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Almost Success - The "Mixed Feelings" Thread

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chuckt
(@chuckt)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

Just got an extremely detailed personal rejection from Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores. We're talking almost 350 words. wotf015

On the one hand, they definitely read my story start to finish. On the other hand, a lot of the issues they had stemmed from wanting more depth on the world-building, and I don't want to tweak this story anymore unless I'm expanding it into a novel. This was my finalist piece, and it's basically been to all the other relevant pro markets anyway, so changing it at this point probably won't help anything. wotf017

wotf010 wotf010 wotf010

Personal rejections are awesome. A sale would be better of course but I get a lot of gas out of the few I've gotten. I know lots of people believe the love of writing should be enough but I think it's okay to need that validation.

36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, HM
38: HM, R, ?

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Posted : July 22, 2019 12:14 am
czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 199

disgruntledpeony That is a LOT of feedback. Sounds like a mixed blessing in this case given the submission history. But good feedback can always help the next story (at least that is what I hope for when I get it).

Will you try sending it out to some of the lower paying markets? Or hold onto it for a future anthology of your own stories? Will you extend it to novel/novella length?

Hope you find a home for it!

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - P

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Posted : July 22, 2019 3:59 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

disgruntledpeony That is a LOT of feedback. Sounds like a mixed blessing in this case given the submission history. But good feedback can always help the next story (at least that is what I hope for when I get it).

Will you try sending it out to some of the lower paying markets? Or hold onto it for a future anthology of your own stories? Will you extend it to novel/novella length?

Hope you find a home for it!

Yeah, it was the best feedback I've gotten with a rejection from pretty well anywhere. If I'd gotten that back when the story was new and fresh in my mind, I absolutely would be scrounging my mind for possible edits. As it is, I'm much more inclined to simply take those thoughts into account when I work toward expanding that story into part of a novel (which I will definitely be doing as soon as my Q4 is finished).

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : July 22, 2019 10:27 am
czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 199

That sounds great. I hope your novelization goes well (I have a longish short story that I have similar plans for so hopefully you'll post something about your progress to inspire me to get to work on mine Smile )

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - P

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Posted : July 22, 2019 11:34 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

Despite my protests to the contrary, I now find myself editing that story before submitting it to a newly available venue. wotf019

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : August 1, 2019 6:24 am
czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 199

Well that sounds good to me. Hope the edits go very well and there is an acceptance headed your way! It sounds win-win to me since you can always take the novel track you were considering before if you need to Smile

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - P

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Posted : August 2, 2019 6:27 am
LDWriter2
(@ldwriter2)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1267

Despite my protests to the contrary, I now find myself editing that story before submitting it to a newly available venue. wotf019

Know the feeling even though the comments don't happen often unless I send a story to BCS. You go get 'em. You can.

Working on turning Lead into Gold.
Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Posted : August 5, 2019 1:21 pm
DaneCurley
(@danecurley)
Advanced Member
Posts: 49

Made the "Long List" of a beautiful Indie Print magazine. Fingers very crossed for the Short List and Approval. I think the story is an especially good fit, but know so many others are out there writing their hearts out.

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Posted : August 13, 2019 5:39 am
WriterGirl0426
(@writergirl0426)
Bronze Member
Posts: 64

Made the "Long List" of a beautiful Indie Print magazine. Fingers very crossed for the Short List and Approval. I think the story is an especially good fit, but know so many others are out there writing their hearts out.

Congrats, and good luck!

Tracy

V34 Q3: R
V34 Q4: R
V35 Q1: R
V36 Q1: SHM
V36 Q2: SEMI-FINALIST!!!
V36 Q3: HM
V36 Q4: SHM
V37 Q1: SHM

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Posted : August 13, 2019 11:46 am
czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 199

DaneCurley good luck.

My own story which had been held for consideration by Diabolical Plots unfortunately just got a rejection. "Loved the imagery and concept here!" was the comment. I'm not as sad as I thought I would be - it was such a roller coaster watching the progress (you can see the numbers change as they accepted and rejected ones in the second round). I didn't get my rejection until the very end (there were just 4 in the pile the last time I refreshed the page before I got my rejection). So I'm telling myself they thought about it until the very last minute Smile Maybe I'll use that one for my Q4 submission.

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - P

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Posted : August 15, 2019 2:40 pm
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

My own story which had been held for consideration by Diabolical Plots unfortunately just got a rejection.

Same. It's all good, though. They liked my setting and some of the twists I threw into my story. On to F&SF! (It's usually my first market I sub to after WotF, but they were closed for submissions at the time.)

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : August 15, 2019 5:35 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2277

DaneCurley good luck.

My own story which had been held for consideration by Diabolical Plots unfortunately just got a rejection. "Loved the imagery and concept here!" was the comment. I'm not as sad as I thought I would be - it was such a roller coaster watching the progress (you can see the numbers change as they accepted and rejected ones in the second round). I didn't get my rejection until the very end (there were just 4 in the pile the last time I refreshed the page before I got my rejection). So I'm telling myself they thought about it until the very last minute Smile Maybe I'll use that one for my Q4 submission.

Sounds like a good one for Q4. You have proof it already ranked well with another pro market!

Best of success!

Moon

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Posted : August 16, 2019 6:46 am
Helge Mahrt
(@helge-mahrt)
Bronze Member
Posts: 69

Got a rejection from DreamForge, but it was a long shot anyway due to the length. Not sure if this is a form rejection or whether it has a personal touch to it:

Helge, Thank you for your patience while we reviewed your story “[redacted],” unfortunately, we're going to pass this time. There is good work here, but it is way too long for our needs at the moment, and we didn’t quite feel it was compelling or engaging enough as it is. We look forward to seeing work from you again in the future, and we wish you luck with submitting this story to other venues (it may be fine as is for another editor.) As we publish more stories and unlock more of them for registered users and visitors, please do read us and you'll get a better sense of what seems to catch our fancy. If you’re interested, I wrote an essay on “How to write for DreamForge.” You’ll find it here: https://dreamforge.mywebportal.app/drea ... eamforge-1 All our best. Scot Noel DreamForge Magazine

Off to the next market wotf001

R, HM, R
http://www.helgemahrt.com
Sky High, my YA/SciFi novel

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Posted : August 20, 2019 8:10 pm
WillShadbolt
(@willshadbolt)
Advanced Member
Posts: 39

Just got a rejection from Third Flatiron for their Longevity anthology.

I'm sorry your story, “[Redacted]" didn't make the final cut for Third
Flatiron's "Longevity"-themed Fall/Winter 2019 anthology. We hope
you'll be able to find another home for it. We did enjoy reading
this tale about [redacted].

Thanks for submitting it to us, and please keep us in mind for
our next submission period, which we'll advertise on our website.

It's a bit different from what I've gotten from them in the past, which is usually more of a form "Thanks for letting us read [blank], but we've decided we won't be able to use it" type of rejection. Not sure if they've just changed up the text for their rejections or if I made a higher tier this time around, but either way, but it's always nice to get a positive and personalized rejection note.

R, HM, R, Pending

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Posted : August 25, 2019 7:44 am
iota2000
(@iota2000)
Active Member
Posts: 7
WillShadbolt
(@willshadbolt)
Advanced Member
Posts: 39

Thanks for the link, but I had actually already checked on there to see if there was anything. Unfortunately, I don't see Third Flatiron on there anywhere.

R, HM, R, Pending

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Posted : August 25, 2019 9:44 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

Not sure if they've just changed up the text for their rejections or if I made a higher tier this time around, but either way, but it's always nice to get a positive and personalized rejection note.

I would argue that if it's personalized in any way it's not really a form (any effort made beyond basic copy/paste is a good sign).

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : August 25, 2019 10:07 am
WillShadbolt
(@willshadbolt)
Advanced Member
Posts: 39

Very true, disgruntledpony, thanks for the advice

R, HM, R, Pending

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Posted : August 25, 2019 10:37 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

Very true, disgruntledpony, thanks for the advice

No problem. It's the little things that keep us writers sane. wotf019

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : August 25, 2019 12:38 pm
czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 199

Just got a personalized rejection from F&SF - liked my world building but the story didn't quite win them over. So that feels good-ish. That story has gotten a bit of feedback on the quality of the world building but hasn't quite convinced anyone to take it. A couple more places I want to send it and then it can rest for a little while (maybe make another entry in an upcoming quarter in this contest).

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - P

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Posted : September 9, 2019 10:57 am
belleriggs12
(@belleriggs12)
New Member
Posts: 3

Well, I think that people just have a different perspective on every genre's.

Fan of Magic tiles 2019 wotf009 wotf009

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Posted : February 12, 2020 3:22 pm
BeeW
 BeeW
(@beew)
Advanced Member
Posts: 34

Got a personal rejection from an anthology I submitted to. They liked the punchline but weren't fans of the trope I was playing up.

V37Q1: HM
V37Q2: HM
V37Q3: R
V37Q4: ?

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Posted : February 19, 2020 2:42 pm
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 243

I got the "didn't win me over" #3 template. Charlie said it was an interesting idea. Next, I submitted it to a contest. The judge got the flu so I am waiting to hear.

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- Pending
"Invasion" to be published in Daily Science Fiction
"The Last Dance" to be published Feb. 2022 in the LTUE Anthology, Parliament of Wizards
"My Ten Cents" published in Sci Fi Lampoon, vol. 2, Dec. 2020
"Never give up. Never surrender." - Galaxy Quest

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Posted : February 20, 2020 6:07 am
LibrarianBarbarian
(@librarianbarbarian)
Advanced Member
Posts: 39

My best rejections have been a "didn't win me over" from SF&F (no further comments, though, darn it, but he even signed it as Charlie, not CC!), a very nice letter from Beneath Ceaseless Skies that explained that I had written a fine S&S adventure in the classical mode, but they were looking for works with a more modern, literary style, and one that sounded very positive from Cirsova stating that they LOVED my story, but due to space restrictions (mine was 10K words) and the enormous amount of top-notch subs they received for that issue, they were unable to purchase it. I'm really hoping that one wasn't just a form letter.

Got a real snotty one early in my submissions from an e-zine I won't name. I didn't know much about cover letters at the time so I was trying to sell my story by bragging about how it wasn't your typical Elf-Orc-Tolkien fantasy. I should have researched things a little more because it turns out that's a favorite theme of theirs.

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Posted : February 25, 2020 3:32 pm
Jamesblakey
(@jamesblakey)
Advanced Member
Posts: 49

After 8 submissions I got my first "personalized" rejection from Ellery Queen.

This is the letter I've been receiving:

Dear Writer:

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to read your story. We regret that we are not able to make a personal reply or give criticism on returned manuscripts. The large number of submissions we receive makes it impossible to do so. We can assure you, however, that your work has been given careful consideration. Unfortunately, it does not meet our present needs.

We wish you the best of luck in placing your work with another magazine.

Cordially,
The Editors
Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

-------------------------------------------

This is the rejection I got today:

Dear Milo MInderbinder,

Thanks for letting us read your story “Amazing Story Title.” We gave it careful consideration, but did not think it best suited to any of the spaces we currently have open. We hope you’ll soon find the right publication for the story, and that you will continue to think of EQMM when you have new work.

With best wishes,

Janet Hutchings, Editor
Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

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Posted : March 2, 2020 10:42 pm
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

After 8 submissions I got my first "personalized" rejection from Ellery Queen.

wotf010 wotf010 wotf010 wotf010 wotf010 Exciting! A letter from the editor, signed by name, definitely indicates more than a generic signature of "the editors". Would seem to indicate you're getting close. Smile

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : March 2, 2020 11:40 pm
DaneCurley
(@danecurley)
Advanced Member
Posts: 49

It ain't easy, all! Use this trying time to grind and hone!

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Posted : April 2, 2020 3:57 am
FishyGoo
(@fishygoo)
New Member
Posts: 3

Has anyone every submitted to to One Story? They've sent me the "we enjoyed this piece but not for us" response a whopping three times now and I'm beginning to think it's just their standard response? Odds of being published with them are tiny, anyway.

Haven't got any almosts from the sci fi bigwigs, although Sheila Williams of Assimov has taken the time to warn me about various formatting mistakes. She's probably dreading my next submission.

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Posted : June 16, 2020 6:48 am
Reuben
(@reuben)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 216

I submitted two stories to The Dark magazine--both of which came back in the next few hours.

"We have read your submission and unfortunately your story isn't quite
what we're looking for right now. While we regretfully cannot provide
detailed feedback due to the volume of submissions, we thank you for
your interest in our magazine and hope you continue to consider us in
the future.

Thank you,

Sean & Silvia"

I had high hopes for the second one, then I found out that it was the higher tier! It might be that 80% get that, but still, nice consolation prize, I think: )

Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm ~ Winston Churchill
V37: R, R, R, HM
V38: SHM

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Posted : June 25, 2020 10:26 am
chuckt
(@chuckt)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

A personal rejection from Analog! "suggest you try us again" and "like your style of writing." (swoon) Analog and Asimov's are at the tippy-top of my most-wanted list. A sale would have been great but I'm on cloud nine this morning.

36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, HM
38: HM, R, ?

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Posted : July 3, 2020 3:00 am
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