Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rejected. Darn!

Got a rejection in the mail a couple of days ago. I was already irritated because my 18 year old son insists on being a backseat driver. So when I saw the rejection, it just added to my bad mood. When I saw the envelope, I got excited, thinking if it was an acceptance, I'd snap out of it right quick. Alas, there wasn't even a hand-written note from Johnene.

I still have two stories out there and I just sent another earlier in the week. I'm determined to sell at least three stories to them this year.

30 comments:

Mary Jo said...

Well, sh....oot! I know they have only 52 slots to fill in a year, but it is my theory that actually there are only a handful of good writers out there who can write WW stories. Besides the criteria you have hammered home week after week, I think another requirement is that Johnene has to recognize something that she can still carve up into about 600 words and serve to her audience. I am sure she means it literally when she says, "This just didn't work for me...nicely written, though." So,here's to the next sale, yours or mine.

Hey, maybe you should let your boy drive.

Kate Willoughby said...

Oh, he drives all the time. He just loves to nitpick. He was "worried about our safety" when I refused to honk at a truck that was going over the line a little.

Tamara said...

So disappointing. It's worse when there's no note. I hope the next one makes it.

Kate Willoughby said...

Thanks, Tamara. The rejections don't bother me nearly as much as they used to. :)

Pat said...

I know rejections are a fact of life in our field, but the still stink especially when there's no comment. I've only ever had comments on two of my rejections so I feel you pain.

Pat said...

Sorry now I see my dyslexic misspellings. they not the and your not you.

Kate Willoughby said...

No worries. Typos happen. :)

Marion Agnew said...

Kate, it's reassuring to know that someone with your experience and insight still gets rejections.

I just got my first and am curious -- do you know of other markets for these stories? Mine was a bit of a long shot, probably too light on romance. But it's still the "sweet" style.

Tamara said...

I have been searching for an alternative market and cannot find one. A second chance would be welcome.

Mary Jo said...

I know that many, many years ago most of the women's magazines--Good Housekeeping, Ladies' Home Journal, McCalls, Redbook--published well-illustrated short stories every month. Maybe they are still in the archives. They can hardly give those magazines away now as far as subscriptions go. Would it do any good if we wrote to the editors and asked for a return to "the good old days"? Who knows, it might boost their readership.

Mary Jo said...

I just Googled magazines from the 1940's and 50's and found the old old women's magazines offered at as much as $50 for one issue. Wish we hadn't thrown away stacks of old magazines from the family storehouse. Well, who knew? Anyway I am not paying that kind of money to see what is in magazines of sixty or seventy years ago.

Kate Willoughby said...

Marion, there are some people who collect several rejected stories into a bundle and self publish them. I think some people have sold them to Wild Rose Press. :)

Mary Jo, I don't think any other magazines are going to bring back their fiction features unfortunately, but it couldn't hurt to ask.

Tamara said...

I think it's a good idea to pose the idea. I also wrote once to Oprah someplace on her website and suggested that she (since she likes to support women) offer a space for submissions of essays or something from freelancers and pay them a few bucks. I am assuming that they don't take submissions because they don't have guidelines. Also, as I stated in an earlier blog (which may have been bypassed, since everyone moved on to the next posted story), I did self-publish a bunch of my own stories, some rejected and two that had been published. I found mistakes in the book, so I didn't push it for sales, and it's pretty much just sitting there. I'd like to re-publish it eventually and add stories I've written since then.

K. Lawrence said...

Bummer! Nothing like a rejection to make my mood sink. The market seems to be getting smaller and smaller and smaller. The Star used to publish fiction stories that were like Women's World. I still can't believe that most women just want to read about diets, organizing their closets and how to look younger.

Kate Willoughby said...

Oh, yeah, I remember the Star. They didn't pay that much though.

Marion Agnew said...

Thanks for confirming my suspicions re: other markets.

I just can't help but think this is a good opportunity for the right entrepreneur.

Tamara said...

K Lawrence, that's a funny line (diets, organizing their closets, and looking younger). Don't forget the Kardashians; we all need to know their latest moves. I had a couple articles published in the Chicago Tribune's Sunday section for women, but I don't even know if that exists anymore.

K. Lawrence said...

I had some articles in the Chicago Tribune too! That has all dried up it seems within the past 5 or so years. I don't think editors want to/can afford to pay freelancers so they get it off the wire. BTW I'm using my pen name for this because it's on my blog (Schuyler Square)which is connected to gmail but I'm a WW writer too! My real name is Nell Musolf. Can you see why I'm using a pen name? Our last name sounds like a...well, I don't know what it sounds like but it sure ain't pretty! Kate, I love your blog!

Kate Willoughby said...

Nell! I remember typing your name here on this blog! You've sold to WW several times!

K. Lawrence said...

I love WW! I want to turn the clock back to when all of the mags had fiction. I do the same thing you do, Kate--I want to sell 3 stories to WW too this year. However, I'm not holding my breath...

Mary Jo said...

Hey, Nell, I love it! I have sent a story to WW about a really great guy who has a horrible last name, and the girl can't decide if she could ever get past it to marry him. Of course, she does, but I never say what it is. It will be very interesting to me to see if WW will buy it.

Kate Willoughby said...

That sounds like a really interesting story, Mary Jo. With my married last name, I feel like I shoulda thought of that! LOL

Mary Jo said...

The story is called A ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE. Of course it may never see the light of day and anyway it is a long wait.

So, Kate, when are you going to write that little barista story? I won't. I don't even know how to make coffee. Can she (or he?) etch a heart in the foam? Didn't you have a photo like that on the blog?

Pat said...

I sent my first WW reject to The Star. They bought it in 7 weeks and paid $350. I wish I could get that now for a WW reject, I got $50 for the last one I sold.

K. Lawrence said...

Maybe we should all write to the Star and tell them to bring back fiction? I can remember when Good Housekeeping used to have a "Short Short Story" in every issue. It was about a 1000 words long and always sweet. Man, I miss the old days! Sure sign of middle age. Woman's Day and Family Circle used to have fiction too. What--they think women don't want to read anymore?

Mary Jo said...

I once went to a writers conference here in California where a featured speaker was Lee Quarfoot, long-time fiction editor for Good Housekeeping. She went over the whole history of fiction at GH, complete with slide show of their beautiful illustrations. There was a time when all the women's magazines published three or four stories every month. That would be as much as WW does now. I don't know if there was some sort of collusion, but all of the magazines suddenly stopped publishing fiction at the same time in favor of personal experience/how to articles. I really don't get it?????

I never knew about fiction stories in the Star.

Kate, I tried putting this message in a few minutes ago, but when I typed in the code words, I guess I didn't type it right because the screen suddenly flipped over to an ad for starting a blog and my message was erased.

Kath said...

I just got a rejection from W/W today and am a bit bummed out---so happy to find this blog. No comments added, not even a 'nicely written' as someone mentioned. I've only ever tried submitting something once before to a publishing company...not good with taking rejection of any kind...Any kind words appreciated.

Kathy

Mary Jo said...

Kathy, this section of comments may be closed out by now, but maybe you will read this one. The stories you will send out into the world are like children. You do your best with them and then they have to make their own way. It is a story. It is not you. You were not rejected, the story was. For pity sake, write another one and try again. I have sent at least 25 stories to WW, and so far they have accepted two. I would say that half of the rejected stories were as good as if not better than the ones they bought. I think it all depends on whether or not Johnene feels she can rewrite to the WW formula better than (she thinks) the author did it. I am just glad there is still this one little market left.

Kate Willoughby said...

Kathy, I know it's disappointing to get a rejection. Sometimes it can even be devastatingly demoralizing, but if you want to be a professional writer, then you have to get beyond this.

Like Mary Jo said, it's your STORY that they rejected, not you. A rejection is not a judgment of your writing ability. Think of it like a math test. You didn't do so well on one test, but that doesn't mean you can't do math! (Well, actually, if you're like me, you really CAN'T do math, but that's a different story! LOL) A rejected story is only a commentary on that one piece of work, a moment in time in your writing career. You get better with each story you write, published or not. It's all a process. You will never sell if you don't' submit, so keep trying!!! :D

Kate Willoughby said...

Kathy, I know it's disappointing to get a rejection. Sometimes it can even be devastatingly demoralizing, but if you want to be a professional writer, then you have to get beyond this.

Like Mary Jo said, it's your STORY that they rejected, not you. A rejection is not a judgment of your writing ability. Think of it like a math test. You didn't do so well on one test, but that doesn't mean you can't do math! (Well, actually, if you're like me, you really CAN'T do math, but that's a different story! LOL) A rejected story is only a commentary on that one piece of work, a moment in time in your writing career. You get better with each story you write, published or not. It's all a process. You will never sell if you don't' submit, so keep trying!!! :D