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Author Topic: Rejection Letter
KnightEnder
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Well, I got my first 'rejection letter' today. I know it is a badge of honor (according to OSC & I agree with his reasoning), but it still hurts a little. [Frown] Here is the letter in its entirety.


quote:

Dear Contributor:

Thank you very much for letting us see the enclosed submission. Unfortunately, it does not suit the needs of the magazine at this time.

Your submission has been read by an editor, but the press of time and manuscripts does not permit personal replies or criticism. For your general information, though, most stories are rejected because they lack a new idea or theme. A great many of the ideas that may seem innovative to an SF newcomer are in fact overfamiliar to readers more experienced in the field. The odds greatly favor this being the cause of this rejection.

Do you think the last is really directed at me or just more form letter? Just a reason for the rejected writer? I would have to admit mine wasn't a completely original idea (are there any?) but, I thought I had done it in a way I hadn't seen it done before.

Oh, well, nothing to do but write some more and send them off. Still better odds than the loterry, right? [Smile]

KE

[ May 23, 2005, 08:24 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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aupton15
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I know this isn't necessarily tailored to your rejection letter, but I found it mildly amusing when I was applying to graduate schools (between bouts of depression and hopelessness).

http://www.socialpsychology.org/reject.htm

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KnightEnder
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That's funny.
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KidA
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Ack! What magazine sent you that rejection letter? Tasteless - but then most rejection letters are.

As you say, you should definitatly keep writing. But what about the rejected story? Will you send it elsewhere? I think you should.

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RickyB
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It's a form letter. Which one did you send? Second coming?
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KnightEnder
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Yes, "Second Coming" to Asimov. Yes, I will be sending it to other magazines, per OSC's advice. I guess I will have to lower my aim.

As for the letter, I did find the last condescending. Though I am not a professional writer, I am no 'newcomer' either. I have read everything from Asimov to Wells, and I don't recall any story like mine. An alien pretending to be Jesus Christ in order to take over the world? Have any of you? Or am I just reading too much into a form letter?

KE

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KidA
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KE,

Since it's a form letter, you should consider any "advice" given in the letter worse than useless. Ignore it. And DON'T lower your aim until EVERY major magazine has rejected your story. And if you do reach that point, don't look at it as "lowering your aim" in any sense other than remuneration. Some of the smaller magazines and online publications publish extroardinary work, and Asimov, Analog, FSF, and even New Yorker have put out their share of horse-s**t. An editor is just a person with a personal preference.

I'm sorry I haven't read your story yet - maybe now that I'm done with grad school, I can spend some time in the Ornery Workshop. How do I get a copy?

I will say that I'm pretty sure the Jesus-as-alien thing has been done before, but I can't say by who. But many SF editors overstate the importance of being "the first" to have an idea. It's execution that counts.

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msquared
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KE

Here is your problem " I have read everything from Asimov to Wells". Zelazny. [Smile]


He must have written such a story. [Smile]

msquared

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KnightEnder
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Thanks Kid, I'll send you copies of the stories we have worked on, including that one.

M2, lol. I considered that, but I couldn't honestly think of any science fiction authors that started with a Z.

I really would be interested if any of you have heard of a story that is like mine. I know there must be some, but I don't know of them and I would like to see how close they are too each other, and how the other writer handled the story.

I agree with Kid that execution is important as almost everything has been done, but I do realize that we should stay away from those stories that have become cliche. In fact I have a writers guide book that lists some of the more cliched stories.

Oddly enough, one of the top ten cliched stories was the "computer game turns out to be real" story. The guy had to point out that OSC did the no-no and it turned out rather well. So I guess there are exceptions. I'll post the rest of them later.

KE

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KidA
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Thanks KE. It may take me a while to catch up with everything, but I'll start with yours.
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Richard Dey
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KE: You will receive dozens, scores, even hundreds of these stupid things until you get an agent.
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KidA
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I have to disagree with RD. If you want to publish a book, you'll need an agent or someone who knows one.

But you can publish short stories without an agent. It happens all the time. Don't expect much money though.

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Zyne
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Congrats on losing your rejection virginity!
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KnightEnder
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Thanks Zyne. The worst part is that I no longer get to go to the mail box everyday excited with anticipation. I guess I'll have to mail one off real quick. I can see how this would get addictive.

KE

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kenmeer livermaile
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Form letter. But it's polite and attempts to be informative (form pun begs ebsolution). That's good.

As for getting addicted to this... some folks like wearing teeth guards more than others?

Ah well, a kick in the teeth is STILL better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick...

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canadian
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You know, I think it was Del Rey who wrote a short story about Aliens invading earth.

SPOILER ALERT!!!


********************************************

*********************

************

******

**

*


A Catholic priest gets behind enemy lines and finds a "tent" with the same dimensions as Soloman's temple, and as he makes his way into the Holy of Holies, there is an Alien kneeling in front of a glowing altar and the Voice of The Lord is speaking.

Something along the lines of, "Well, done, my good and faithful servant. Smite thee thine enemies who have become displeasing to mine eye.." or some such.

[ May 25, 2005, 07:58 PM: Message edited by: canadian ]

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canadian
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By The Way:

Congratulations KE!!!!

[Smile] [Roll Eyes] [Roll Eyes] [Eek!] [Eek!] [Roll Eyes] [Roll Eyes] [Smile]

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Zyne
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I am jealous. I have sent off one story, ever, to the New Yorker (shoot high). They never bothered to respond at all.
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KnightEnder
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Thanks canadian.

KL, I meant getting addicted to the anticipation of the reply, not the rejection.

Zyne, the second story I sent off "Anger is a Relative" I sent to the New Yorker. I don't know about when you sent yours, but nowadays they only accept email submissions, so I emailed it. No reply yet. But email anticipation doesn't seem to as much fun as going to the mail box.

KE

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