on.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Ken100 on December 15, 2011, 05:04:21 PM
Scan them and turn it into a e-book.

Author's Progress.  It could become the Pilgrim's Progress of the 21st century.  It has all the same ingredients, Giant Despair, The Slough of Despond, etc.
;D ;D

PS:  Seriously, I would suggest a bonfire, except for the personal replies which are always worth hanging onto.  Hoarding them can lead to a culture of despair.  Learn what there is to learn from them and then move on.

I see your point, but for me they are more like battle scars, proof that I have submitted myself to the fire of editorial judgement, and come out the other side, scarred but battle hardened. Grrrr.  >:(
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Gyppo on December 15, 2011, 05:13:21 PM
I now have this mental image of you truly looking like Edward Teach ;-)

Too much scar tissue, in body or mind, can reduce your mobility

Alternative suggestion:  Box them up at the end of each year and put them away in the loft or the back of a filing cabinet.  One year at a time should be more than enough.

Then, when your famous, take them all out and laugh at them.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Maimi on December 15, 2011, 05:53:30 PM
Then, when your famous, take them all out and laugh at them.
Or decoupage your toilet seat with the malicious rejections and laugh when, you know. >:D
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Ken100 on December 16, 2011, 07:21:57 AM
Or decoupage your toilet seat with the malicious rejections and laugh when, you know. >:D

 ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Joe Mynhardt on December 18, 2011, 02:19:21 AM
Ouch. Two rejections in one morning.  :D

One from Cutting Block Press. They say my story made it quite far, but it didn't make the 30 out of a thousand entries. Imagine reading a thousand entries for one book. I'd rather write, thank you.

The other one was very close. Shimmer magazine gave me some feedback on how to improve the story. They loved the setting and voice, but it just wasn't enough.

At least both markets were longshots. I'll get into them yet.  :D
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Joe Mynhardt on December 18, 2011, 12:22:21 PM
Just to add to my post above. A few hours later I got a very big acceptance from Short-Story.Me. They are very tough
to get in. I've been trying since 2009.  :)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: 510bhan on December 18, 2011, 12:25:45 PM
And I hope you mention this on the Success sticky, Joe. Well done. Perseverance heh?
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Joe Mynhardt on December 18, 2011, 12:29:56 PM
Perseverance heh?

Just when I needed it.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Maimi on December 18, 2011, 02:44:44 PM
Ouch. Two rejections in one morning.  :D

One from Cutting Block Press. They say my story made it quite far, but it didn't make the 30 out of a thousand entries. Imagine reading a thousand entries for one book. I'd rather write, thank you.

The other one was very close. Shimmer magazine gave me some feedback on how to improve the story. They loved the setting and voice, but it just wasn't enough.

At least both markets were longshots. I'll get into them yet.  :D
As rejections go, these sound encouraging. Well done, Joe. :)

I wouldn't be surprised if, come next year, you post in the success thread for Cutting Block Press and Shimmer. ;)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Joe Mynhardt on December 19, 2011, 07:04:50 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if, come next year, you post in the success thread for Cutting Block Press and Shimmer. ;)

Thanks. I'll have another go at Shimmer, but there's just too much competition for Cutting Block Press. And they take months to reply.
Shimmer is about three weeks.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: REShirley on December 25, 2011, 09:59:03 AM
I'm responding to older threads because I wasn't here when they were new.

Stephen King had his first four novels rejected by 11 different publishers.  He was working on his fifth (Carrie) in 1975 when he decided to just give up and "get a real job."  He threw the current work away and started combing the want ads.  His wife pulled the novel out of the trash and put it back on his desk.  She told him "if you want to quit, fine.  Just don't do it in the middle of a novel.  Finish this one, then you can quit."

Carrie went on to be one of the best selling novels in 1976 and the top grossing movie of 1978.  It launched his career and all four of the rejected novels went on to become bestsellers later.

I wrote this article a long time ago, but it still applies. It was written with magazine submissions in mind, but the truth of selling your work applies to all of your work:
http://writersweekly.com/success_stories/000894_06182003.html

(The web address at the bottom is no longer mine.  Let the domain name expire.)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on December 26, 2011, 07:45:44 AM
Nice article and some great advice  :)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Gyppo on December 26, 2011, 08:32:51 AM
I'd like to add a late thought to this thread as well.

When you do get an article/story accepted, especially in a market which is new to you, don't just do the happy dance and bank the cheque.  Both these things are important of course, especially banking the cheque just in case the magazine suddenly folds overnight and falls into the hands of the receiver.  (Yes, I've been there.)

Once the euphoria wears off ask yourself why that particular article was accepted.  Was it just timely, and fitted in nicely? 

Did they make any editorial changes before publication?  Did they join some of your short 'punchy' paragraphs to make longer ones more in keeping with their house style, or vice versa?  If so you'll know what they want next time.  The mere fact they bothered to edit shows you were 95% right in your assessment of what they were looking for.  But you were also lucky.  Lucky they didn't have something else on their desk at the same time which would just slot in without any work on their part.

Seriously consider those little changes and learn from them.  They may seem to remove some of your more literary flourishes.  They may seem to have turned your 'brilliance' into something more 'pedestrian', but the editor knows what his readers want.  If he doesn't the publishers will soon replace him.

He knows his job, and your job is to make his life easier by sending him what he wants.

Fortunately for the more 'creative' of us there's a surprising amount of leeway within what may seem a rather narrow framework.  This is where a writer's personal 'voice' can show through.

It's perfectly possible to be an individual without being a cocky Prima Donna who irritates everyone ;-)

Gyppo
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Lizzie D on December 28, 2011, 01:20:07 AM
I received today, a truly kind and delightful rejection email. Even though they do not wish to represent me, it actually lifted my spirits. So I have a question. Is it ever done, to thank an agent for a rejection letter?

Lizzie
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Skip Slocum on December 28, 2011, 01:22:51 AM
I'd let it go. It might appear as clingy.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Lizzie D on December 28, 2011, 01:38:17 AM
Thanks Skip.

Lizzie
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Wolfe on December 28, 2011, 01:38:23 AM
So I have a question. Is it ever done, to thank an agent for a rejection letter?

Professionalism dictates you never respond to a rejection letter no matter how nice or kind. Agents consider the rejection letter a deal closer. Follow-up is neither desired nor demanded. The other reason, unfortunately, is that more often than not, a follow-up to a rejection letter from a hopeful is almost always ugly.

In most cases, you move onto the next agent or project.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Joe Mynhardt on December 28, 2011, 07:52:13 AM
It's perfectly possible to be an individual without being a cocky Prima Donna who irritates everyone ;-)

Well said, Gyppo.  :)


Professionalism dictates you never respond to a rejection letter no matter how nice or kind.

I always wondered about that.  :)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: 510bhan on December 28, 2011, 08:08:20 AM
Whoops! I pinged back and said thank you for the response and wished them luck on their endeavours and finding titles to suit their publishing list. :-[ Thought it was a polite thing to do.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Wolfe on December 28, 2011, 10:10:17 AM
Yes, it's polite, but again not necessary. Remember the agent and editor's workload. It's going to sound rude, but if it's not work related, it'll get deleted without much thought because it's old, and ended, business.

With the limited amount of time, you'll try to get through as much as possible. That's why query letters and opening pages must grab instantly. Agents and editors are quick to reject and delete if only to get through the 'awaiting' piles on their desks and floors.

The other reason?

They don't like giving out rejections either. You can believe me when I tell you agents and editors know the sting of rejection better than any writer ever will. Try getting rejected by your peers every day multiple times throughout the day. The 'thank you' letter, for a rejection, is a reminder some won't like because it shows how cruel this business can be.

The level of rejection an agent sees is the primary reason why they're so selective on who they decide to represent. No one likes a lost cause.

But, that's another topic.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: mfarraday on December 28, 2011, 12:44:19 PM
but the editor knows what his readers want.  If he doesn't the publishers will soon replace him.

He knows his job, and your job is to make his life easier by sending him what he wants.


this is heartening advice. i think i finally see through the darkness in some ways. it's been hard for me to put myself in the driver's seat (the editor's seat) and see things from their perspective. this helps. thanks.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: tomfitzgerald on December 31, 2011, 03:08:58 PM
I once received three rejections within a 24 hour period.  That was tough. Kind of a perfect storm of rejection!  But if you just keep writing and editing eventually your pieces will find a home.  Good luck!

Tom Fitzgerald
Pigeon Town
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: mfoley on January 07, 2012, 06:56:06 PM
I do something similair to what Stephen King did when he started out. I make a copy of every rejection letter and tape them to the side of my bookshelf, which I have a clear view of from my computer.
I lost sixty pounds a couple years ago by getting pissed off every time I went to the gym, and now, when I look at those letters, I can channel that same anger to fuel my writing.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on January 22, 2012, 10:11:20 AM
Dang!  Started the day with a rejection :(   Hadn't even made the coffee yet!

BUT, I am on track to meet my goal of submitting at least two stories per week.  Maybe I'll go for one per week  :)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Joe Mynhardt on January 22, 2012, 10:20:31 AM
Dang!  Started the day with a rejection :(   Hadn't even made the coffee yet!

BUT, I am on track to meet my goal of submitting at least two stories per week.  Maybe I'll go for one per week  :)


Wow, thought you were going for two per 'month'. Best of luck.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: threenorns on January 22, 2012, 11:22:33 AM
LOL - my first rejection letter was from Harlequin about 15yrs ago.  they told me my novel, set in medieval england, had an inappropriate voice and wanted me to rewrite it using language more appropriate for the period.  i had written it in a fairly contemporary voice since i, personally, get fed up wading through the "thee"-'s, "thy"-'s, and "avaunt thee, miscreant!"-'s that were, back then, used so liberally and too often wrongly.  i was, naturally, cut to the quick, wounded to the core, devastated and i packed it away vowing never again.

now, of course, they're pretty much all written like that - i thought, oh, okay, i'll polish it up and resubmit only to discover once i reread it that.... well, it sucked.

had they told me that instead of only mentioning the tone, i think it would have been easier to take.  being told my work is not of good quality is easier than being a frustrated and unrecognized genius... [flips hair back haughtily]
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Chandara5 on January 22, 2012, 12:04:39 PM
I got a rejection on my full. A very nice hopeful rejection. Ha ha.

Some chocolate will take care of that.  ;D
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Gyppo on January 22, 2012, 12:15:30 PM
I re-read one of my old unpublished novels last night. 

It was bloody dire.  The storyline is still good, well worth re-writing one day.  But the typos and suchlike made me cringe.

I was agreeably surprised by the characterisation, but the basic presentation of it was awful.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: threenorns on January 22, 2012, 12:17:33 PM
exactly!  the concept is still a good one and as long as i stuck with the original concept, it was good - but then i have no idea what happened but everything took a left turn at albuquerque and suddenly i wasn't sure i was even reading the same manuscript!

it was quite embarrassing.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on January 22, 2012, 12:29:06 PM
You're right, Joe.  I meant to say my goal is two per month  ;)

Chandra, glad it was a hopeful rejection.  Chocolate is always our friend at such times :)

Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: mfarraday on January 22, 2012, 02:38:41 PM
yesterday, submitted stories to:
- Silverthought
- The Fabulist
- Short Bedtime Stories
- Deadman's Tome
- The Twilight Times
- Untied Shoelaces of the Mind

polishing my mailbox for the rejection letters as we speak...
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on January 22, 2012, 05:26:19 PM
WOW - good for you, MFarraday :)
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on February 15, 2012, 08:09:19 PM
Aw, man  :(  Not only was I sickly yesterday, but I also got jilted - on Valentines day!  Got the rejection about midday. 
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on February 15, 2012, 09:59:41 PM
Aw, man  :(  Not only was I sickly yesterday, but I also got jilted - on Valentines day!  Got the rejection about midday. 

Any man that would jilt you on Valentine Day is either a jerk, too cheap to buy candy or flowers or just plain rotten.  :(

I know it doesn't make up for what happened, but truth is, you're the winner.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on February 16, 2012, 09:44:27 AM
Thanks, Alice. This was a story rejection - hope I made that clear.  I'm stuck with my real life man for the duration, it seems  ::)

 I did wonder if this particular editor saves up his rejections for special occasions, like V-day, Christmas, etc  ;D  gives it that extra kick, you know?
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on February 16, 2012, 09:48:45 AM
Glad to know you've still got your guy.  ;D

Just go ahead and take what I said and apply it to whoever sent the rejection out at such a time.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Joe Mynhardt on February 17, 2012, 08:34:19 AM
Got one of the nicest rejection yesterday. Yes, they can be nice.  :)

I got it from Shimmer magazine, who currently has a 0.5% acceptance ration according to Duotrope.
It started with: There's no doubt that you're a talented writer, and I enjoyed the sense of foreboding that you created and the vivid descriptions, but I ultimately felt that there was too much going on in such a short piece.

Then the editor continued to explain what he would've cut from the story, unless of course I lengthened it into novella size or something.
I'll send it to a few more publishers before considering a rewrite, but I'm just happy to get such great feedback.
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Laura H on February 17, 2012, 08:37:23 AM
Wow, Joe.  That's one you can feel good about and what better than free advice from an editor in the pro market?
Title: Re: Rejection Central
Post by: Joe Mynhardt on February 17, 2012, 08:48:59 AM
Wow, Joe.  That's one you can feel good about and what better than free advice from an editor in the pro market?

Yip. He/She also said I should continue submitting, so that's really great. Hopefully I'll crack them before the end of the year.