*throws another rejection letter onto the pile* After the week I had, this is the last thing I wanted in my inbox. I really thought that this one would be the one that people would like. Should I email the editorial staff and ask for more information why this story "wasn't the right fit?" I feel like publishers just say that in hopes of not completely crushing a person's self-esteem, so it'd probably be pointless to ask. I know it's useless to get upset; I mean, hell, you'd think I'd be used to being rejected at this point, but I got my hopes up again like the fool that I am. I've tried different genres, different tones... Are my characters flat and uninteresting? Is it the dialogue? Are my ideas unoriginal? Is my writing just that awful? I'm tired of ripping myself apart in order to try and figure out why I can't write something publishable.

So much for NaNoWriMo this year. I guess I'll just stick to writing my thesis so I can fail at that too.
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From: [identity profile] velvetwhip.livejournal.com


*hugs you*

I wish there was some way I could help. Please don't be so down on yourself. Plenty of very talented writers have suffered rejection upon rejection until someone with discernment finally got hold of their work.


Gabrielle

From: [identity profile] fenderlove.livejournal.com


I just don't know what to do at this point. I can't find anymore publishers who aren't vanity presses that would try to steal every dime I have, and, if I self-publish, I'd be out more money than I'd ever get back. Sometimes I get flat-out rejections, and sometimes I get the "just didn't fit" rejections. Sometimes, the "just didn't fit" ones make sense because it's an anthology or something that they had a more specific kind of story in mind, but sometimes, with more general open calls, I'm just like "Didn't fit what?" or "What part of my story didn't fit? The whole thing? What were you looking for?" If they'd tell me what they'd wanted, I try to write that. I just need some kind of direction to go in besides spinning in place and feeling sorry for myself. I've got professors who reject my academic writing, galleries rejecting my artwork, and publishers rejecting my fiction writing... To top my week off, I did a poster, mostly pro bono, for a group of students who were very behind on their final gallery show, only to have part of the group become very insulting and ungrateful for the work that I was doing basically for free in order to help them have a nice show. That's probably the real reason why I'm so upset, but still.

From: [identity profile] velvetwhip.livejournal.com


Oh my. That is a whole lot of negativity and rejection to be enduring all at once and I am so sorry. You sure as heck deserve better. For what it's worth, *I* think you're talented and I really hope you find appreciation soon.


Gabrielle
(deleted comment)

From: [identity profile] fenderlove.livejournal.com


I appreciate it, but sadly, at the moment, I don't know what I'm going to do.

From: [identity profile] ericadawn16.livejournal.com


(hugs)

"Not being the right fit" is one of the things I was taught to say when I thought a story was going to be more trouble to edit than it was worth.

I'm sorry. I don't know about your methods, but make sure you have others read it first; not just those who are your best friends but those who can be harsh critics with your work...maybe even a local or online writing group. It could be as simple as the editors not liking your tenses or POVs or as complex as being too similar to the other stories they've received.

From: [identity profile] fenderlove.livejournal.com


Well, I write and proofread constantly as part of my professional work, and I do have others read my work (my professors and advisors, mostly), but I can't say to what extent it has helped or hurt my writing. It could be that my writing is too bland, but I wish I could get feedback from the editorial staff to understand exactly what did not work.
Edited Date: 2012-11-09 05:43 am (UTC)

From: [identity profile] ericadawn16.livejournal.com


How short are these stories? At my publisher, we don't really bother with anthologies anymore because they don't sell well so we prefer them to be at least 30-45 K but preferably around 80 K.

From: [identity profile] fenderlove.livejournal.com


Most of the stories that have been part of the open calls are anywhere from 3.5K-15K in length. I'm working on a longer work that I'm hoping will be close to 80K so that I can submit it somewhere like DAW Books that will take unsolicited manuscripts of the sci-fi/fantasy genre.
Edited Date: 2012-11-09 05:59 am (UTC)

From: [identity profile] ericadawn16.livejournal.com


Yep, I know it's frustrating but you should try for the longer submissions. They are also more likely to give you something more concrete than the smaller submissions for magazines and anthologies.

From: [identity profile] fenderlove.livejournal.com


I submitted a manuscript that was about 50K to a few publishers a few years ago, and I didn't hear much back from any of them. Since then, I've got another 50K, and I'm currently working on an 80K. I suppose I had hoped that somewhere along the way I would get a shorter story published to boost my spirits as I began writing other longer works. It's silly, I know, but it's just this idea in my head that everything would fall into place if I could just get published once outside of an academic magazine/journal. Maybe I really should self-publish my own anthology of these shorter works to try to do something with them.

From: [identity profile] spankingfemme.livejournal.com


I heard Penguin was a good publisher to try, you might want to see what they have to say :)

From: [identity profile] fenderlove.livejournal.com


At this point, only Penguin's sci-fi/fantasy division is taking unsolicited submissions, and they have to be 80K words long. I sadly don't have anything that long yet.
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