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A lesson in rejection

Got an e-mail from Chiaroscuro this afternoon informing me that they were not accepting "Do-Good". Mr. Tremblay was quite nice about it, said the story was well-written but just "didn't grab" him. I've heard that a few times lately; wonder if perhaps my stories need more hands.

So what does Miss M. L. Crewe do when she gets such a letter? She throws the story right back on the horse, of course. I've had a couple of people ask how I find my markets, so maybe someone will find this instructive.

First I note the rejection in my submission log, which is a very useful thing to have as it allows me to keep track of when I should be yelling at editors for not getting back to me after five years. (Or five months, when I'm being practical.)

Next I head to my most recent copy of SpecFicMe. Well-organized and pretty thorough market magazine, convenient pdf format, minimal subscription cost. I skim the magazine titles looking for ones that fit the genre (in this case, psychological horror) and to which I haven't already submitted the story (an important consideration once the story's been on the market for several months). My job was easy this time, as I'd already noted a couple of other potential markets for the story when I did my last search, so I went straight to those and decided Underworlds looked like my best bet.

Put together document and cover letter as per their specifications. Became somewhat flummoxed by the lack of specified fiction editor. Decided to risk addressing the cover letter to the name mentioned in the snail mail address on the submissions page rather than simply "Dear Editors". Sent it off, noted it in submission log, noted it on Current Works page on site.

(When I don't find anything suitable in SpecFicMe, my next stop is Ralan.com, which seems to have more extensive listings but is somewhat less organized.)

The final step, on this particular day, is sleep. Good night.

mlc

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
writerpo
Mar. 13th, 2003 11:33 pm (UTC)
Round of rejections, on me...
Commiserations love company. I just got a rejection in the mail today: ye olde form letter. Of course this was from a top paying mag, so I don't feel too badly. Still...

On the bright side, I finished the first draft of that story I mentioned earlier. A year after I wrote the first page or so, I finally managed to push through to the end. And ya know what? It's actually pretty decent. Not perfect, but pretty good nonetheless. I've had so many false starts and dead ends and halted middles lately, it's actually a pretty good feeling to see something -- anything, really -- reach a conclusion, even if it's just a draft and I know I'll probably draft it again.

As for sending out again. I'm usually pretty bad about that since my first impulse upon receiving a rejection is to figure out what's wrong with the story, which has buried a few stories over the years with promises to re-write. Some I will get to since they still turn over in my mind on occasion, but others have certainly died during their internment.

Sleep sounds like a good idea.

---Peter
megancrewe
Mar. 16th, 2003 01:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Round of rejections, on me...
Ah, see, one of the ways I deal with (or rather, avoid dealing with ;)) rejection is by just not thinking about it. Story comes in, story goes back out. I very rarely edit a story once it's started the publishing rounds, unless an editor makes a comment that I really agree with. My policy is to get it as good as I can possibly make it before I start, and if that's not good enough for some people, well, not much I can do about it. *shrugs* I've got a long ways to go, yet, and I know that.

Glad to hear you got that story finished. It is such a great feeling, especially when it's something you've been struggling with for that long. Hope it polishes up nice. :D
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

My Books


Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014


The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015


A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015


The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012


The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013


The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014


Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014


Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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