I sent a short story off in May and waited for the publishers to get back to me. It’s a small Scottish publication and probably wasn’t the best market for my piece but it is local and I wanted to have a crack. My fears were that they were after high-end stuff and this turned out to be the case. My psych-horror didn’t really fit with their style but I got a nice reply and some comments as to why my story wasn’t published.
“This story is very well written – and obviously you’ve been keen to respond to the guidelines. However, I suspect your story has suffered as a result – you’re trying too hard and forgetting about listening to the internal demands of your own story. The result is a work which as a bit OTT, out of balance and lacks the psychological depth I generally look for – and it’s a bit difficult to follow and empathise with. What I really want is work which is most fully itself – and which is of high quality – not that which fulfils external requirements! I hope you find these comments helpful and that you’re not too disappointed. Competition to appear in the pages of Chapman is extremely fierce.”
So pretty positive really although I don’t entirely agree with their comments. I’ll send it off to someone else, there’s a few horror publishers out there. Right now I just want to get something, anything published and then I can build from that.
Even rejection can be positive and it is my first rejection – it’s a writer’s milestone, not a millstone.