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Why Did My Story Get Rejected? — Stephanie Andrea Allen

I’m sharing this post by Stephanie Andrea Allen, who is an excellent editor. Why did your story get rejected?

My short piece, “Why Did My Story Get Rejected?,” was originally published on the BLLC Review. Rejection is hard, and let’s face it, as writers, we’ve all been there. We’ve worked tirelessly on a new story, only to be rejected from what we thought was a the perfect medium for the piece. Why? Well, no […]

via Why Did My Story Get Rejected? — Stephanie Andrea Allen

 

Rejection

I had submitted an updated version of Love is a Virus to an anthology. I’ve been trying to get accepted by a specific editor for a long time now, and I had yet to succeed. I was hoping Love is a Virus would be a good fit, but alas it was not.

Rejection always stings, but sometimes it stings a little more when it’s someone you really want to work with as opposed to anthology you think might work out. But, having said that, it’s also part of #writerlife and it’s especially part of trying to get into popular anthologies.

The most common response a writer gets is “no.”

It stings, it can ding your confidence, but you can’t get so in your head that you can’t move past–that way lies madness.

My solution for dealing with submissions is to assume a no and hope for a yes. It’s perhaps a bit reflective of my approach to life–I’m a prepare for the worst, hope for the best woman when it comes to most things. But it doesn’t protect from that sting.

So what do I do?

I acknowledge the sting. I pout a little.

Then I get back to work.

Rejection

I got a form rejection letter today.  A rejection doesn’t mean “you suck and should never write again.”  Most frequently it means “your story didn’t fit our anthology”–maybe they have too many teacher/student stories already, or have their spanking story, or whatever.  In this case, the form letter specifically states that there were over 300 submissions for 30 slots…that means 90% of us received a rejection.

It still sucks.

However, you can’t let a rejection letter shut you down.  In my case, I move the story out of my “submitted folder” into a “possible submissions” folder.  I may also have indulged in some “I got rejected” chocolate.

I also have perspective if I’m being honest with myself.  This was my first m/m story, it was written a bit hastily, and while it’s a good story, it’s a bit niche (it’s a christmas story with nerdy characters–very niche, possibly).  The acceptance odds were not super high to begin with.  But it was fun to write, and I love the characters.  It was also useful to have written a m/m story and to have gained the experience.  Hopefully when I edit it for another submission attempt or write my next m/m story, I’ll have a stronger piece thanks to this experience.

Still sucks.

But I have Nano character sketches to write, a non-fic piece to finish, and a trip to MONOLITIHICTHEMEPARK to plan.  Plus the newly minted 1 year old is getting more and more interested in walking.  So I can’t dwell–I move on.