13 April, 2009

I Reject You, Rejection

Rejection is part of every writer's experience. Unless you're insanely lucky, and you've managed to escape the cold hand of rejection, you know that momentary twinge you get when you see the words, "We're sorry..." at the top of the letter.

It happens to the best of us, and the good writers know that you can't let it get to you if you want to make it in this business at all. One editor's rejection could very well be another editor's rejection, but that third editor just might feel that you have written exactly what they are looking for. It's all in persistence and inner-strength. You can't take rejection personally, even if you think the editor is a fool for passing up your incredibly awesome story.

My experience with rejection has gone on for years, with intermittent successes in between. Early on, I let it bother me, but today it barely washes over me anymore. It's just something that happens, and I move on.

Today, however, I got the weirdest rejection letter. While I won't share the details, as I'm not a huge advocate of the #editorfail movement, I did actually find myself laughing at the lack of punctuation, along with the reason behind the rejection. Said editor remarked that my story was, "Very well written," but the subject matter, zombies, was by their standards, outdated. It was a zombie love story, serious, a little stark with minor bits of gore, and considering that they publish a lot of vampire anthologies, it made me laugh a little at their definition of outdated. Some things will never go out of style. The living dead are on that list.

You may think this is crazy, but I was glad for the rejection. A company who thrives on vampires alone... I'm onto more versatile publications, thank you very much. So on that note, I folded up my submission, stuffed it in the next cyber envelope and resubmitted with hours of receiving the rejection.

I'm sure we've talked about this before, but how do you deal with rejection? What is your turn around time before your resubmit a story you've gotten back?


Anonymous said...

Just wait until that one zombie movie comes out and resubmit. Clearly, vampires are only not out-dated because of Twilight/TrueBlood/etc. :-P Once the zombie movie's out, you'll have to beat the publishers off with a stick, I'm sure! Ha.

Anonymous said...

I'm relatively new to publishing. I've been writing for a while but only recently have gotten past my fear and decided I couldn't ever be published if I didn't submit. I've only received rejections so far, but I'm hopeful that that will someday change.

So far, none of the editors have given me any reason for rejection. Their letters haven't come with anything but the "We're sorry." I've submitted to Glimmer Train a few times, but nothing has been a fit so far. One of these days, they'll publish me (I hope)!

I admit to writing vampire stories, but that's not all I write. I love them. I agree, however, that just like vampires, zombie stories never go out of style.

Good luck with your next submission. You're a gifted writer, I'm sure you'll find an adequate home for your tale of zombie love. That's certainly something I'd like to read!

Jenny Beans said...

I know you're right. It's all in the timing, or even the right anthology. At the time I submitted that, the anthology I wanted to submit to was closed. I'm hanging in there though. Vampires, zombies and werewolves seem to move in and out of the spotlight.

Krystyn, you should submit one of your short stories to eMuse. If you're interested in submitting, DM me on Twitter. I'd love an opportunity to read one of your stories, and perhaps even publish it.

Morgan Mandel said...

Right now I'm dealing with rejection by getting a book ready to be self-published. A new experiment for me.

Morgan Mandel

Rachel Cotterill said...

I had a play rejected from a competition for being fantasy. I know people don't often seem to write fantasy plays, but honestly, there's no *reason* for that...

Yesterday I got my first academic conference rejection, but they're really good because you get half a page of feedback from *three* different reviewers. So you get some really solid ideas.

Helen Ginger said...

Zombies outdated, ha! Who vogues better than a zombie? Who gives better face than a zombie? Uh, make that who takes your face like a zombie?

Too many vampire books out now anyway.

Jenny Beans said...

Helen, I think you're right. Vampires can only hold the spotlight for so long, and then they have to move out and allow someone else a few years to shine. They come back, they're undead, so they always do.

Dana Fredsti said...

HAH!!! Good lord, stupid editor, zombies ARE the new vampire! It said so in the new issue of Newsweek!

I look forward to your story being published so I can read it!