Friday, 21 September 2012

It Was Going So Well...

You may remember that back in May I finally sent my short story off to Woman's Weekly. It had been a lot of hard work to get it to a stage that I felt it was finally good enough - and ready- for sending out for consideration.

Woman's Weekly say they take about four months, so each month that went by without a rejection letter was a good sign. Previous submissions had been rejected earlier.

As I was a week off the four month point I was hopeful that I stood a good chance of success this time.

But it was not to be.

Thursday morning my SAE dropped through the letterbox, and attached to my manuscript was the standard rejection letter.

I was gutted. Four months and then rejection.

Sadly it's common currency for writers, and after a few hours disappointment (and sympathy from writer friends) my rationality returned and I decided that next week I'll look at the story again, and if I'm still happy, then I'll be looking for a new home for it.

But it's frustrating too. Unlike a novel that can be submitted to more than one place at the same time, you really can't do that with a short story, so you have to wait for a yes or no.

For writers trying to get their first woman's magazine acceptance- to a paying market- it's getting harder. Over the past two to three years the number of magazines accepting submissions has fallen rapidly.

My Weekly and Candis have moved to accepting stories only from writers from whom they've bought from before. Others have dropped fiction completely.

Only this week on Womag's blog, it was mentioned that the Australian magazine Woman's Day was no longer publishing fiction. You only need to look at the list of magazines in the sidebar of her blog to see how few are left.

Obviously magazine editors get hundreds of submissions each week and can't comment on each one; writers understand that.

In an ideal world, those fiction departments which have readers first, would do something as simple as mark an 'x' or a '√', so the rejected writer knows how far along the system their story has actually gone.

Something as simple as that would help both the writer, and the fiction department.

No writer wants to waste either their own time, or an editor's, submitting stories that aren't of publishable standard, so it remains hit and miss until that first acceptance.

So finding a new home for my story is now on my to do list. And find one I will...





Teresa Ashby said...

Oh Carol - after all that time, that is so disappointing. At least you know it must have come pretty close to have been gone so long x

Keith Havers said...

Good luck with it, Carol. Is it short enough to read out on manuscript night?

Carolb said...

I think the fact it must have got quite a way through the process is the one reassuring aspect, Teresa.
Thanks. :-)

Thanks, Keith.
It is a few words under 2,000, so it will depend on how busy manuscript night is...

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Sorry for that disappointment, Carol - I still haven't had one accepted by WW. Do keep trying - and send that story out soemwhere else! I do have a story in My Weekly this coming week, however, so I'm happy with that!

Anonymous said...

Hard luck, Carol. That is so disappointing. Woman's Weekly seems to be particularly difficult to get in to.

Maria said...

Hello Carol,

Full marks for sending it off! It is a disappointment, but not a disaster. Keep that in mind, when you are sending it out to another potential market.

Just because that editorial team said 'no' does not mean the next one will...

Good luck.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Carol - I've given you a Sunshine Blogger Award! You can pick it up on my reading and writing blog.

Carolb said...

Rosemary- Congratulations on the My Weekly story. It's always a delight to read a story in a magazine by a writer I know. :-)

And thank you for the Sunshine Blogger Award- much needed on a windy and really wet day.

Gail- You're right, WW is hard to get into,as PF is too. Thanks for the sympathy.

Maria- that's what I keep reminding myself, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for next time.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately there's too many of us writers chasing too few openings in the womags.
Hard luck on the rejection - but keep on trying!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately there are too many writers chasing too few openings in the womags.
Hard luck this time - but keep trying! As soon as you've subbed one story, get started on the next straight away. The more stories you have out there, the greater your chance of success.

Carolb said...

Thanks, Sally.
You're right there are too few openings available when lots of writers are chasing them.

I don't find short stories, suitable for the magazine market easy, as my ideas really are only suitable for longer projects- which I'm concentrating on at the moment.

If I develop an idea that would work for the market then I will try again, but at the moment I'm concentrating on the novella.

Maxi said...

So sorry to hear about the rejection, Carol. It's totally frustraing to wait so long and then get a no - or as is the case with many article submissions, hear nothing at all. There's some debate about multiple submissions for articles and short stories and whilst I can see the possible awkward downside, I can certainly see the more useful upside!
Good luck in finding a market, I'm sure you will! x