The wait is over! Rejections for everyone!

Child actor's portrayal of receiving a rejection email from an editor.

Child actor’s portrayal of receiving a rejection email from an editor.

There are positive aspects of rejection.

  • You don’t have to share your genius with the world before it becomes truly appreciable financially.
  • You don’t have to worry about your literary celebrity getting in the way of the lifestyle to which you are accustomed.
  • You can channel the feelings of hurt into the next book you write, possibly about an editor who rejects people and ends up being rejected by society because they are discovered to be big, stinky doo-doo heads.
  • You can show people how mature you are by weathering these slights with ease.

But seriously, there are some good points to the process, especially when the editors doing the rejecting are kind (and most of them are).

I recently received a rejection letter for a fantasy story submission I made to a flash fiction contest. The contest was run through Splickety Publishing Group and the editor who contacted me regarding my piece was kind enough to make some suggestions. And you know what? He was absolutely right in everything he said.

While it stings to get a rejection, it is helpful to know that the purpose of rejections for writers is to ultimately make your writing stronger. After seeing the things that the editor pointed out through his comments, I’m glad that my piece wasn’t chosen for publication. I wouldn’t have wanted it to be someone’s first impression of me or my writing. And even if the editor hadn’t given me comments, I would have wanted to go back over my submission to make sure that it was as strong as I could make it.

It is just as hard on the editor doing the rejecting as it is on the writer receiving it. Seriously, I work with some wonderful editors and no rejection letter is easy to write. I’m sure they would gladly accept as many pieces as they could, but that isn’t possible. And at the end of the day, they are human beings with feeling too.

And even if what I wrote and submitted was genius (it wasn’t, but let’s pretend), it may not have been right for the publisher to whom I submitted it. There’s a reason that there are so many publishers in the world. Each one is a little different and they are all looking for different qualities in the pieces that they accept. Just because I was rejected from this publisher, it doesn’t mean that the same piece would be rejected from another.

Rejection isn’t so bad. It isn’t fun, but fun and good are different things. If nothing else, I have a solid first draft, and with a bit of revision my second or third draft might not just be publishable, they might be downright likable as well.

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4 responses to “The wait is over! Rejections for everyone!

  1. I just got a Clarkesworld rejection and was just thrilled it was good enough to warrant a personal rejection, I recently decided to start off with what I consider the best magazines and work my way through the list until I find one that fits with my story. I read somewhere that it is rejections that make you a real writer because it means you are putting yourself out there.

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