I sent a short story off to a publication and got back quite a strange rejection note.
The story is a reality bender, not quite horror but strange all the same.
The editor stated that although the story was well written (that's something I suppose), it wasn't to his taste. Not the first and won't be the last note like this I am sure.
It is the second bit that confuses me...
It was something like this:
'If your story is based on a true account, you may like to shorten it and submit it to **** *** (magazine called something like strange reality).'
A true account??? My story was WAAAAAAAAAAY out there, if anyone suffered from the affliction my primary character had, well...
Has anyone else received a strange response?
While you're at it, have any of you received a rejection that contained a message that really inspired you despite the rejection?
What about the first acceptance, what did it say and how did it feel?
August 4th, 2002, 01:47 AM
Not as yet, though I'm gonna send one out in a few days, so I'll get back to you.
August 4th, 2002, 01:41 PM
well, I haven't gotten any 'strange' rejections, but I've gotten a few inspiring and some idiotic rejections
An example of The Idiotic Rejection.
Thank you for submitting this story to Deep Outside SFFH. We enjoyed
it, and recognize its positive points while it does not quite meet our
at this time. We receive a high volume of submissions and can only use
one story a month, so we receive more quality stories than we actually
able to publish. Please be of good cheer and continue your fine writing
TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THAT THIS IS A FORM, I REPEAT, A FORM REJECTION LETTER. The first time I received this, I was encouraged (i thought it was the personal note kind of rejection). The second, altogether depressed.
An example of The Encouraging Rejection
Just read through "No Pain" finally, and regretfully, we'll have to
on this one. Liked the wry humor of this, but unfortunately have a pet
peeve about demonic-themed stories.
-Seth Lindberg (www.gothic.net)
In addition, this editor was nice enough to follow up with a longer explanation of what he liked and disliked upon request. This was the first rejection I received that actually complimented my writing (the others were form) and did worlds to inspire me. So - thx to editors who add personal comments
August 5th, 2002, 12:44 AM
It's good they found time to put the effort into their replies.
August 6th, 2002, 08:38 AM
of course, editors don't have very much time for comments ;) that's why it's especially nice when they do make them
August 6th, 2002, 08:56 PM
In a twist of irony an editor slammed one of my very early pieces for having too many grammatical errors... then she signed the email:
Now... she might have been simply speaking in ebonics... in which case she would indeed have been the editor ~fo~ this particular zine...
But, in all honesty, she was right on all counts of her complaint... and I learned a valuable lesson in her response.
August 7th, 2002, 03:09 PM
It is interesting to read your comment, Nathan. I recently read a review of one of my books by a critic whose name I will not mention. He prefaced his review by stating uncategorically that he disliked high fantasy in general as a genre, then he described the book as a 'fine piece of high fantasy' and he likened it to eddings and feist. then he went on to pan it mainly because it was not realistic! Magic and monsters and sentient trees! Surprise! he criticized it because it 'focused more on the fantastic than on the believable'!
But, what i found most annoying was that he was very critical of the errors that he found in the text (among other things), and then he referred to me as Mr. Wasserman. My name is WASSNER! I suppose he should have proof read his own text more closely since errors of that sort are so abhorrent to him!
August 7th, 2002, 03:13 PM
You know what they say about critics in general, movie critics tend to be failed actors, producers or script writers. Fiction critics tend to be failed authors. This isn't always the rule of course.
I take it your critic GemQuest was not a published author like yourself?
August 7th, 2002, 03:25 PM
I really don't know, to be frank. I do know though that he is quite pompous in the sci fi/fantasy chat rooms that he often visits . I have a difficult time reconciling a bad review. I am very sensitive about it. Fortunately, this is really the first one. His comments were so diametrically opposed to everything that has been said about my books so far, that it threw me for a loop.
I do agree with him on the subject of grammatical errors! The book he reviewed was the first one I published and is in need of revision. I did not have the benefit of a seasoned editor then. The second edition will be totally correct in all respects.
He seemed to enjoy writing this nasty review though. He said a number of good things about the book, and it appeared at times as if he was going to review it well but he just couldn't. I guess if I read a book on a subject I disliked reading about, I would be ambivalent too.
August 7th, 2002, 03:34 PM
You have every right to be a little sensitive, after all, I bet your books are like babies and there can't be anything much worse than pouring your heart and soul into a project that you are particularly proud of, only to have some pompous hack rip it apart...
You can bet you will get more bad reviews I guess just do exactly what you have done, pull out the positives, correct the fixables and write a character called [reviewer's name] in your next book who is gang banged by a bunch of orcs... Hungry orcs at that, who eat him from the feet up... Slowly.
And remember how many people liked or loved your work.
Hey, if all you have to worry about is bad reviews for your PUBLISHED book... Smile baby, smile.