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Rejection from Highlights

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I have a couple pieces being reviewed for Highlight's. The one I'm most hopeful about is still in play but I just received a rejection for my other piece which I thought (of course) was quite interesting, not to mention many hours of work and interviews. The box that was checked as the reason for rejecting was "It doesn't suit our current needs". Which kind of seems like a catch-all for "It just wasn't good enough but we can't/don't have time to really tell you why"

My question for you folks, should I try this piece again with another magaine? (And if so, which would you suggest?) Or does this rejection mean I should give up on the piece or heavily revise it? I had so many critiques and went through so many revisions that I just don't know how else to improve it except to scrap and start from scratch. Ugh.....I just felt really good about this article.

Sorry for the long post. I guess my question is, when you get rejected from one magazine, do you try at other magazines? Which do you suggest? Or do I first need to take a red pen to it, do more interviews, etc?
#1 - January 19, 2013, 04:35 PM
THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC (Boyds Mills Press, Fall 2018)

I'm still "new" at this game myself, but I say you should try and send it to another magazine.  Check out the theme lists that are out there and see if your story matches what someone is looking for.  If the story was rejected multiple times, I might give up on it or do some revisions...but for only one rejection, I say keep on submitting. ::-)  Good luck!
#2 - January 19, 2013, 04:40 PM
I've always said I'll write someday...my someday is now.

That's the box Highlights usually uses in a rejection, and it means just that--for whatever reason, it's not right for them. It may mean the work isn't strong enough for them, but it may also be they already have enough on that topic or the style's not quite right for them, or whatever else. Remember the volume of submissions they receive. Highlights is going to reject a large percentage because the children's magazine market is extremely competitive. However, your piece might be just right for another magazine (I assume it's non-fiction given the number of interviews you've done.) You need to research specific markets and see where else it might fit better. Each magazine has its own orientation--the stories and articles in Highlights have a very different feel from those in the Bug magazines, for example, or in Pockets (a Christian magazine.)

And good luck on the piece that's still under consideration.
#3 - January 19, 2013, 04:50 PM

Something similar happened to me with Highlights, Amanda Sue. I took another look at my NF ms and felt it deserved a second chance, so I researched other mags and sent it on its way again. The very next mag I subbed to accepted it. So don't give up yet after all of your hard work! You really never know, but it may be just what the next editor is looking for.  :goodluck
#4 - January 19, 2013, 05:23 PM
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I agree with what others have advised, Amanda Sue.  I've had several stories rejected by Highlights that I've subbed to other magazines and received acceptances.

Right now the Fun For Kidz magazines have lots of themes open, so if you're interested in subbing to them, you might want to check to see if your article fits with one of those themes.

Best wishes on your piece that's still being considered by Highlights.
#5 - January 19, 2013, 05:39 PM

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Amanda--definitely send the piece out to other magazines. Just because Highlights didn't take it does not mean your piece wasn't good. It just means that article or subject didn't work for them. When you're scoping out new magazine possibilities, be sure to note their word length limits and readership age. Believe it or not, this is a big reason for a lot of rejection slips.

Good luck.
#6 - January 19, 2013, 09:28 PM
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Thanks everyone! I think with a little revision (okay a lot, I have to cut around 300 words) I could make it work for a couple different Fun for Kidz themes. So I will try that first.

Thanks for giving me some hope. Sometimes rejection doesn't phase me, but today it was a real blow!
#7 - January 19, 2013, 10:33 PM
THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC (Boyds Mills Press, Fall 2018)

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Hi, Amanda Sue--don't give up!  I had a story rejected by Highlights that was later published as an easy reader book by Continental Press, another that was the story-of-the-day on Knowonder, and a craft project Highlights rejected will appear in the March/April issue of Turtle.  I'm a firm believer in recycling!
#8 - February 24, 2013, 10:26 PM

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Wow, awful, that's great recycling!
#9 - February 27, 2013, 09:05 PM
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