Friday, August 6, 2010

Magzine/Anthology Submissions and Rejections

I've been trying to break into the pro-rate magazine market since I started to submit my writing back in the late summer of 2008. Although I've sold several short stories for inclusions in anthologies, all I have to show from magazines are rejections.

As a result, I've submitted two short stories to Under the Moon for the stories to possibly be published in both ebook and chapbook formats.

But Under the Moon has a 5K minimum requirement, and many of my shorts are shorter than that. So I keep revising the stories and submitting them to the next pro-market magazine. One short story I've been waiting over 400 days to hear back on!

One place that I would love to get into their anthologies is Pill Hill Press. Now, I will have a flash piece in their Daily Flash Anthology. I'm waiting to hear back on a flash submission to their Daily Bites of Flesh Anthology. I've had several stories shortlisted for various anthologies, all ultimately rejected, although I have one shortlisted with their Shadows and Light II Anthology.

Recently, the deadline passed for their Flesh and Bones: Rise of the Necromancers Anthology. I really wanted to get into this book so I wrote a short story called "Deadly Revenge" and submitted it.

And received this rejection:

Dear Nicole,
Thank you for your submission. I enjoyed your story -- I felt terrible for the wizard who lost both his wife and only daughter in the fire -- but I'm going to pass on publishing "Deadly Revenge". I received several submissions with a similar plot and word count to your story, and I could only accept one.
I wish you the best of luck in finding a home for this piece, and I hope you continue to submit your work to Pill Hill Press.
Jessy Marie Roberts

Not a bad rejection. But I still really wanted to be in this anthology so I wrote and submitted another piece entitled "Death Twice Over."

Yet another rejection:

Dear Nicole,
Thank you for submitting "Death Twice Over". Your story had very good characterization -- I felt sorry for the little boy and could easily understand his drive to perform necromancy to ressurect his mother, the only person who had ever shown him any love. The boy's actions/motivations were believable. However, we received so many submissions to this anthology -- I was amazed by the response -- and I had to select stories that I think fit well together (while, at the same time, being diverse). During my final selection process, I decided to pass on your story. I had three stories I kept until the very end, yours being one of them, and eventually selected an alternate submission for the final slot in the anthology.
I really like your writing style and encourage you to keep sending your work to Pill Hill Press.
Jessy Marie Roberts

With this rejection letter, I can't help but feel that eventually, I'll be able to have a short story published in a Pill Hill Press anthology. How knows... maybe in their Fem-Fang Anthology? I need to hurry up and finish that story, the deadline is the 15th. You can check out all the calls for submissions for Pill Hill Press here.

How many of you have written short stories? Do you publish them in magazines? Or with epublishers? How have your experiences been with magazines?


Lisa Rusczyk said...

I've submitted to Pill Hill a few times with rejections. They are very nice.

Usually I've gotten shorts published with free zines or small publishers. The times I submitted to bigger magazines all came back with rejections. The only success I had with a short acceptance to an anthology-type publication was LaChance's book on Bipolar Disorder. That was pretty exciting.

Keep at it, Get to know what your magazines like and who the editors are and what they like. It'll help a lot.

Aubrie said...

Good luck with your submissions, and keep submitting!!!

I have a story short listed for the Shadows and Light one as well. Maybe we'll be in it together!!!

Aren't we going to be in Mertales together?

Nicole Zoltack said...

Sounds advice, Lisa, thanks!

That would be great if we could be in Shadows and Light together, Aubrie! And yep, you, me, and Cherie are all in Mertales.