Thanks for all the industrious writers out there who have submitted a story to our anthology. We’re happily gathering them up, reading, and making the hard decisions to accept or not.
It’s always a tough call. Many of you write excellent stories, but (here it comes) there are various reasons why we might not accept it. Here are a few that might apply. Keep these in mind the next time you get a rejection letter.
- Someone else wrote a similar story to yours and, frankly, it’s better. This one burns! Both as an editor and writer. The thing is if the other person hadn’t submitted, yours probably would have been accepted. So, yes, it is worth killing off your competition. Joking, of course. No, the thing to do is read your competition. Find out what makes their story better than yours. I’m not saying to copy, but learn and do better next time.
- Your story doesn’t fit the theme. I know, we editors make a vague submission call and ask you to write a story. Then we get all upset when your story isn’t exactly what we had in mind, when what we had in mind in the first place was pretty vague. There’s no excuse. I can’t offer too much advice here other than to ask questions. An editor might offer some guidance. If they don’t, keep submitting that story until it finds a home!
- Pet peeves. Yes, we all have them. I know an editor/writer who cringes when a writer misuses (or doesn’t use) the oxford comma. Another can’t stand it when “almond eyes” is used to signify an Asian person (rightfully). And then there’s my writing buddy – if something bores him, that’s it. He stops reading. These deal breakers often trump an otherwise good story. And there’s nothing you can do about it. Simply edit (if warranted) and keep submitting.
- Waffling. Yes, writers waffle. I know, stunning revelation, no? Sometimes, when you start writing a story, it takes a while to get into the groove. Even if you’ve created an outline and sticking to it, it takes a while to get into your story world. It may only take a few sentences or even paragraphs, but often those very first words are more for you, the writer, than the reader. You’re setting up the story and it shows. We don’t want to read it. Before submitting your story, take a good look at the beginning and make sure you’re actually starting where your story begins.
- Lack of editing. Get back to basics, people. No matter how great your story is, if it is riddled with formatting issues or misplaced (or missing) commas or even (gasp) misspellings, it distracts from the story and we’ll just give up.
I hope you found that useful.
Until the deadline…keep writing!