First Rejection! First Acceptance!

This morning I got my first rejection! Thank goodness I’d decided not too care too much.

There are two other publications I’m waiting to hear from, and while I’m hoping they accept my work, I understand completely if they don’t. They must get hundreds of submissions, and to read through them all must be a lot of work. I can’t imagine having to read so much work–a lot of it really good work, probably–and then having to narrow down my choices.

But back to me….

I’d submitted to a magazine… I’ll call it On Fleek, because it rhymes with the real name. On Fleek sent an email, which said:

 Dear Saffron Grey:

We’re sorry we can’t use “Title,” which you submitted to [On Fleek Magazine]. We have received a great deal of work by writers who will not be included in the final selection, but we do appreciate your having thought of [On Fleek Magazine].

We wish you all the best with your writing; thank you for giving us the opportunity to read it.

So sweet and kind.

But it’s nothing to worry about. For one thing, I can take the opportunity to look over the submission I’d sent, or just give it a quick polish and send it somewhere else.

In terms of this title, I’ve been thinking to enter it into a contest my university has every spring. The submissions are looked over by faculty members–English professors–so I think it’ll be a nice opportunity for more people to look at it.

Anyway, I’ve briefly mentioned in a couple of other posts about having a short story of mine accepted by a publication. Here is that email:

Attached is the contract for your short story, which we would like to publish in Journal A. For this contract, we’re just using a “digital” signature. Enter your name and contact info at the bottom in order to indicate that you agree to these terms. Also be sure to include an email address to send your payment to. […]

Please also provide a biography for yourself, no more than 100 words.

Let me know if you have any questions.

So I’ve had good and not-good news.

I’m not yet mentioning the name of the publication that’s accepted my work for a few reasons.

1. It’s not polite to brag. I could be asking for bad karma. My mentioning getting published is strictly for promotional and educational purposes.

2. Publications are asking to buy the right to publish your work, but when they’ll publish it is a different story. Some might say they wish to publish your story for the upcoming issue, or the one after. Others might want to buy the rights to hold onto your story until they have an issue where it will best fit. The contract might state something like “The Publisher agrees to publish the Work within one (1) year of the execution of this contract” or something similar, like 6 months. READ CONTRACTS CAREFULLY.

3. I’m half-worried they might stumble across this blog and see what I’ve been talking about. My use of the name “Saffron Grey” is to have an online identity (and a recognizable, nice-sounding name). Everything I do under that pseudonym, I do it with the full knowledge that people who might employ me or look at my work will see it. Kind of like being friends with your boss on Facebook, you become more aware of what you post.

So, I haven’t really gotten to the advice part. Let me see what I’ve got….

Be patient.

This is something I struggle with as a very impatient person, which is why this might be the second time I’m mentioning it. Reading hundreds of submissions takes time. Understand that you’re not the only writer in the world, but one of millions. It’s both a unifying idea and a terrible concept for its competitiveness.

Rejections are not the end of the world.

I expect to receive many (though I hope not). It’s just a part of the writing industry. Submitting and getting rejected is not fun, but always remember that the greatest writers both long ago and alive now have faced rejections.

Just think of it as it not being your time just yet.

Read contracts carefully.

If one of your stories is accepted, then CONGRATULATIONS!!!

I know this one’s kind of a no-brainer, but you still need to be careful. I was able to understand a lot of the terminology, but that’s just me and that one contract. I don’t know if publishers use some kind of template contract and just fill in the necessary information. If I get another thing published, I’ll compare the contracts.

side note → Save ALL documents. Save your contracts, save your pay stubs or anything. Though I hope it doesn’t come down to it, you want to have everything you’ll need in case of a dispute, or someone asks for proof (just be careful who you give that information to).

Again, if you have questions, ASK THE PUBLISHER, or more specifically, the one who emailed you. This article here about publication rights is also something worth studying.

As always, I humbly ask if there is anything else that I missed regarding getting published and contracts and rights…. Still learning here. Also, I love finding Snoopy things.

Thank you for your time.

P.S. I’ve been trying to commit to one blog post a day. That reblogged post about writing from earlier doesn’t count. Thank you for your time again.



Author: Saffron Grey

"Saffron Grey" is a preferred pen name, something to be referred to online. Saffron wants to be cool. School is a full-time job, writing is a dream career, blogging---a hobby, and acting---a dream. To do all three at the same time is a challenge gladly accepted. Saffron lives in California with her mother, sister, and their dog, Pepe.

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