Don't worry, we've all been there . Nothing for it but to send it back out and hope the next people are more receptive. I would count it a good sign that you got a personal response, though. Few and far between, those.
But best of luck next time around, and fingers crossed.
Consider it a good sign that you got a personal rejection. The only pro venue I know that consistently gives feedback with every sub is Beneath Ceaseless Skies. With the others, it usually means that you impressed somebody somewhere.
And remember that you can have a good story that still doesn't get published.
You are off to a good start. None of my personal notes have been lengthy. Whether it's the one note form JJA or the ones that always give comments; like Beneath and Black Gate. (If BG will ever reopen again)
Not as good as sell but that is very rare on the first few submissions.
Been there very recently. Strange Horizons promises a response in 70 days, 70 came and went. A query from me followed (they implore you to send one when 70 days hits). A standard rejection was all I received. Other disappointments...
Waited 11 months. Their online tracking indicated it was in their second round. Got an apology but nothing about the piece itself I sent them other than 'sorry for taking so long'.
Made it to their 3rd round and it got there quick, 3 days. It sat there for 3 months (the maximum they'll hold it). Editor sent back a one sentence critique, half of it mentioning the wizard and his white horse (really? it said). I only mentioned the color of the horse once in my 8000 word story and that was in the first scene. The horse had nothing to do with the plot at all.
Black Gate - two years
Withdrew my story 11 months after I sent it (even got a response from the editor acknowledging the withdrawal). Submitted it to another place and the editor accepted after a lot of back and forth on a rewrite (a couple of months). 7 months after it was printed, BG sent me a rejection with a nice critique. Don't know what I would have done if they would have wanted it.
8 weeks is long but their are plenty that will take longer. Ask anyone who has submitted to Bull Spec, IGMS, and Tor.
Sniplits has had one of my stories for 264 days. At least, their web site hinted they would be backlogged, and that's exactly what happened. I'm not bummed or stressed about it in the least; as long as it's still in consideration, I'm fine with the wait.
Black Gate had one of mine for way over a year, I sent it in toward the end of their open window and thought it must have gotten there late. Or got lost. I sent the story out two to four times before I got the rejection. At least they say something nice with each rejection.
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There isn't a published writer in the world that hasn't been rejected. In fact, consider it a milestone. My first rejection was also a personal one, and I took it as encouragement and sent the magazine a thank you note (probably unnecessary).
The best thing to do is just send right back out there.
I tend to take personal replies as evidence of the write direction. In fact one reply from Apex about Dragons was basically a rewrite request. I made a few edits and the next publisher picked it up. Keep submitting, just make sure that you are aiming at the right markets.
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8 weeks and a personal rejection is a LOT better than many places.
I've said it before and I will say it again - writing is NOT the busines to be in if you are in a hurry.
I currently have a piece at Black Gate that has been waiting for more than two years - John said a few weeks ago that he'd get to it Real Soon Now. For other markets I'd be irked, but Black Gate have bought three out of three stories so far so I'll cut them plenty of slack!
I'll get my 250th rejection soon (I'm at 248 so far). You just have to learn to accept it. Hopefully, I'll also get my 38th sale soon...
According to my submission tracker on Duotrope, I've made 42 submissions in the last year. Want to know how many acceptances I got? Zero.
Part of that depends on what you consider a semi-final at WotF. But know that my Semi-final winner has been rejected at all of the pro pubs that take 12,000 word stories - without a single personal note. It is now in the black hole of submissions at Tor.com. If they don't bite, I'll self-pub it because I know its a good story.
quote:How was meeting George? (if you discount the 5 hours spent in line)
Considering the time he spent sitting there, George was very polite. A girl in front of me asked him how is he enjoying his stay and he said "It was charming a few hours ago."
When it was my turn, I told him I am a writer myself. He asked if I write fantasy and then said it might be best to start writing in English and I said that I do. At the end he said he hopes to see my book soon. I know he was just being polite but I still get the sense I should send him a link of the story when I publish it online. He probably gets hundreds of such mail but hey we're all human.
All in all, those 30 seconds talking to George were well worth standing in line for 5 hours.
[This message has been edited by MartinV (edited June 29, 2011).]
Perhaps someone should consider a "Best of Hatrack" annual e-anthology. Well, perhaps not so titled because of "Hatrack" being an OSC trademark, but "Fruits from the Treehouse" might suffice.
While Members could award points for their favorites in the established model under Writing Challenges; ideally there would be a final panel of judges with professional publishing credits like Brad or Eric.