The Art of Rejectomancy



When I first started thinking about submitting to pro markets (aka sci fi and fantasy magazines), my friend Shannon recommended I record the data in Duotrope (and, when it when paid-for, she directed me to The Submission Grinder, which does much the same and is free). Rejectomancy was a term I first came across when I joined the Codex writers’ forum, though the leader of our crit group, Frances, likens rejections to a perverse but logical RPG that she calls CentiBrads where you level up and get bonus points when you hit fifty or one hundred of the little buggers.

At first I didn’t get why but, now, at the end of my first six months of actually submitting stuff I totally get why. Half the time I can’t remember where I submit stories so I rely on the Grinder to tell me. That’s what my main page looks like; a list of markets, stories and how they fared and money made. It’s not actually 100% accurate as both my recent sales have been to non-listed markets (and there’s the rub; to log the data, the market has to be listed and Future Chronicles aren’t).

I have maybe a dozen nearly done/final revision stories. I estimate a month of work will see me with a nice pile to submit to places. The odd might not be in my favour but I’m still determined to try, even if all I get are form/personal rejections. At the same time I have final edits on A Star Filled Sea to finish for my Kickstarter backers. I can easily balance out the work but once I get this production line on short stories up and running, it should make my life easier.

I got a rejection yesterday which is fine because two of my friends didn’t and I’m starting to review the idea of a rejection as a positive; a chance to revise/tighten a story or just submit to a new market. My crit group reminds me, quite realistically, that just because Market A subjected Story B then it doesn’t mean the story is flawed, just that the editor at Market A didn’t think it fit them. That’s fine, not every pair of trousers or shoes fits you, sometimes you have to get to the fourth pair.

I need a Post It with that scribbled on it, it’s a surprisingly hard thing to remember. And very important.

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