Just a curious question...

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Just a curious question...

Post by Shiney on Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:16 pm

I am speaking off the cuff here...but just would like to know...as writers (I assume most here at least passingly refer to themselves as such Laughing )

When you submit something somewhere and it is rejected...How many times will you try again?

Will it prejudice you against said publication? Should it?

I ask as we have seen alot of the same names and unfortunately had to pass on several by same names, but were wondering if there was an inevitable..."Fuck you guys...you elitist bastards" coming...

Personally, I would just keeping sending stuff until A.] I had nothing else to send
2.] Was accepted
III.] I don't have a 3...

I just wanted to know...Not trying to stir up anything but knowledge....As we are all new to this thing and want to handle it as professionally as possible..

thanks for your time and hopefully honest and thoughtful responses...

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Natalie L. Sin on Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:55 pm

I've only been biased against one publication (not speculative fiction) and that was because the editor was unprofessional. Keep in mind that I have the utmost respect for editors, know they work their butts off, and have to be treated pretty badly before I feel insulted.

Post rejection depends on the story. If, upon reflection, the story was poorly done I will either rewrite or give up. That's pretty rare though. In most cases I continue to relentlessly submit the story until I hit the right slush pile cheers

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by tlmorganfield on Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:00 pm

If it's a market I'm really interested in selling to, then I'll pummel them with stories until they submit. I've never let rejection make me stop Laughing . What will stop me is snarky or even rude responses from markets (with the exception of Nick Mamatas when he was with Clarkesworld. I relished getting snarky "boy you really fucked up a perfectly good story idea" comments from him.).

Rejection is part of the business and writers have to take it in stride if they're to make it. It can be frustrating when a particular market continually sends you rejections but I've learned to shrug it off. Shock Totem is brand new too, so writers can't expect to hit the right buttons the first, the second, or even twentieth time when they haven't seen what the magazine publishes yet. Maybe newer writers who are just starting out would be more inclined to the "Fuck you guys" routine, but only because they haven't learned yet that persistence is necessary and success usually doesn't come quick and easy. There's one market I've sent to 20 different times with no acceptance, and I'll continue to send there because you never know. The market that gave me my first professional sale rejected six other stories before buying my seventh, and that's my second highest subbed-to market.

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Shiney on Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:55 pm

Thanks you two...this is educational...seriously.

More replies are welcome...

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Kenwood on Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:25 pm

This topic was spawned from me noticing that one person has now submitted his/her fourth story and their e-mail basically said, "Here. Thanks." Haha. I went back and noticed the previous three e-mails got shorter and shorter. I joked that the next one would say "Story. Assholes." Haha.

I don't necessarily find it tough sending rejections because it is part of the business, but sending multiple rejections to the same person kind of pulls at the heartstrings a bit, you know. And now some of those writers are posting here! Haha. I try personal rejections as much as possible, but when I have 87 to send out, that's just impossible.

Anyway, I hope no one takes offense. Writers will know us better when issue one comes out, but I fear that might add to the confusion. Haha. We've accepted six tales so far (two have yet to be notified) and each story is vastly different from the others. I personally think that's awesome, but I'm not sure we'll ever be able to suggest (with a straight face) people buy our publication to get an idea what we publish. Haha.

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Shiney on Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:29 pm

That is exactly where I took inspiration for this thread, Ken...

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Kenwood on Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:48 pm

Shiney wrote:That is exactly where I took inspiration for this thread, Ken...
Yeah, I figured.

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:38 pm

No, you never stop if you know what you're doing because it's not personal. That mag Bizzy posted in BBS-horror, they replied to everyone personally because it was part of their stated mission to help newbies, and not the established, I posted in there to it.

Also, this market is much more limited than others, horror writers couldn't afford to paint themselves in a corner that way, as it appears to me, there aren't many listings at all in Writer's Market, as I said at BBS and, although, yeah, they're all over the net, they're mostly non or very low paying markets, don't reach pro-horror/sci-fi/fantasy rates.

I posted a link in there that shows 100 of the supposedly most popular at the moment, just one source, you can find others, but you might like checking that out, cuz you can see what features everyone else is coming up with (easily and it was Just updated) and I remembered you were asking opinions on that in the BBS-horror not long ago. Smile

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:48 pm

http://www.sfwa.org/links/mags.htm

Here's a different link, trying to help writers with only listings that pay, and they're mostly all, if not definitely ALL blends, as I said at the BBS, they're blended mags of horror with sci-fi and fantasy mixed, not straight horror. And right in the beginning of this link, it admits most of them don't pay up to industry standards, they're almost all very low-paying.

Anyway, this's yet more good news in the end to you guys because you have very little competition in the straight horror mag genre--niice! I'm thinking the fact you're metal heads will carry special appeal, making it different, too.

Wow, so it's even more ripe for you than I thought, in my view.

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Kenwood on Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:37 am

Well, we're not straight horror, though. I don't even know what "straight horror" would be anyway. Who was it that said horror isn't a genre but an emotion? Nick posted that quote before and I think I completely agree.

These links would serve better elsewhere. I'll have to edit one of the forums for things like this.

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Bizzy on Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:15 am

Lots of newbies take rejections personally--as if it's them being rejected, not the story.

When writers get the right mindset, it stops being a problem, and they'll sub routinely.

It helps to get explanations--if just on a standard form--of why a story was rejected. With that sort of info, it's easier to tailor the next story you send to that zine and save the editor time reading stuff there's no way they'll accept. Some writers might find that a little impersonal, but, again, that's a mindset thing, and you can counter any impersonal feelings with a few paragraphs on the guidelines page, explaining why you reject with a simple form rather than a with a handwritten greetings card your grandmother specially made for them.

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Mercedes on Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:54 pm

My first few rejections hurt because I was still all quivery and skittish about submitting. Then my best writer friends and I started printing out our rejections and, I kid you not, folding them into origami animals. It definitely takes the sting out of them.

It doesn't prejudice me against a market unless they go out of their way to slash me when they reply, which has only happened once. My goal is to have 40 pieces out at one time, (I am a girl who can't resist challenges!) and that means that I'm getting rejections every day. Some are harder to accept than others, but it's just part of the game, yeah?

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Kenwood on Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:30 am

40 out at once? Damn. I struggling to get number four out there. Haha.

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Mercedes on Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:21 am

Kenwood:

Ha! Believe me, the only way that I have that many pieces out is because I refuse to let my friend Dawn pwn me when it comes to submissions. You might recognize her. I wrote a story where her friend beat a guy down with a shovel.

We have competitions. Who writes the fastest, who sends the most out, who has the most acceptances, who has the most oragami animals. I'd suggest everybody get a writing ally/enemy. It lights a fire. We write and send each other at least one short story a month. You guys should all join us. Smile

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Kenwood on Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:41 am

Sounds cool. No one I know writes. My friends can't pronounce carcass; they think I'm a genius when, after playing for FOUR HOURS, I have two pieces of pie in Trivial Pursuit. Haha.

You two sound lovely, though. Where are you from again? It may not be safe here in MA.

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Tall Tyrion on Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:35 pm

Kenwood wrote:Well, we're not straight horror, though. I don't even know what "straight horror" would be anyway. Who was it that said horror isn't a genre but an emotion? Nick posted that quote before and I think I completely agree.

That was Doug Winters, in the introduction to Prime Evil (which is an oustanding anthology, BTW).

"Horror is not a genre, like the mystery or science fiction
or the western. It is not a kind of fiction, meant to be confined
to the ghetto of a special shelf in libraries or bookstores. Horror
is an emotion."

I like that because it includes all sorts of things. Yes horror is often supernatural, or gory, or shocking, or whatever, but it doesn't have to be any of those things. Basically, it is horror if it peoduces that emotion in the reader. Many, many writers not necessarily known for being horror writers have dabbled in the genre.

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Mercedes on Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:22 pm

Did I say "real life friend"? I did not say "real life friend". None of my flesh and blood friends really write, either, although they are sweet and offer to read my stuff. I met my friend in a writing chat room. I actually have a core group of writing friends that I met from there. I suggest you drop in sometime, because these guys are really motivating. Well, some are. The rest are your typical chatters.

Ha, I'm in Las Vegas. She's closer to your side of the world.

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by BobEccles on Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:18 pm

As a new writer, I find this thread to be very interesting and enlightening. It's cool to see how everyone feels about the subject.

I don't take rejection personally. It just tells me I need to work harder the next time. I've already had one story rejected here, but I'll keep trying. Just submitted another story tonight, in fact.

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Mercedes on Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:07 am

Mmm, rejections make me hungry. Eat 'em up.

Rejections are better than hanging in limbo forever! I just received a rewrite request, but other than that, nothing!

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by DgB on Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:46 pm

Personally, rejections don't really bother me anymore. Sure, I don't like them, but to me they represent progress. You guys have sent me two rejections so far, and I have another story out to you already. If you reject it, I have more waiting. booty I will only stop if you ask.

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Shiney on Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:05 pm

Good attitudes abound here...which is nice to see.

I'm a novice writer myself...recently got my first rejection. Diden't hurt my feelings much (mind you, after the incessant spirit crushing Tall T, Snowy and I endure at the hands of Ken...it'd take a lot)


Laughing

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Kenwood on Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:15 pm

I have helped you all become real men.

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Mercedes on Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:15 pm

Of course, I keep a file of everybody that has rejected me. Ever. I'm slowing going through it.

You, that boy from eighth grade? It's coming up on your turn. Watch yourself, is all I'm saying.

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by BobEccles on Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:47 pm

I'll say this - you certinaly don't waste any time turning stuff down! My only gripe would be that I'd like to know more about why you reject a story. I understand that the volume of submissions makes that difficult if not impossible.

I'll keep trying...

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Re: Just a curious question...

Post by Kenwood on Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:40 pm

BobEccles wrote:I'll say this - you certinaly don't waste any time turning stuff down! My only gripe would be that I'd like to know more about why you reject a story. I understand that the volume of submissions makes that difficult if not impossible.

I'll keep trying...
I completely understand that, and we were doing that initially, but it was taking hours to do one batch of rejections. I simply don't have that kind of time. Moreover, people began to argue with me about what we felt was wrong with the story. A lot of times, I hadn't even read the story so it was like unnecessary abuse.

Then there's my opinion that what we think might be wrong with a story is meaningless. The whole concept of fiction is just too subjective. What we dislike might be loved by another publication. And since we receive numerous submissions a day, we generally don't give many comments on a story. It's just a simple yay or nay.

We love supporting authors, but it really comes down to time. We can be quick with our responses but not give any feedback, and then have necessary time to work on making the publication a great thing, or we can personally respond to each submission but take six months to a year to do it, and drastically reduce our ability to focus on producing a quality product. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

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