When I was working on my Master’s Degree, one of my professors, Dr. Sandra Hughes, said that whenever you are trying to get published, you should always have at least two things out at any one time. She says it will help keep you sane, because if one is rejected, well, there’s always another one out there to look forward to hearing back from.
At the moment, now that I have heard back from “The Shifter,” I currently have no pieces out. That’s changing right now. In fact, by midnight tonight, I plan to have two pieces out there in the world, where I hope they will amaze and wow an editor who absolutely must include my work in his or her publication.
I have just made one such submission.
I wrote a story called “The Perfect Confession” several years ago. It’s been submitted a few times before. I have at least one form “no thanks,” and I also got a personal rejection letter on it. The editor stated that it offered nothing new and that the main characters were not likeable. Ouch, right? Still, I was pleased to have acknowledgment that someone had read it.
That story has languished for some time on my flash drive, but I recently pulled it out, re-read it, and found that I still liked reading it, even though it did have some weaknesses. I fixed it, gave it a few days, another once over, and now, I have packed it a lunch and a suitcase and sent it out into the world to try and find a home once again.
This time, I’m going for Bourbon Penn. They are a new publication and their first issue will be printed in January 2011. I doubt I’ve gotten my story submitted in time to make that first issue, even assuming it’s something they would want, but I’ve got my fingers crossed.
“The Perfect Confession” is a approximately 3,600 words. It is a fiction piece, urban fantasy if it had a genre, even though it straddles several. The main character, Meghan, finds she is incapable of receiving blame for a series of murders, regardless of eyewitnesses.
Bourbon Penn has a one to three month turnaround time, so hopefully, by late February, my story will have found its home. And if not, I’ll be sending it back out into the void to try again.
I have received word on “The Shifter,” and that word is rejection. However, unlike so many rejections received in the past, this one was a personal note written by the editor, and those are always greatly, greatly appreciated.
Wayne Goodchild wrote:
Thanks for submitting ‘The Shifter’ but I’m afraid I shan’t be accepting it for this anthology. I really enjoyed reading it, thought it was a really cool idea (that reminded me a bit of Quantum Leap!) and the ending is spot-on, but simply put, I’m now in the process of whittling down all the stories I really like to the ones I really like, and yours falls in the former category. I hope you do manage to find a home for it elsewhere in the future!
That is definitely the nicest rejection letter I have ever received.
Yeah, I really wish I had been accepted, but I am always grateful to know that my story was simply read and not just relegated to the recycling bin. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on anything Wayne Goodchild is the editor of, and if I have anything relevant, it will most definitely be submitted.
“The Shifter” isn’t dead, though. I’m already going through Duotrope’s archives, trying to find another market that I hope it will be a fit for.
I have made my first submission! It’s not the first submission of my life (that was so long ago, I don’t even remember what it was – the only thing I’m sure of is that it was a probably horribly written short story submitted to Omni magazine), but it is my first submission since starting The Folder.
If you aren’t familiar with Duotrope, it is an invaluable writer’s resource. It’s also completely free. They list literally HUNDREDS of publishers, from names you’ve definitely heard of to names you definitely have not.
One of my favorite features is the Deadline Calendar. It is basically a section of the site where various publishers mention the types of stories they are looking for. For instance, some random lit mag may have plans to produce an issue next June on flowers, so they’re putting out a deadline for stories or poems about lilies.
I saw one a few months back called Glitch in the Continuum, which is producing an anthology for stories of a sci-fi slant about time travel or dimensional travel that somehow goes wrong. Pretty loose rules, and it got my creative juices flowing.
I wrote a story called “The Shifter,” about a young man named Ryan who, as a teen, discovered the ability to travel from dimension to dimension. He traveled the multiverse, experiencing as much hedonism as he could, but in the end, his hedonism came at a price.
It’s a fairly adult story. It’s definitely rated R, at least. I tried not to be smutty, but it’s got some adult situations.
I am still awaiting rejection or acceptance. I’m not getting hopeful; I know they received over 100 submissions for their anthology, and I have no idea how many they are accepting. I would LOVE to get this as a publishing credit for two reasons.
One, I have never had a short story published, only poetry.
And two, this is an actual paying job. All published stories receive one cent per word and a contributor’s copy. So if I’m lucky enough to get accepted, I’ll find myself around $60 richer and I’ll have a book with my short story neatly printed within.
Here’s hoping! I’m not sure how long it will take, but I’ll definitely post here just as soon as I am told!
Welcome to The Folder!
For as long as I have been reading (roughly age four-ish), I have wanted to be a writer. And pretty much since then, I’ve been a writer.
I’ve been published exactly once, and that was a poem in the journal Nocturnal Lyric. I’m not even sure if that journal is published anymore, and the payment was nonexistent. (I even had to buy my own contributor’s copy.) Still, I very distinctly remember the thrill when I got that acceptance letter in the mail.
I don’t know why I don’t write more. It isn’t a fear of rejection. In fact, that’s where the title of this blog comes from.
Stephen King talked about how he had a nail, and on this nail, he would impale his rejection letters. I liked the idea of saving them, and I used to keep a folder that I would store my rejection letters in. I had a few dozen in there, but I kept stopping writing. I plan for this blog to be my new Rejection Folder, and hopefully, I will soon get to add a section of Acceptance Letters.
Writing would always live in the back of my head, even if I was too busy with school or work or whatever to write as much as I’d like. I’m always looking for scenarios that strike me as interesting or fun character descriptions. Sometimes, I’ll even hear a name and think, “Oh, I need to create a character with that name!”
So I’m trying to write more. I want to try and send out at least ONE submission a month. That’s pretty low, so I think I can do that. I’ve got a bank of a few short stories and poems that I can send out, and I plan to keep writing as well to add to my bank of stories that I’m submitting.
As for what you can expect to find on this blog, I’ll be sure to tell a bit about what I’m writing as I complete each story. I’ll also write a blog post for each submission and rejection or acceptance letter that I receive, as well as anything else relevant to my writing that I think to put here.
Maybe someday, I’ll be the next J.K. Rowling.
Let’s see how long it takes.