I have spent many years studying and learning about the publishing world. I believe this has gone on for somewhere around ten to fifteen years. I’ve studied the self-publishing process and the traditional publishing process. Self-publishing is easy, but you have to put in all the work for marketing and selling your book. Traditional publishing is difficult to get into, but once you’re in, you’re good to go. In attempting to get something published in the traditional fashion, I have learned what writing mistakes I use to make, and I’ve been correcting them. Writing is a skill that one must develop over time. Nothing happens overnight.
I have sent many stories and poems in for consideration to many online magazines, and a few that still print magazines. And with the continued rejection, I persevere. I want to make something clear. I am not angry about these rejections and hold no animosity towards these magazines. Sadly, I will never know what caused the rejection. I assume it’s because my writing isn’t up to par, but for all I know, they may not have liked the subject matter or the story overall. Unfortunately, I don’t have anyone in the publishing world who can critique my work.
Every one of these rejection letters sounds the same. “Thank you for the opportunity to read your work, but we will not be considering it for publication.” Or something like that. They always say thank you for the submission and ask you to submit again. Part of me wonders if they have to reject new authors X number of times before they will publish something. It doesn’t matter because it causes me to continue growing and improving as a writer. Eventually, I’ll write something they want to publish.
I now want to share a list of the many stories I’ve written and the publishers that rejected them. This is not a dig on the publishers. I want other writers to see who I’ve submitted to and maybe they’ll feel less discouraged after receiving a rejection letter. Rejection is part of writing and I’m proud to have these rejections. The purpose of this post is to help other writers. I also want to note, I am not including word count or any guidelines to these submissions. Look it up on your own if you’re interested. I’m including the progress on unfinished short stories as well just for fun.
- The Demon’s Favor
- Rejected by – Clarkesworld Magazine, Underbelly Magazine, Apex Magazine
- Where the Bullfrogs Gather
- Rejected by – Apex Magazine, Strange Horizons, Flash Fiction Online, Stupefying Stories
- Currently submitted to Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show
- Insanity Kills
- Rejected by – Clarkesworld Magazine, Apex Magazine
- The Puppet Maker
- Rejected by – Apex Magazine, Clarkesworld Magazine
- Vexed Ventriloquist
- Rejected by – Flash Fiction Online
- Rejected by – Clarkesworld Magazine, Apex Magazine, Unnerving Magazine, Shimmer Magazine (Ending All Publications in Fall 2018)
- Currently submitted to Strange Horizons
- The Demon’s Favor
- The Sapphire Cat – 12.5%
- Gladiators – 12.5%
- The Dragon Sanction – 12.5%
- Escape from Century – 62.5%
- NPIA (National Paranormal Investigative Agency) – 62.5%
This is not a list of all the short story publishers out there and it is a little different from the novel publishing world. I found these online magazines from the lists on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the Horror Writers Association. These are basically writing unions and one day when I actually have money, I will pay and signup to become a member of these associations. Perhaps that will help me improve my writing. I am including link to all these other magazines, so you may submit to them if you wish. And no matter how many rejections you get, never stop writing. Never give up; never surrender.
2 Replies to “Story Submission Struggles”
I, too, have been rejected several times and I think that this is a great post! It does stink that we never know exactly *why* were rejected but we also can’t let it get to us. All we can do is continue to improve ourselves and our work.
Agreed. However, after a certain number of rejections, I say to Hell with it and self-publish.
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