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First rejection letter

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Hi, I'm a newbie!
I just received my first rejection letter.  This is exciting & disappointing all at once.  It was a personal & encouraging rejection letter.  My story needs work & I know this.  The editor felt the story was not a good fit. (I had submitted because they publish local authors.)
I submitted simultaneously, should I start revising or just wait & see?
#1 - March 24, 2014, 10:52 AM
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Congratulations! You are now officially a professional writer. Getting a rejection letter means you are working and putting your work out there--and that's hard! You say you know your story needs work, so get to working on it so it'll shine even more the next time it heads out the door!
#2 - March 24, 2014, 12:27 PM

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Marla, I'd advise you to start writing a new story while you wait more responses on your current query. If you find a lot of editors give similar feedback, then you'll have a direction in which to revise the story. Remember it's subjective, if it wasn't a good fit for one, doesn't mean that will be true for all.


Also, it's best not to query too soon. If you think a story needs work, try getting some critiques from other writers and making your work the best it can be before sending it out. If a story really needs a lot of work, you are more likely to get form rejections than useful feedback from agents/publishers.


Good luck!
#3 - March 24, 2014, 01:02 PM
« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 01:04 PM by Artemesia »
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Just want to say, congratulations for being brave and getting that first R under your belt. Save it and start a file--one day, you can show all the Rs inside to people as you tell them the story of your journey to success!
#4 - March 24, 2014, 01:08 PM
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 I've started a new story on the same topic, just a different angle.  Definitely not throwing out the first one though, I don't want to jump the gun on revising the first one yet.  It's a topic that is close to my heart. 

I do have a first draft done on a completely unrelated manuscript.  I feel that this one is stronger and would be a good fit for the same publisher.  I will keep chipping away at it.  I have a few other ideas written down as well. 
#5 - March 24, 2014, 05:19 PM
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Just wanted to say congrats on receiving a personal, encouraging rejection for your very first one. Most of us suffered through dozens of form rejections before we ever got anything even remotely personal. Good job!  :yay
#6 - March 24, 2014, 05:54 PM
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Hi

Great that you got a rejection letter so that you know where you stand. Sometimes we think our work is great but only do these rejection letters help us to put in all our efforts. My story had been rejected three times. BUt now the same editor wants me to work on it with changes i couldnt see.
So it helps you to improve.
Arti
#7 - March 25, 2014, 01:59 AM

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A first rejection that is both encouraging and personal is a great way to start the game! Congratulations!

I think you're doing the right thing to work on something new while you wait for further feedback.
#8 - March 26, 2014, 02:58 PM
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I second Artemesia. Exchanging work with other writers can be a really helpful thing. You will receive feedback on how others perceive your work, but even more importantly, you'll start to look at other writers' work critically, and in the process learn more about your own.


Continue to submit (and revise), but take your time, and learn from the critiques and the rejection letters. I once received a rejection letter that I didn't even UNDERSTAND until two years later!


The most important thing Arty said: Start on a new project. Your writing will grow with each manuscript.


Good luck!  :)
#9 - March 26, 2014, 05:22 PM
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 09:12 AM by Mrs. Jones »
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congrats on putting yourself out there, and a personal rejection is usually a good sign. If the feedback resonated with you I'd say start thinking about how you might adapt your work to fix things but I'd also wait a bit to see what else comes back since you have other submissions out there. This is where subjectivity really comes into play. It's best to send things out in batches and see what happens then step back and reevaluate if you need to. Sort of how you would when you get a batch of feedback from critique partners. If one person says something and it doesnt ring true you can choose to ignore it but if many people are pointing at the same issue you might have something you need to work on.

And as others have said, start working on the next thing. It's a nice distraction from all the waiting and NO and possible yes's. And if the first one doesnt end up working out you have the next one ready in the wings :)

Good luck on your journey to finding a home for your book. It's tough out there but keep at it and it'll happen.
#10 - March 27, 2014, 08:26 AM

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Congratz on your first rejection. Welcome to the club - we are a large group.

You say you know your story needs work. Do you know what that work is? Might I suggest you wait until you hear back from the others you sent to before revising. You never know when a helpful note will come in a rejection letter. And if you receive an acceptance or revise and resubmit, you'll need to follow their suggestions.

Meanwhile, have fun with the next story.
#11 - March 31, 2014, 08:40 AM
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This thread is full of great advice. I second, third, fourth it! Congrats.
#12 - March 31, 2014, 09:59 AM
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Definitely good news to get something personalized.  Editors and agents are such busy people that it can only be encouraging when they take the time to go above and beyond a form letter.  I would second the advice mentioned above about writing new stories while waiting to hear back on submitted work.  Because the publishing industry moves so slowly, exclusively waiting to learn the fate of a particular piece of work causes huge expanses of unproductive time down the road where your work isn't "out there"--and it's super stressful to keep refreshing the inbox button waiting to hear back on a single story (I definitely did that!).  Best to spend that time writing new stuff and, as much as possible, try to forget that already submitted work exists.  Good luck to you!!
#13 - April 02, 2014, 06:35 AM

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Hi, I'm a newbie!
I just received my first rejection letter.  This is exciting & disappointing all at once.

I know what you mean. I've now gotten three rejections. LOL It's true what they say about developing a THICK skin. ;) In the meantime, just keep writing, revising, and learning the craft! Best of luck to you.
#14 - April 02, 2014, 08:13 AM
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