On Rejection: My first ever story submission

I finally took that big leap and sent a short story out to a publisher.  People have been encouraging me for well over a year.  I never felt like it was quite “finished”.  There was always something that could be better, and that held me back from letting it go.

That little train of thought goes like this:

I can never get published if I never submit anything.

But it’s also impossible to get rejected if I never submit anything.  

Oh, the dilemma.

Then I just decided (with a little nudging from a writer-friend) that it was just time to put it out there.  Rejections be damned, I was going to have to just send it out.

Where?  How to decide?

I joined Duotrope, which I have already found to be a helpful investment.  You can create an account, search for markets that are looking for your writing, and see statistics of many different markets.  You can log your submissions and it shows you: how long it has been out there, the average response time and more.  It’s $5/mo but I’m not complaining.

I looked at Science Fiction Writer’s of America to come up with a list of places that pay “professional” rates for stories.  Then I browsed through some different markets until I found one that sounded like it would be a good fit for my story.  The piece I submitted is a Steampunk Time Travel short story, 3900 words.

Stats from Duotrope on my selected market:

Genres, Styles & Subjects

F Fantasy SubGenres: Heroic Fantasy, Historical, Steampunk, Sword & Sorcery, Weird Western.

Types & Lengths

S Short Story 1000 – 7500 words


2.81 %

1/22/13 – Submission


24 days later my inbox offers up a personal rejection.  I’m taking solace in the fact that they accept less than 3% of submissions.   How many stories do I need to submit before one finally gets accepted?  You do the math.

All in all, I am proud of myself for putting it out there.  I can use this personal rejection to try to fix problems I have with this story.  AND, I’m starting a really cool wallpaper project for my office.  I just need some more rejections to make it work…