Update and Tips on Receiving Rejections by Beth Bowser

Everything I write comes from the heart or my creative brain Rejections hurtClick here for a printer friendly version of this page

Did you just submit an article or a story you worked very hard over? Asked your friends and family to read it? Maybe also their suggestions and help or not and everyone enjoyed it! Now you submit it and wait. You don't know how long until they make a decision, but it's too long! You know you wrote an amazing piece and it's only a matter of time, right? Until... the rejection. Hopefully, it was nice one "Unfortunately, the piece does not meet our needs at this time, but we wish you the best in your writing endeavors" or an even nicer one such as "Please keep this one out there and best of luck with it. [...] So, please, keep your work circulating so that you have a better chance of getting it in front of an editor who sees it as the best fit in their own stained-glass mosaic". Worse, you could get ghosted and only found out you weren't accepted by others who did get accepted. It feels a shot to the heart, especially if you aren't given any feedback. How am I supposed to get better if you don't tell me why mine wasn't selected? It's an amazing piece of fiction, everyone told me so!

Well, welcome to being a writer! Get ready to being rejected, having moments of self-hate and self-pity. Yes, you may even start to reject yourself and your own stories that you loved previously. Unless you write only for yourself and do not attempt to get anything published. I wish I could do that, but I am human and need the approval of fellow humans. Three of my most recent submissions were rejected (or not selected, in the parlance of nicer publications) and those quoted responses, plus the ghosting, previously mentioned were the responses I received. There is one more yet that I am waiting on getting a rejection. I had to stop writing for a bit after getting all three within a 10 day period. Some writers I follow suggest that you should cry to allow your story to die and grieve it before attempting anew. Similar to a person passing, everyone has their own period of grief. Rather than how long you knew the person, in this case it's how long you worked on the piece of writing. I don't like that idea because I love my story and I don't want it to die! It shall be shelved until I run across another publication that is looking for submissions similar to what my story is! Maybe you need it to die. Maybe you need to revise it. Or maybe you can shelve it for later like me. Just do not fall under the trap of negative self-talk because of a rejection. The sooner you realize that rejection is simply part of the game, the better off you'll be. I know of people that actively say they have a goal of getting 100 rejections a month. Change the goal of getting published to get rejections. You cannot control publications or editors responses to your work, but you can control how many you send out! Getting more people reading your work, and you'll eventually find someone who accepts it!

I want to end with a positive vibe about famous authors who have been rejected. Dr. Seuss's first book On Mulberry Street was rejected 27 times before it was accepted. Stephen King's Carrie was rejected from 20 publishers before it found a home. J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets was rejected 12 times before it was published and made her a millionaire. These are books examples, yes, but you can find many many other examples of short story rejections of authors that later became best selling authors! Go ahead and get depressed on that receiving that rejection. Be sad, even cry a little. But do NOT give up!