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Thread: Rejection Blues

  1. #241
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    Keep at it my friend. Remember tough skin keeps the adrenaline in when you get one accepted. I'm getting a butt load of rejections again. I know how it sucks, in fact we all do, brother. Don't give up!

  2. #242
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed Lucian Poll's Avatar
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    Thanks, Martin. Thanks, Randy. (How's Dr Poll? )

    Duotrope has Ellery Queen showing a 0% acceptance rate, so it shouldn't come as a shock. Next I'll try Lamplight, also showing a 0% acceptance rate!

    Glutton for punishment? Me? You bet!
    The home of your least humble servant, Mr Poll: http://lucianpoll.com
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  3. #243
    Senior Member Hearing Voices ozmosis7's Avatar
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    Sorry for the rejection. Remember, not everyone uses Duotrope. Several authors have their own methods and as a case in point, I know one publication that claimed to have almost 2000 submissions and yet only a little over 100 were showing on Duotrope. And I know a few of those authors who do not use Duotrope and were rejected. There are many methods out there and I think it almost becomes writer's superstition as to what works best.

    As to the 0% acceptance rate, keep in mind that they may not have received enough acceptances to come up with an exact percentage. Duotrope is an automated service, but because of "outliers" an acceptance may not register until a non-outlier acceptance occurs. And the outliers seem to happen for several reasons, of which I am not aware of all, but basically it is anything out of the norm.

    A great tool of Duuotrope that I have become fond of is the RSS. You can hookup a newsreader to the markets you have submitted to and see results individually or as a group. It is interesting. For instance, right now I have about 17 stories out and for all of those markets over the last week I have seen zilch as far as acceptances go. So when you see a 1% acceptance rate it is likely to be much smaller than that given the number of people who do not use Duotrope mixed in with those results. You can however see patterns of activity. It is very interesting.

    I will say I am quite humbled by the sheer number of rejections versus acceptances that I see through the RSS. But it shouldn't intimidate you. They have to accept some stories or they wouldn't have a publication. All you can do is always put your best foot forward and have a little hope. Keep grinding away and it will happen if you are determined.

    But even then there are many opportunities far and beyond the pro markets, or even the semipro. It just depends on what your agenda/plan is and how you see yourself progressing as a writer. For me, my collection These Old Tales was me putting an end to a chapter in my writing career. I needed to move past those stories to grow and yet I felt many of them had some worth. You can only rewrite the same tale so many times I suppose.

    Hope this helps. And I echo the quote Richard often says, Onward and Upward.

  4. #244
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed Lucian Poll's Avatar
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    Hi Oz, thanks for the support and for the insight.

    I signed up to Duotrope last week so I'm feeling my way around at the moment. I like what I see, though, particularly as I hadn't found a good way of keeping track of my submissions. (And I've only made a handful so far! ) I agree that the stats are only a flavour of a particular market and are subject to the whims of both the honour system Duotrope operates and the quality of its data, being subject to the sample size relative to the market. For example, Ellery Queen's stats were based on a sample size of 186 reports (mine included), which would be a small proportion of the total submissions the magazine receives during a 12 month period. That said, it seems to be a decent indicator of a tough market.

    As for the plan, I'd love to have a story published in a fiction magazine (given their collectability), or a webzine, as it would validate my writing and ideas, plus it all helps build my (assumed) name. But this is all leading to the big write next month. The novel that results from NaNoWriMo, once polished and edited, will be the one I throw everything behind, either on my own or, hope upon hope, with an agent or publisher. I feel the hook of the novel is marketable, filmable, and, to the best of my knowledge, unique, and if I don't give it a shot it'll plague me 'til the end of my days. I'm fully prepared for falling flat on my face, but it'd be great to announce it here next year and hear some of you say "Damn, I want to read that!"

    And I fully agree, onward and upward!
    The home of your least humble servant, Mr Poll: http://lucianpoll.com
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  5. #245
    Senior Member Hearing Voices ozmosis7's Avatar
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    I use Duotrope together with a system of folders I developed (for backing up files) over many years of being a graphic designer. I sue this system of folders to line up places I plan to send to and to keep track locally of those I have sent to including all of the emails/files used. With each rejection I do an edit on the story, sometimes even a total rewrite if I decide I don't like it. My writing seems to be changing a lot lately, so I always want to make sure I give myself the best chance.

    Another thing to remember is a story can be killer and even the editors might agree upon that. But maybe it just doesn't fit what they plan to do in the immediate future or ever for that matter. I've seen some editors mention cutting very good stories that they wished they could keep.

    Good luck with Nano. I tried that last year but ended up having to set the effort aside for edits on book 2 of my series. I have a concept I am working on now that an agent is interested in, but she is more focused on science fiction than the horror side. I prefer o be able to write in both or a mixture if possible. We'll see. I have 2 books out and 2 more scheduled for release, all coming in at around 65-75k words, but this will be my first full length novel. I may send it around to some agents or bigger markets to see how it fares. Right now I'm trying to clear my workload so that I can devote all of my time to it.

    This idea has been received well, but I think the next book will be stellar. It is one of those I can't stop working on, knowing I want to wait, but not being able to. :P

    Anyway, make sure above all else you are enjoying the writing. Good luck! Keep us all informed how you are doing with it.

  6. #246
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed Lucian Poll's Avatar
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    I've a similar system in so much that it involves documents, covering letters, files, folders and Duotrope! I'll get the hang of it, I'm sure.

    Interesting to hear you were a graphic designer, Oz. I'm currently doing the cover art for my NaNo novel in GIMP, which is looking pretty snazzy (blows own trumpet). My early efforts with Inkscape yielded a nifty cover for The Buskers' Union, which you can see on my blog or on Amazon, not to mention the Lucian Poll calling card you see on the left.

    Thanks again for the support. The story has now been submitted to Lamplight, which is an interesting new magazine for dark fiction. It offers professional rates too and the debut issue is free to download. Definitely worth a look.

    In the meantime I wish you the best of luck in reeling-in the agent. It sounds like you've got a lot of irons in the fire! I'll keep plugging away at the stories, the novel and the ideas, and when I've got a nice juicy worm wriggling on the end of my hook I'll dangle it on a thread here and see who I can attract!
    The home of your least humble servant, Mr Poll: http://lucianpoll.com
    Then, of course, there's the Twitter thing: @LucianPoll
    ...oh, and the Facebook thing too: https://www.facebook.com/lucian.poll

  7. #247
    Senior Member Hearing Voices ozmosis7's Avatar
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    The cover looks cool. I've fooled around with Gimp some, but have to spend more time with it. I've seen some people do amazing stuff with that software.

    Yeah, I spent over 20 years in graphic design before I burned out on 7 days a week without ever seeing my family. I got out right before the company went under, so I spared myself a lot of heartache. My wife pushed me into writing with any seriousness and I thank her every day for it. But I am sure there will come a time when I need something to be around people again. I'm getting a little bored talking to the dogs and all.

    You can see a small portion of my work at the end of the biography page on my website. Also, although I hired an artist for the picture, I did the the rest of the work for These Old Tales. I also illustrated all of my own children's books in my sidebar. I removed a lot of it, though. While I enjoy it and don't mind doing it, I didn't want it to become the focus.

    I don't get around all the forums as much as I used to, but I'll keep an eye out for it.

  8. #248
    Senior Member Inmate RichardThomas's Avatar
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    martin, don't worry about EQ, they're tough to get into. and there are a handful of professional markets that respond quickly. here's my current list of markets, over 300 at this point, i think, not just horror, but a wide range of publications.

    http://whatdoesnotkillme.com/2009/07...s-submissions/

    it also shows where i've been published so maybe that will help, since i assume we both write dark stories.

  9. #249
    Senior Member Hearing Voices ozmosis7's Avatar
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    Are all of those paying markets, Richard? And if so, at what threshold?

  10. #250
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    That's one hell of a list, Ricardo. Thanks my friend. There are many wells here I've yet to tap.

  11. #251
    Senior Member Inmate RichardThomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozmosis7 View Post
    Are all of those paying markets, Richard? And if so, at what threshold?
    no, those are not all paying markets. and they are not all horror/speculative markets. it's my BIG LIST, so it has places for crime/noir/neo-noir, as well as horror, fantasy and SF, and literary as well. it also includes some presses, which would be for collections/novels, and covers print and online, as well as digital (ebooks).

    here is a short list of professional paying markets (.05/word and up) [you'll see overlap]

    HORROR:

    Clockwork Phoenix
    Buzzy Mag
    Clarkesworld
    LORE
    Penumbra
    Nightmare Magazine
    One Buck Horror
    Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show
    Shimmer
    Shock Totem
    Tor.com

    FANTASY/SF:

    Clockwork Phoenix
    Analog
    Asimov
    Buzzy Mag
    Clarkesworld
    Daily SF
    F&SF
    Lightspeed
    LORE
    Penumbra
    OSCIMS
    Shimmer
    Strange Horizons
    Tor.com

    CRIME/MYSTERY/THRILLERS/SUSPENSE:

    Alfred Hitchcock
    Ellery Queen
    Shock Totem

    There are others that pay semi-pro (.01-.04) and of course a ton that don't pay at all. With acceptance rates of <1% at many of these, none over 5% I think, you have to be open minded if you get rejected by the best, IMO.

    For the semi-pro try Aurealis, Black Static, Interzone, and Lamplight.

    This is not exhaustive, but culled from my list of markets that I like.

  12. #252
    Senior Member Hearing Voices ozmosis7's Avatar
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    Wow! Thanks for the effort, Richard!

  13. #253
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed Lucian Poll's Avatar
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    I second Oz and Randy's sentiments (or should that be third? ). That's an amazing list, Richard, and a really valuable resource. Thank you for posting it, and for your candour in keeping it updated. It's firmly fixed in my favourites list and your blog has chalked up another follower!
    The home of your least humble servant, Mr Poll: http://lucianpoll.com
    Then, of course, there's the Twitter thing: @LucianPoll
    ...oh, and the Facebook thing too: https://www.facebook.com/lucian.poll

  14. #254
    Senior Member Inmate RichardThomas's Avatar
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    happy to help. there aren't that many professional paying markets, actually. i've probably missed a few. good luck!

  15. #255
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed William J. Grabowski's Avatar
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    Wish I had some great wisdom here, but the truth is that rejection does not rock. Try and either forget it, or improve the piece. Really all you can do. Just DO NOT stop trying.

  16. #256
    Junior Member Visitor tchoppy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nik Houser View Post
    My philosophy on rejections is this, and it can be applied to a story or a novel: eventually, if you stick to it long enough, SOMEONE is going to say "yes, let's publish this." If you could look into the future, you could just see exactly how many rejections it'll take to get to that acceptance, be it 5 or 50 or 500. But you can't. So let's call that number "X." This means that every rejection you receive brings you ONE STEP CLOSER (or one rejection closer) to that acceptance! Now, this takes some serious faith in your work, and it doesn't always cheer me up when a rejection feels particularly depressing. But it can come in handy, for what it's worth.
    Great attitude. We all need thicker skin and take a step back from our work and not take it so personal. I received my first rejection years ago, and kind of stopped submitting out of hurt I guess. I have since started to submit again, after all how can you be published without trying...but I like your idea. I'm going to have to keep telling myself I am one step closer.

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