Monday, September 16, 2013

Rejection of Authors: Part Five - Constructive Rejection

The best rejection letter is usually a personal one addressed to you, including the name of your story and specific comments about the plot, including what the editor liked and where they think could be improved. Are they rejecting your work in this example? Absolutely, but this time, you now have a lead to follow up on. Perhaps they think you need a faster pace, less or more description, longer chapters, a more exciting beginning or that one character in particular could be more fully developed and even give you a few ideas. They might tell you they’d be happy to look at it again if you make the changes they suggest, so obviously in those circumstances, you should resubmit to the same person. 

Alternatively, the editor might just suggest changes without a commitment to look at the piece again. However, its still worth a try to send it back with a cover letter referring to the editor’s original comments. If they then show no interest, you can simply consider this as free professional advice on how you might improve your story, which you are now free to send somewhere else. And of course, you also still have the original version that you submitted in the first place, which might still be more to a different editor’s taste anyway. 

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