Rejection and Acceptance

no1This week marks an important milestone, I received my first rejection letter. It wasn’t for my book, but for a short story that I sent in for Writers of the Future.  The contest is probably one of the largest out there for speculative fiction and features some of the greatest talent in the field.  I’ll admit I thought I had a chance.  My story was thought provoking, and at least according to my beta readers, beautifully written.

As with all form letters, this one left me wondering what went wrong. Were there fundamental errors? Was the writing not up to standard? Did the story not quite fit the genre? I’ll never know and at this point it doesn’t really matter.

What does matter is what happens next.  My goal is to dust the story off, polish it up, and revise it. There are hundreds of literary magazines out there, and I’m determined to get this story out in one of them.

About Jodi

Jodi L. Milner is a writer, mandala enthusiast, and educator. Her epic fantasy novel, Stonebearer’s Betrayal, was published in November 2018 and rereleased in Jan 2020. She has been published in several anthologies. When not writing, she can be found folding children and feeding the laundry, occasionally in that order.
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20 Responses to Rejection and Acceptance

  1. Anonymous says:

    time to channel Kathryn Stockett. keep going, Jodi. it has a home somewhere!

  2. EXACTLY. It is all part of the game. I read a bit on an agents blog at one point. She said “Celebrate your rejection letters! Bake a rejection pie each time one arrives!” Another said “Every ‘no’ is one step closer to a ‘yes'” You go girl!

  3. seeker says:

    Try and try unless you succeed. Wishing you the best, Jodi.

  4. ericjbaker says:

    You just ran up against statistics. You could have written a great story that was read by the wrong person, or you could have written a great story that was too similar to one they already accepted, or you could have written a great story that didn’t match the voice they prefer.

    I’m way more experienced in being rejected than accepted (you’re looking at a guy with two novel manuscripts rejected 95 times). That said, I have sent stories to which one publisher curtly said, “This isn’t what we publish,” but another said, “This is great!”

    You know my prose style is very plainspoken and oriented toward action and dialog and away from details and imagery. Well, one of my first short story rejections was from a college literary journal (not my alma mater). I thought the story was edgy, dark, and gritty, so why did they not want it? I read the journal later and realized they like flowing, poetic, philosophical prose. My story WAS edgy, dark, and gritty… which is exactly what they wouldn’t want.

    Anyway, good luck on the rewrites. Don’t get caught up in trying to incorporate every suggestion. That’s like a dog chasing his tail.

    • Jodi says:

      And they were some big statistics, a huge contest for just speculative fiction. Orson Scott card says that any writer writing in the genre must enter. A least it’s free, I plan on entering again.

  5. diannegray says:

    Best of luck on the re-writes, Jodi. We’ve all been there and it’s a great club to belong to 😀

  6. brucejberger says:

    My first rejection letter was so long ago, I don’t recall it, and since then it’s been swamped by others. Yet, quite a few of my stories have been accepted. I just ignore rejection letters now, other than keeping tab on my Excel spread sheet so I don’t send the same story back to the same magazine.

  7. I’m sorry about the rejection, but I love that you have managed to get straight back up and start working again. That is what writing is about – or so I’ve been told! It’s persistence that will pay off. Wishing you so much luck with future submissions.

  8. Jodi says:

    Here’s to the future!

  9. limseeyee says:

    Mind following me?

  10. Kavita Joshi says:

    wishing you all the best dear…you have the spirit of a winner doesnt matter what the world say at times

  11. lawrenceez says:

    Hope all goes well with your submission.

  12. Pingback: Another Rejection Letter | Emilia Jordan

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