My First Rejection

08 Jan

I mentioned last year that I submitted my first story for publication. I’ve been biting my nails since then, waiting for a response, a yay or nay. There was even a period of time where I was checking my email on my phone every five minutes, just to make sure I wouldn’t miss that message, and annoying everyone around me.

A few days ago, that rejection came. It was an overall polite message, a “thank you for submitting your story, but after consideration, we won’t be taking it. Thank you anyway” sort of message. It was what I had been waiting for, but once I had it, I wasn’t sure how to feel.

The first and predominant emotion was disappointment in myself. I worked so hard on my story, and it still wasn’t good enough for the press. All the time I’d spent researching, writing, rewriting, and sweating, and it still only got a “thank you for submitting”.

But the second I emotion I felt was relief. I wasn’t happy about being rejected, but it had happened. I was terrified about the idea since the moment I’d submitted the story, and now it had happened. And while yes, it sucked that the press wouldn’t be taking my story, it wasn’t as bad as I was afraid it would be. It was done and over with.

I might even print out the rejection and post it on my wall, just as a sort of merit badge on my writer vest. But first, I’m going to go back through my story, and then submit it to another press. No point in waiting around.


Posted by on January 8, 2014 in Writing


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6 responses to “My First Rejection

  1. Darke Conteur

    January 8, 2014 at 11:20

    Yes, print it out and save it. They are badges of honour. Wear them proudly. You took that first step and that’s a lot more than most people do. The good thing is, now that you’ve submitted once, go out and do it again. Look over your story. Maybe it could use some tweaking? Most important–don’t stop submitting.

    • kmcambion

      January 8, 2014 at 11:23

      I actually had to reformat the whole thing for the next press, and in doing so, caught some of my own mistakes I didn’t the first time. So, I cleaned it up a bit. I have no intentions of stopping just because of one rejection!

      • Darke Conteur

        January 8, 2014 at 12:25

        Excellent! Keep up the work. It’ll get published; might take some time, but it will.

  2. Rhonda Parrish

    January 8, 2014 at 11:20

    You’ve got it wrong. Well, part of it. I like the second part of this blog entry where you talk about how the worst thing that could happen (a rejection) had happened but you were dealing with it and moving on. I LIKE that part. But the part you got wrong is this part, “I worked so hard on my story, and it still wasn’t good enough for the press.”

    It gets said so often that people start to believe that it’s a myth, this thing editors/publishers say just to cushion the blow and make people feel better, but it’s true. We have to pass on fantastic stories ALL THE TIME. All the time. For all sorts of reasons. Sometimes, it’s true, the reason is that the story isn’t quite at the level of quality we’re looking for. Sometimes. But quite often it’s just not right for that project, or it’s not right for that project at that time. Or any number of other reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with how good the story is.

    I’m sorry your story got passed on, but I’m so glad you’re going to dust it off and send it back out again while you begin working on the next story. And the next ;)

    • kmcambion

      January 8, 2014 at 11:26

      Oh, I know that it happens. If you can only fill 10 slots but you have 50 great stories, some of them have to go. My gut reaction is just always going to be “oh, it’s because I’m not good enough”.

      But! Like I told Darke, I’m not going to stop just because of one rejection. It’s kind of a milestone to me. And hey, just because one press can’t take it, doesn’t mean the next won’t!


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