, 14 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
So I did a thread about negative reviews, now it's time to do one about rejections. I'll be coming at it from a short story perspective but hey it works for any kind of writer rejection (agent, publisher, etc). Here's the thing: #WritingCommunity
As writers, we can be somewhat sensitive and yes, we get that serious case of the feels but even though we are delicate dainty special flowers, rejection is a way of life in the publication world. In other words, SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP! However...
That doesn't mean you can't be hurt by a rejection. It's okay to feel sad after you've slaved or something and then waited 218 days only to receive an email that "we liked it but no" or the dreaded form letter. That totally sucks. But here's WHAT NOT TO DO after getting one:
Don't respond with an angry email back, or slur the editor on social media or make snide comments about the authors they *did* accept or rate their publications negatively and for god's sake, whatever you do...
DO NOT THREATEN THE EDITOR. I'm not joking. I've seen tweets from editors in professional and semi-pro markets who have literally had their life threatened by a writer when their story wasn't published.
Did you think your story was that great that it should have been accepted and that death threats will help? No. But moving on, another thing to not do is to ask the editor for feedback if they didn't offer. Why?
It seems like an innocent thing to do, but editors get tons of emails. I've read about slush piles that were hundreds deep for rinky-dink non-paying markets. If they didn't offer you feedback, kindly look for the next market or get a beta reader. Oh and another thing...
If they DO offer you feedback, that's a miracle. It is like a kiss from a cherub angel on a field of lilacs while puppies tickle your toes. You don't take that lightly. Especially if it's from a professional market. They saw something in you kid, they learned a thing or two.
Another piece of advice, track those submissions so you don't make the embarrassing mistake of sending the same story to the same market. Duotrope is a nice way to do it for short stories, but Submission Grinder is good too (and free). Another tip..
ALWAYS FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES. If they want comic sans font in a Wordperfect 5.1 doc, YOU DO IT. Editors are looking for any reason to reject after receiving so much slush. Don't give them one. Some reject automatically without reading them because writers didn't follow the rules.
Another thing, don't think your story is bad, just because it was rejected. Sometimes it's not what they were looking for, or others were better or they didn't have room, or they accepted something just like it. BUT...
if your story is rejected time and time again with no feedback and 35 different markets said no, it COULD be your story. Take another look at it. Also read the markets before sending to them. The erotica journal isn't going to want your zombie story no matter how hot it is.
Finally, don't give up. Your writing will find a happy home, or choose self-publishing if you wish to. Just keep writing and never stop doing what you love. ❤️
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