My First

Aah, rejection.

Such bittersweet sorrow.

Yes folks, I've made my first actual submission for paid publication ever. And now, I can say I've gotten my very first rejection.

I am encouraged because I was able to achieve rejection in the form of a personal letter on my first try. My submission was for a speculative fiction piece. At only 739 words, it is considered flash fiction. Of course, I continue to work on longer projects but my creativity stretches the bounds of genre. I am currently working on a project in the mystery/crime/amateur sleuth, science fiction, and paranormal crime erotic romance genres.

Here's what the editor wrote to me:

I'm not going to buy this story, but I wanted to write to encourage you that it has promise. You'd be surprised at how infrequently we get stories that try to say anything, that have any real emotional and moral reality. And I'm not saying -- be sure you don't mistake me -- that the way to move forward is to write a bunch of preachy, emotionally laden garbage, saying what you think are the right things, voicing what you think are the right objections. That stuff is worse than the stuff that attempts nothing and so fails at nothing.

No, you've written a thoughtful piece that dares to actually be thoughtful. There is far too little of that kind of writing. So please keep at it, and keep approaching it with this kind of thoughtfulness, this kind of intention. If you keep at it you can't fail. Although fame and money may not be immediately forthcoming.
I'm not exactly sure what to make of some of what is written, this being my first rejection and all. Maybe some of you can comment on this and give me your thoughts about what was written.

I cannot post the actual piece that I sent in because I've already submitted it to another market. But, I will surely post the short in its entirety if it cannot be sold.

I do believe that I should consider myself lucky to have recieved such a nice rejection letter given the really crappy query letter I sent, as shown below:

I would like to submit my 739 word story *title removed* to *market removed.* I've been writing most of my life, but this is my first submission -- ever. I'm not in it for the money, but must admit, fame is certainly appealing. I can submit an author bio upon request. Thank you for your consideration.
Ya, maybe some of you could post comments on how I can improve my query-writing as well.

Anyway, this first submission begins my journey into the world of professional writing and publication.


  1. Matthew at The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment blog could probably help with the query letter.
    I read the rejection letter as he really liked it, but for some reason it just didn't fit with their requirements. Too bad he didn't say why.

  2. I applaud your effort and courage in doing this. I haven't taken the plunge yet myself, so I admire everyone else who does. This is a pretty decent result though, considering it's a rejection. It sounds to me like you're almost there and with just a little tweaking, you could be there. Nice job.

  3. I'm horrible at submitting things but it sounds like a hopeful letter. It's too bad she wasn't clearer with what she meant.


  4. Thanks all for your comments. I've already sent the project to another market. I'm shining up another short piece for submission as well. I must admit though, my heart and mind seem to gravitate toward longer projects. I'll just need to buckle down and finish up a novel length work for submission. I do want to try my hand with shorter works to establish some credibility before looking for an agent or publisher. Maybe it won't happen right away but it's part of my five year plan.

  5. Great to take the plunge. So few make the effort in fear of the rejections. I don't have much to say about the overall rejection, although the last line of it is interesting in a strange way.

  6. For $500 I can send a couple of guys to the editor's him change his mind.

    PS - I put part 2 of Vietnam up on my bloggityblog.


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