Miranda: Another perspective on rejection
Those of you who receive the Glimmer Train newsletter may have seen this already, but for everyone else, here’s a reassuring take on rejection from Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of Pay it Forward among other novels. An excerpt from her article:
It might sound like dwelling on the negative if I say I received 122 short story rejections before my first acceptance. But, for writers just starting out, it’s important to hear. If you know I was rejected more than a thousand times while placing 50 stories, it might be hard for you to justify giving up after five printed slips….Just about every one of my rejected stories has gone on to be published. Without further revision. Some were rejected a handful of times. Others garnered over 50 rejections before finding a home.
Hyde offers several reassuring reasons for why submissions may be rejected. Her full article (it’s short) is online at Glimmer Train.
What’s your own personal quota on submitting before you “shelve” a piece? Five, ten, twenty–no limit? Personally, if a short story I wrote isn’t accepted or doesn’t place in a contest, I look at it again, revise, and send it on out. I like the feeling of having stories in the queue somewhere–sure, the chances of publication or winning are usually small, but it’s a numbers game. You certainly can’t sell or win if you’re not submitting. If you believe in what you wrote, keep it out there.