Navigating the Seas of Submissions…

Sometimes, being a writer feels like you are riding out a storm in the middle of a turbulent sea. Waves are crashing over the bow, and you are sure you are going under any moment.

This week has been something like that. I made three submissions to one of my favorite markets, and all three were turned down. That happens. No problem…

…except these were all reprints, which had been published at least once each, and had already been through edits for those publications.

I realize that every editor is different and that what excites one reader may bore another, but it really knocked me back a step. Especially since this was coming from an editor that I’ve hardly ever failed to please. And now, it was three times in as many days.

Why am I telling you this?

  • To vent a little, I freely admit that…
  • To show that it happens to everyone at some point or another.
  • To get myself ready to send something out again–rejections are daunting, but you have to get past them.

Will I send her another reprint? Not for the foreseeable future…but that just means it is time to write something new.

When making a submission, there are several things to keep in mind:

  • Read the guidelines carefully, and follow them to the letter. Use the font they want. Format like they want. Even if you don’t see why it matters!
  • Provide the contact information they ask for. Don’t give a full list of credits unless they ask for it. Really.
  • Keep your query letter/submission email businesslike unless you have a relationship established with the editor from past correspondence. Even then, it doesn’t hurt to look professional.
  • Keep accurate records. Don’t forget what’s been sent where.
  • Don’t send a reprint unless they say they accept them. A lot of people don’t want leftovers.
  • Don’t send a story to multiple places at once. Even if they say it’s okay, no one wants to accept something only to find out it’s no longer available because someone else said “yes” first.
  • Don’t ask for a status report before the deadline for submissions. They will tell you when they’re ready–just work on something else while you wait.
  • Don’t respond to a rejection–especially with why they are wrong to pass on your story.
  • Keep writing.

Here’s to smooth sailing in the future!

About RieSheridanRose

Rie Sheridan Rose multitasks. A lot. Her short stories appear in numerous anthologies, including Nightmare Stalkers and Dream Walkers Vols. 1 and 2,  and Killing It Softly. She has authored twelve novels, six poetry chapbooks, and lyrics for dozens of songs. She tweets as @RieSheridanRose.
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