Question: How many rejection slips should I receive before I decide to give up on my article or story?
Answer: There are many reasons stories and articles are rejected. Some of the reasons have to do with weak manuscripts. Others reflect the market and the editor. Marion Zimmer Bradley, in her article, “Why Did My Story Get Rejected?” claims the main reason stories are rejected are because “editors feel that the particular story will not give their readers the kind of specific reading experience they want or expect . . .” Even if you are a great writer, if the story isn’t right for the market, it will be rejected. So, instead of looking at rejection slips as signs of failure, look at rejection slips as tips for improving and revising your work. Rejection, if used properly, can make your work better.
Common reasons manuscripts are rejected:
Theme was weak, morbid, or depressing
A similar story has already been published
Insincere story, writer lacks knowledge of human nature
Lack of motive
Unfit, unsuitable, or untimely
Not in harmony with editorial policy
Too long, too short
Editor does not like it
Weak or slow pace
The story was not complete or had a weak ending
The characters were cardboard with no imagination
Nothing much happened in the story. It was boring
If you want to be a writer, you must develop a thick skin. A dozen publishers and sixteen agents rejected John Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, before it was accepted for print. Frank Herbert’s, Dune was rejected twenty times before successfully reaching print. Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind was rejected thirty-eight times before finally finding a publisher. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was rejected by a dozen publishers before a small London company published it.
Rejection slips sting. The best thing to do with them is use them to improve your manuscripts. Do your homework. Know who is publishing the kinds of stories you want to write. Write the best story you can write, then send it out again and again and again until you find that editor who loves your story as much as you do, and is willing to take it to market.
Check out the trailer for Voices from the Snake River Plain here.
Dixie, Pat and I had a productive weekend. Before our reading at The Cabin, we stopped by Rediscovered Bookshop and A Novel Adventure, independent book stores in Boise, Idaho. We hope you will support these bookstores whenever you are in Boise.
You can find Voices from the Snake River Plain in the Idaho/Northwest section at Rediscovered Bookshop.
Posted in Annoucements, Archives, Blogroll, Books, Idaho Writers, Publications, Writing
Tagged anthologies, Archives, Bonnie Dodge, Dixie Thomas Reale, Idaho Writers, Patricia Marcantonio, publication, Voices from the Snake River Plain
The publishing world is changing daily, it seems, and there’s a lot of interest in the area of non-traditional forms of publishing. As “Writers Working for Writers,” the Idaho Writer’s Guild is proudly launching a new series called “Random Readings” on Saturday, January 30th from 1-3 pm at The Cabin, in Boise. Featured writers will share their experiences, from writing to publishing.
Here’s what you can look forward to: authors will read from their books, with commentary. Afterwards, there will be time for asking questions and sharing thoughts about the nuts and bolts of a variety of publishing processes. Not-to-be-missed refreshments will be served.
Southern Idaho residents Bonnie Dodge, Dixie Thomas Reale and Patricia Santos Marcantonio wrote and published “Voices from the Snake River Plain.” A collection of short stories, poems and essays, the book has been described as “a small treasure….we learn there is beauty in the landscape around us and people with stories to tell.” Some of the tales by these award-winning writers include a jackalope, an old Mexican ghost story, haunting landscapes and a road trip with Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey.
Val Robertson was the former president of The Couer du Bois Chapter of Romance Writers of America, and the founding and current president of the Popular Fiction Association of Idaho, which produces the Murder in the Grove mystery conference. She is also the organizer of the Boise Speculative Fiction writer’s support group. Her debut novel is entitled “Blade’s Edge.”
Also from Boise, Ken McConnell is both traditionally published and self-published. A Software Test Technician, Ken wrote and published “Starstrikers” in 2008. His first novel is “a military space novel that takes place between two galactic civilizations.” He also wrote “Null Pointer,” a mystery novel about a programmer sleuth.
“Random Readings” will take place in the Jean Wilson Reading Room, on the basement level at The Cabin, 801 S. Capitol Blvd, Boise. Admission is free. For further information contact Diane Graham at email@example.com.
Posted in Annoucements, Archives, Blogroll, Books, Events, Idaho Writers, Publications, publishing, Writing
Tagged anthologies, Bonnie Dodge, Dixie Thomas Reale, Events, Idaho Writers, Patricia Marcantonio, publishing, stories, Voices from the Snake River Plain, Writing
On November 6, Pat, Dixie and I enjoyed reading excerpts from Voices from the Snake River Plain to a standing-room-only crowd in Twin Falls, Idaho. A heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who helped celebrate the launch of our new book. If you missed the event, copies are still available at the Magic Valley Arts Council, 132 Main Avenue South, Twin Falls, Idaho. They are also available at the Log Cabin Literary Center, 801 S. Capitol Boulevard in Boise, Idaho.
Posted in Annoucements, Archives, Blogroll, Books, Events, Idaho Writers, Publications, publishing
Tagged anthologies, Archives, Bonnie Dodge, Dixie Thomas Reale, Events, Idaho Writers, Patricia Marcantonio, Voices from the Snake River Plain
Voices from the Snake River Plain is a collection of short stories, essays, and poems written by Bonnie Dodge, Dixie Thomas Reale, and Patricia Santos Marcantonio. Edited by Jennifer Sandmann, the anthology includes tales that range from humorous to haunting, poignant to tragic. Sometimes the stories rise out of the landscape and from dreams. Sometimes they reach into the past, or into the future, but mostly, the stories echo the human heart. Many of the selections have been printed in other publications or have won writing awards. With a foreword by Diane Josephy Peavey, author of Bitterbrush Country: Living on the Edge of the Land, this is a book you will want to add to your collection.
Voices from the Snake River Plain was made possible in part by the Embodiment Grant of Boise.
$15 plus tax, shipping & handling
To order contact Bonnie.
Posted in Annoucements, Archives, Blogroll, Books, Idaho Writers, Publications, publishing, Writing
Tagged anthologies, Bonnie Dodge, Dixie Thomas Reale, Idaho Writers, Jennifer Sandmann, memories, Patricia Marcantonio, poetry, publication, publishing, stories, Writing
Bonnie Dodge placed third in the 2009 writing assigned teen fiction contest with her short story, The Pleasure of his Company.