I've had two rejection slips in the past three days. And I'm feeling good about them. Both were quite positive about my writing. One of them even included fairly long and detailed notes from the slush reader. Of the comments made, I was able to agree with some of them and I've already started re-editing my story before I send it off again. The story will definitely be better for it.
There were, however, a few points made that I strongly disagreed with. Every person has a different opinion and different tastes, but I felt that perhaps a couple of these criticisms of plot showed a lack of life experience on behalf of the reader.
But that's valid too. If those aspects of the story didn't resonate with this reader, then they need to be looked at again.
The shorter rejection was also quite encouraging.
What I found most frustrating was the waiting. One of the submissions was gone for seven months. If every publication took that long before rejection, I could only submit a story three times in two years. And in future, why would any writer wish to submit a second time to a publication with a wait like that?
My other rejection came after only 35 days or so. That was much cooler.
From what I've seen so far, an acknowledgement of receipt from magazines seems to be the exception rather than the rule. It would be nice to know rather than just presume that your story was received.
But that's the way it is, and we writers have to live and work with it. Yes, I know these magazines get mountains of submissions. And I know most of the editors do it in their spare time for little reward. And I know the market is shrinking. And I know...
I do think, however, that an automated acknowledgement is easily possible, and I definitely think that if responses take a lot longer than submission guidelines state, then those guidelines need to be changed.
It's all positive, though. At least I'm getting rejections. Both those stories will be back out in the marketplace by this evening.
And thanks to the editors for their encouraging words and efforts. I truly appreciate it.