Yes, another rejection came in for me last week. This was for a short story that to be honest, I had just about given up on. To be upfront I think it’s a great, fun story but more than a little quirky and it doesn’t seem to quite fit into what I perceive as the usual SF&F sub-genres and categories.
Anyway, back to the rejection. After submitting it 4-5 places I was thinking of just “burning my rights” and putting it out as an e-short story. From my previous post on rejection, you heard about how editors can really offer great advice on how to make your story better. This time, it was an editor offering more of an emotional pick-me-up.
From Ty Drago, Editor, Allegory:
I hate writing this letter.
I deeply regret to inform you that “Thorkwald and the Cherub” did not make the final cut for Volume 14/41 of ALLEGORY. Please understand that we received more than 500 submissions for this issue and narrowed that down to only 51 finalists. ALL of those finalists are strong, quality stories – any of which we would be pleased and honored to publish. Unfortunately, we can only eight.
The final decision is made by comparing the stories, more with an eye toward issue balance than the merits of one story over another. Your tale is a GREAT piece, and I’m very very sorry that we can’t use it.”
I had just about given up on finding this story a place in a more traditional publication. I have to admit the response email really got me jazzed again about my own story and reminded me not to give up.
On a related note, and to add more to the side of continuing to submit, I found a few other rejections from literary hit lists (no, not that kind of hit list) here –http://ingridsnotes.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/rejection-rocks/
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone was rejected 12 times.
Stephanie Meyer – 9 rejection letters and 5 no-responses for Twilight.
Steven King – 30 rejection letters for his fist novel Carrie.
And Alex Hayley – Author of Roots received 208 rejection letters!
I guess I just have to keep submitting until this story finds a home. In the mean time – Ty Drago, thanks for the words of support! Sometimes an emotionally positive rejection is just what we need to keep us going.