Monday, May 19, 2008

Getting your work out there: Ups and Downs

It's been an interesting few days in terms of short story submissions, rejections and acceptances. Seems as though quite a few editors have got to work sorting through slush piles, because in the past week I have heard back about several submissions:
a tiny flash story, Heart, was accepted by Magazine Minima, with suggested edits to cut it from around 50 words to even less, and which I accepted because it's an astonishingly funky online 'zine employing technology beautifully, in my opinion, and I'd love to be in it;
a wonderful email from the editor of Literary Fever saying that she "absolutely loved" my flash, Sweet Music, which is such a wonderful thing to hear, and she'd like to publish it in their Music issue;
a rejection from Flashquake in which two editors' opinions on my story were quoted, one saying "Writing was choppy" and the other that the writing was "intriguing and moving", which I was quite delighted by, because it is not a conventional piece and it was the first time I'd sent it anywhere so to get such differing reactions was somehow appropriate and I was happy someone found it moving;
an acceptance, after almost 7 months, of my flash story Plaits (which won 1st prize in a 300 word flash contest 2 years ago) by Tin Parachute Postcard Review who send their subscribers a flash story on a beautifully-illustrated postcard, and who asked me if, because most of their subscribers are American, I mind changed the title to "Braids" which made me laugh but which I also agreed to because I have run into problems with Americans who think the story is about plates;
a personal rejection from Litro for my previously published and broadcast story, The White Road, in which the editor said they actually were not going for reprints anymore but he enjoyed the story.

So, the ups and downs coming in thick and fast. Personal rejections always make such a difference; form letters are far more depressing. But what's nice is that the disappointment of the rejections is definitely softened by the joy of the acceptances, which never diminishes. It's always a thrill, every time, that someone else actually enjoyed what I wrote, because when I write I write for myself, to amuse myself, and when something is accepted for publication it makes me feel that there are kindred spirits out there, other people who look at the world in the same slightly odd way that I do, and that makes me feel a little less alone in this often-lonely writing business.

To sum up: send out your work, keep sending it out, look for new publications all the time, see what they like, send the right things to the right places, and you will, yes you will, reap the rewards. If I can do it, you can too.


Megan said...

Hello there!
Just wanted to say I completely agree with you, and many congratulations too,

Tania Hershman said...

Hi Megan, thanks so much for stopping by, and thanks for your congrats. Your blog looks very intriguing, I might just join in!


Vanessa G said...

loads of congrats, clever person. What a lot of feedback.

It will be lovely for readers to get 'Braids' through the post! Its a brilliant little piece. Stunning.


Sara said...

Aww, good for you Tania. Delighted to hear of your fresh acceptances, boo hiss to ANY form rejects (which I loathe), and hurrah for those that bother to explain why not.

Anne Brooke said...

Well done on the acceptances! And funny, but I always hate personal rejection communications - I'd rather have a form letter or just be ignored every time. I seriously hate the "yes we loved it but we can't have it because ..." baloney. I rip them up!

But I do realise I'm probably pretty odd ...




Kerry said...

Congratulations on the acceptances and brilliant feedback - they look like great mags/postcards too. Thanks also for the good advice. Having started only this year I am a submission junkie, even with all the highs and lows it is still exciting!

Sarah Hilary said...

Congratulations, Tania, what a lovely list of responses. It's great, I agree, when someone else "connects" with what you've written. (I think we're going to be in the same issue of Literary Fever"!)

Nik's Blog said...

Congrats on the acceptances!