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Symphonyofnames
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Does it mean something if one receives a rejection letter after about 12 days instead of the stated 8 weeks? It doesn't sound like a form letter, but it may just be an informal one.
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Meredith
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Don't feel bad. I got my first rejection letter (e-mail, of course) the same day I sent the queries.

The second came the next day. The second one sounded more encouraging.

quote:
As to your material I'm afraid I must pass -- I'm just not
enthusiastic enough about the premise of your story to feel that I'd
be the right agent for the project.

At least it sounds like it's specifically about my story. But, then again, we don't know what their form letter is.


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Robert Nowall
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I just got a rejection from one of the Big Three SF magazines. It's the same computer-generated form letter they sent me for the previous three rejections. At least I know they read my manuscript as far as the title on the first page...

(Lest I be seen as objecting too much, the other two Big Three mags usually send me a photocopied form letter.)


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snapper
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F & SF, right Robert?

Clarkesworld says to expect a two to three month wait for a response. Got my reject in four hours after I sent it.


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Owasm
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I think it must be. I got a F&SF rejection that had at least a colored logo and my name, address and title.

As far as Meredith's response... that kind of language is code for "form rejection"


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Robert Nowall
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Well, I didn't want to name names, but...yes, F & SF.
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Symphonyofnames
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Owasm: I got the same from F&SF. If they answer quicker than stated, does that mean a work is particularly good or bad? Or just that they got to it sooner than expected?
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Meredith
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quote:
As far as Meredith's response... that kind of language is code for "form rejection"

Yea, I kind of figured. At least it was a little more nicely written than the first.

Four queries still out. I have to work up my list for the next round. Can't just be waiting around.


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Pyre Dynasty
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I once did the postcard thing (you put a self-addressed stamped postcard in the package for them to send when they open it, don't know if it's a good idea or not but it sounded fun to try once) I got the reject letter three days before the postcard arrived.
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Robert Nowall
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A sidetrack thought...one of the things that appealed to me about writing and posting Internet Fan Fiction was the eventual realization that there were people out there who were willing to read my work beyond the title page. When I took up writing Internet Fan Fiction---and also right now---I got the feeling I was writing into a void.

The best rejection slips I've ever gotten were from the George Scithers-edited Asimov's (and, later, Amazing), where I got the manuscripts back with helpful notes that made me a better writer once I digested what they said.

What I get back from the Big Three right now is no help at all.


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snapper
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I have been told that the F & SF letter from MR Adams is always the same with the exception of a few words and those two or three words mean a lot. For example when he says it failed to capture his interest he is saying he gave up on page one. failed to keep his interest meant he gave up somewhere in the middle of it.
There was a list and I wished I remembered where I read it and what they all were. Of course, it probably was a writer that spends too much time reading between the lines.

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Robert Nowall
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I tried Googling "decoding rejection slips" and "decoding rejection letters," but didn't turn up anything of interest. Perhaps a further refinement of search terms...
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Symphonyofnames
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My letter from Mr. Adams from F&SF said "I'm going to pass on it. The tale didn't quite work for me, I'm afraid." Not sure what that means, but at least it didn't fail to keep his interest.
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Owasm
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"...but I'm going to pass on it. This tale didn't quite work for me, I'm afraid. Good luck..."

Does this sound familiar? It's a form rejection, but I do like it when they put your title into the body of the rejection. It shows a little time was taken by someone.


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Symphonyofnames
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Yeah, that's the one I got. I'd be happy if he just read the entire thing.
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Pyre Dynasty
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That's better than my "it just didn't grab me" which means the reader didn't get past page one.
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Robert Nowall
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It is their form letter:

*****

[logo]The Magazine of
Fantasy and Science Fiction
[their address]

[date]

[name and address]

Dear Mr./ Mrs./ Ms. [last name]:

Thank you for submitting "[name of story]," but I'm goint to pass on it. This tale didn't grab my interest, I'm afraid. Good luck to you with this one, and thanks again for sending it our way.

Sincerely,
[signature]
John Joseph Adams
Assistant Editor

JJA/hs

[website]

*****

Anybody here ever gotten more than that from F & SF?


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jdt
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Here's my favorite:

Dear xxx,

Thank you for submitting your work to xxxxxxxxxxxx. We read your novel with interest and found much to admire -- you clearly have talent! -- but I'm afraid that ultimately we didn't think the work was a good fit for our list and we're going to have to pass on representation.

Do know that opinions and lists differ greatly in this industry and I hope another agent is enthusiastic about this. I wish you the best of luck and hope to see your name on a bookshelf soon!

Best,

I got excited for just a second, then I realized: they just said no. But at least they responded. Over half haven't.


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Owasm
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For agent rejections on my first novel, a SF space opera, submitted in February:

Email 6 non-responses out of 12 emails

Mail 2 non-responses out of 14 mailed queries

I did get two requests for writing samples... later rejected. One email query and one mailed query.

The conclusion is if you want rejections rather than non-responses, if the agents take mail submissions with SASE's send those. Emails are cheap, easy and the agents look at them that way, so don't expect much feedback.

[This message has been edited by Owasm (edited May 27, 2009).]


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snapper
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I just received a rejection from Snipets today. It was about three sentences which included an apology for taking so long.
I don't know what they meant by 'taking so long'. I only had to wait 465 days for a response.

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Crank
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quote:
"...but I'm going to pass on it. This tale didn't quite work for me, I'm afraid. Good luck..."

Must be an epidemic. I just got one of those from F&SF the other day. Eight days after I sent it to them.

S!
S!


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Robert Nowall
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I once had a semi-pro magazine sit on a short story for two years, then reject it with a Xeroxed slip---a poorly Xeroxed slip.

On the other hand, a major publishing house sat on three-chapters-and-an-outline for over a year. After a query, I got an apologetic letter---and a quick rejection.

No news is not good news...


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Zero
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but no noose still is
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Meredith
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Short and to the point:

quote:
This is not for me, but thank you for the look.

After 3 days.

[This message has been edited by Meredith (edited June 04, 2009).]


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Starweaver
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quote:
"...but I'm going to pass on it. This tale didn't quite work for me, I'm afraid. Good luck..."

quote:
Must be an epidemic. I just got one of those from F&SF the other day. Eight days after I sent it to them.

Just got one too. Wondering if I'm justified in regarding this as a step up from "just didn't grab my interest"?

Got one from Abyss and Apex that I'm wondering about. It said "This story was well received here, but after some thought we have decided not to accept it for publication."

Must be a form letter, as no specific reference to anything in the story, but I wonder if "well received" implies something encouraging.

?


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Merlion-Emrys
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I think thats just there way of saying that the fact that they rejected it doesn't mean its awful or bad. A lot of form letters include something like that, some times very direct, some times a bit obtuse.
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rich
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Yeah, I've gotten the same thing from Abyss and Apex.

Bottomline: It doesn't really matter WHY they rejected it, the fact is they rejected it. My own opinion is that any rejection is not something to agonize over, or try to read between the lines.

Do a quick reread (usually it's been some time since one has sent the story out so one may spot something "wrong" with the story), send it back out to another market, and continue working on another story.

Production is the key.


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tchernabyelo
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Wendy Delmater wrote an A&A editorial about their rejection letters - not listing them precisely, but giving a fair idea of where on the scale you came.

See http://www.abyssandapex.com/200901-editorial.html


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D_James_Larkin
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Like others here have indicated, I would be thankful for the reply. Over half the the submissions I sent in the first year or two didn't even get that.

[This message has been edited by D_James_Larkin (edited June 09, 2009).]


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