Home > Editing, Writing > A Rejection That Thrilled Me

A Rejection That Thrilled Me

I got a rejection letter this morning, and I can’t keep the stupid grin off my face.

Actually, I got two from the same editor. The first was waiting for me when I got up. It looked like a form rejection at first, but it didn’t feel like one. It felt… encouraging. As if I’d just barely missed.

So I thanked her for the good wishes and her time, and went back to working on the next story. (I didn’t immediately repackage the submission for the next publisher on the list – more on that tomorrow – because I do those tasks in broad daylight when it’s harder for me to be creative.)

Then my email binged. It was from the editor, thanking me for being courteous… and repaying my courtesy with feedback.

My jaw dropped. My hands dropped. The goldfish crackers I was eating dropped. The dogs reposing at my feet are on a strict diet, because they’re old and if they eat anything but kibble they hork up neon yellow goo that leaves permanent stains on this horrible carpet. And I don’t CARE. Hork away, dogs. Enjoy those fallen fishies, while I feast on this meaty feedback.

I don’t reprint emails without specific permission, and I won’t name the editor lest she be criticized for not responding to ALL her thank you letters this way.

But the short version is that her initial rejection felt encouraging (squee) because she wanted it to feel that way (SQUEE). She spoke very well of my ability (SQUEE), and said I had a lot of potential in the genre (faints dead away).

The problems with the story were partially due to bad targeting on my part. I submitted the story to a particular line based on the level of eroticism and the word count. But what I’d missed during my market research (i.e., reading the stuff already published) is that stories in that line were two person stories, so that all of the limited word count could be focused on the hero/heroine relationship. Simply put, my story was almost fine, just a bad fit with her editorial needs.

Almost fine, but not quite – she pointed out some structural weaknesses I honestly hadn’t seen, although I knew something wasn’t right.

This is why, no matter how super duper awesome you think you are, you really need a professional editor to get your work from submission ready to print ready.

And this is why I love rejections with feedback.

This editor went way above the call of duty to be nice to me. I hope someone repays her for it.

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Categories: Editing, Writing Tags: ,
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  1. February 5, 2010 at 8:54 AM

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