Thursday, June 7, 2007


I've had work rejected by magazines, agents, editors and contests. It hurts. "Don't take it personally" is much easier said than done. But it is part of the game.

Today I had to reject two submissions to Apollo's Lyre. It isn't all that much easier to be the rejector. Especially when I can see the hard work that went into the stories. Both were close. Just not close enough that a quick and dirty edit by me would fix them.

I have sometimes offered to give the author a full critique if they want. In one case the author rewrote based on my suggestions and made the story much stronger. He ended up thanking me publically. That is the exception, however. It takes a lot of time and effort to write a full critique of someone's work. And in all but that one case, I've either been ignored after the critique, received arguments or the rewrite doesn't improve on the original. I know it's frustrating for the author, but it's frustrating for this editor, too.

So, I think I'm done offering full critiques. This attitude is the rule rather than the exception among editors. But it feels like I'm failing the people who submit to AL.

Rejection sucks.

1 comment:

Ali said...

Don't feel bad about not offering full critiques, Deb. After all, if you think about it, that's going against the whole chain of writing.

Step One: write
Step Two: revise
Step Three: submit to a critique group/friend/whatever for input
Step Four: revise
Step Five: submit

In theory, you're the very last step in the cycle. People are supposed to submit to you only when what they've written is as good as it can be.

If it still doesn't cut it, then they go back to steps 1-4. Your job is to basically indicate if they've done enough work or not. That's it. It's the job of their critique group, etc. to address the details.