As you may or may not remember, I wrote a story to enter in the “Pitch Your Shorts” contest that Jami Gold had a week or so ago.  I’ll save the drama.  I did my stuff, pitched my short, and didn’t get a request.  In short, rejected.

Ouch, man.

But!  When I read the list of names and didn’t find mine on there I thought, “Well, actually, that’s not so surprising, and it’s not so bad.”  And I got over it rather quickly.  Here’s a few reasons why, and a few things that might help you all get over whatever writerly rejection you’re going through right now.

#4 More time to sit on it.

I started writing this story, Revolutions, specifically for Pitch Your Shorts, on December 25th or so.  That was 15 days, working full time, to go from concept to 20k words.  Can you see the trouble?  I had time to pass it through a few readers, and read it several times myself to make sure everything flowed correctly; but even now I think I might need to expand the end a little.  I’m not certain about it.  I’m not stone cold “YES.” either way.  This gives me time to be certain I won’t get it out into the world only to have it be smacked with a 2 star review and a “meh”.

I want all the stars.

#3 Wrong Genre

I started writing this story with a strong romance in mind.  And yes, the romance came through, but it came through as secondary.  Entangled publishing is a romance centered press, so why did I enter in the genre line “fantasy, Dystopian”?  Honesty, I guess.  I sometimes have trouble with writing exactly the story I mean to write: even in rewrites of The Athele Series I’ve run into trouble where I’ll start a scene and all the sudden it will be going off in the same direction by a different track.

Wrong turn at Albequerque

Wrong turn at Albequerque

I dislike stopping this kind of thing because I’ve found that 99% of the time, the ‘slightly off track’ version is light-years better.  The point of #3 is that while I wrote Revolutions with the pitch contest in mind, I pretty much failed at writing it for the contest.  And since I still like what I wrote, I’m totally ok with that.

#2 Ego Pin

The worst thing in the whole wide world is when your ego gets too big for your britches, and begins to bust out the buttons, thus leaving you red faced and pantsless.  …That metaphor got away from me.

This Metaphor is more fun to look at.

In any case, while I cultivate a healthy ego, being passed over is a reminder that no, I’m not super writer, I’m not Stephen King, and I still have to work hard to get what I want.  That’s good, and it’s also good that I can handle the reminder and learn the lesson.

#1 New Opportunities

Y’know that old saying ‘One door closes another door opens’?  Well, I’m going to apply that here.  Entangled publishing doesn’t want it and that’s fine (in fact, it’s probably good for them, as illustrated by #3).  It’s not like Revolutions has to sit around on my computer and be lazy.  Right now I’m looking into self pubbing the story for Kindle and possibly Nook.  It’s short enough to be just the right size for a free short story!

How about you guys?  How do you get over rejection?

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About Kaitlin

Kaitlin and Michael are co-authors of The Athele Series. They met in summer of 2006 and married in fall of 2009. They both teach English in South Korea. In his free time, Michael writes, plays video games, plays DnD, and idly contemplates world domination. In her free time, Kaitlin writes, runs, dances, and feeds her 'oo-shiny!' complex.

15 thoughts on “Rejection!

  1. R.G. Morse says:

    I suspect part of “the problem” with many of the rejection slips writers receive is that their works are either being scanned (‘reviewed” is usually too strong a word in my experience as a publisher for over 35 years) by fellow genre authors (say aloha to objectivity), and/or by relative amateurs. I know, I know, this isn’t always the case, but it’s too common to be ignored. As I’m rethinking my latest publishing venture, I’ve decided one of our services is going to be a free front-end read-through of all submitted manuscripts/outlines, resulting in a frank, objective (well, as objective as it gets in this game) appraisal of where we feel the work is currently at in its development, with any recommendations re. what might be required to move it from utter dreckdom to best-seller status. Seems to me that sort of pro feedback — encouraging but unflinchingly honest — is missing out there.

  2. Claire says:

    Thanks for another thought provoking post. I think you’re really brave putting your work out there, I haven’t had the courage to do it yet; but I only really started writing during NaNoWriMo. It is something I want to do and I’ll refer back to this post to cope with the aftermath.

    I have nominated you as one of my favourite versatile bloggers. To see what this means check out my post at:

  3. It’s great that you have such a positive outlook on rejections. I save mine to prove that I’m putting myself out there but, like Wendy, never look at them again.

  4. I always save the rejections–I don’t know why–I don’t look at them again, and have some chocolate.

  5. Malena says:

    I wouldn’t take rejection so well, to be honest. It’s too ‘blunt’. I have self-published a few books, and have enjoyed the process immensely, finding it a very internally rewarding experience as I’ve met different like-minded people (writers and artists), as I’m developing a few project ideas. The thought of getting published is on the sidelines of my mind, but I haven’t pursued it… I’m am having a lot of fun doing what I’m doing now. :)

  6. snacksandwrites says:

    Pitting writer against writer, well, it seams if not inhuman, then at least “unhuman.”

    If “Ego Pin” doesn’t get you noticed, then damn these earthlings!

  7. I treat rejection like depression – I didn’t buy a ticket to it so I don’t ride. There is a lesson in everything, that’s life so back on the horse and try elsewhere -you may even extend, rewrite, change genre or see another plot -never let your writing muse give up!

  8. I dunno. I have a hard time getting ANY feedback out of people. I mean I get new “likes” and “followers” here and there. Feedback is rare though, even when pressing them about it. In my mind this is worse than rejection, critique, or praise. Does that make sense?
    I also have a hard time determining genre. I have been writing poetry and thoughts since I was 6 years old. I tried writing short stories in high school and it didn’t sit well at all with me. In the last year I have been bitten by the short story bug, but most of mine are based around or on real events and people. So, I don’t know how to classify them. The project that I am working on to Simon and Garfunkel, as I have mentioned to you, is my first truly fiction piece that is my own imagination… It scares and excited me but I still have NO idea how to determine genre… Maybe you can write a blog on such to help a lady out :D

  9. epbeaumont says:

    Yup, been there, and recently. My superhero novella Annie Brown and the Superhero Blues was written, beta’d, revised and submitted in under a month this past summer, for the Samhain Superhero Romance anthology call. Well, I had the same problem: romance turned out to be subsidiary to the main plot. A lot of the calls are for romance houses, but I’m not a romance writer. It got me my first form-letter rejection (which I’d frame if it weren’t just electronic) but also got me thinking about what else I could do with the story. Now I’m revising it again (per second-round beta readers) and it’s spawned 3-4 siblings in the same universe. Rejection is a relative thing, after all.

    BTW love the visuals on this post.

    • Kaitlin says:

      Perfect, exactly right. I much prefer my romance to be secondary to another plot, or to dip all the way into erotica (extremes, I enjoy them). I love the name of that story, though!

      • snacksandwrites says:

        I don’t know whether to comment or commiserate, so I’m going with the “emotional response” and commiserate. Screw them!

        Nerves over muscles.

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