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Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The Red Cross Of Rejection

Teachers used to put red crosses by mistakes and they don't do this any more. A pity, I think. Crosses are disappointing, but we learn more from them than we do from the ticks.

Perhaps growing up with my fair share of red crosses means rejections of my fiction submissions are easier to bear. I know that I am not being criticised personally, but that my work is unacceptable for a good reason. Or for several good reasons!

Unacceptable work doesn't mean bad work. It means that it isn't required by that particular publication at that particular time. They might want the next piece of work you send them. Or the piece of work will suit another publication.

I have had stories rejected twice, but snapped up the third time round. So there is always a market somewhere. You just have to keep trying.

It is also good to look carefully at the story again before each submission. There may be some glaring mistakes when you look at it again.

It's a shame that editors can't put a few red crosses on and then we could see clearly, after the initial pang of disappointment, where the faults lie. I don't mean grammar/spelling mistakes, but areas where the story falls flat or confuses the reader.

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