The Agony of Rejection

Deadman’s Tome is home to Book of Horrors, a horror anthology loaded with terrifying horror short stories that’ll chill you to the bone!

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Rejection is a bad thing, right?
There’s nothing worse as a writer of fiction than being told that your work just isn’t up to scratch. The whole painful chore of the submission process; writing that boring e-mail, adding your bio, double checking your final draft before submitting and then waiting a ridiculous length of time to receive a soul-less form of rejection.
A couple of months back I wrote a short story with a specific publication in mind. I had been on Submission Grinder (an excellent source for searching markets- not a BDSM site) and seen that they had a quite generous acceptance ratio, that they liked stories that involved cryptids and such and that they paid a token payment as well as sending the author a free copy. I made the terrible mistake of being overconfident that this story would be a shoe-in.
How painful it was when I got the letter of rejection two weeks later. I then did what every writer should do when confronted with this; Drink heavily then go back to the drawing board and  search for other markets that might take the story. Although I had written it with a specific magazine in mind, I did actually have a lot of faith in the words that I had committed to paper. I started off with the pro markets and worked my way down. The story was completely unsuitable for DMT, being somewhere between dark fairy tale and cautionary tale so I didn’t think of troubling Mr. Deadman with it.
Eventually, at the sixth time of asking I got an acceptance from a semi-pro market that paid me five times more than I would have gotten from my intended publication. I was happy that I had been paid, but most of all I was stoked that I got my ego stroked because, let’s face it, that’s what we’re all about in the writing world, getting your stuff out there and having people tell you that it’s really good.
The moral of the story kids is turn rejection into something positive. editors are real people too (believe it or not) and they also come with flawed opinions or have a specific theme or ideal to adhere to when putting all your stories together in one place. It can help to have a balls-of-steel attitude when putting yourself out there. Just tick them off the list and move on to the next one. You might be surprised where your fiction ends up.


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Deadman’s Tome is a growing horror zine that publishes horror short stories and horror flash fiction. The online magazine publishes dark and gritty content from professional horror writers, Bram Stoker award nominated horror authors, along with talented newcomers of the horror writing craft. Deadman’s Tome features chilling, terrifying horror shorts ranging from ghost stories, zombie invasions, bigfoot sightings, monster horror, and even horror erotica. Deadman’s Tome is one of the best online horror zines to publish horror short stories, horror flash fiction, and dark flash fiction. The darker the tale the better. If you enjoyed the story, or even if you didn’t, leave a comment below as it helps the horror authors.

1 Comment

  1. True, true!
    Also, be careful of “pay to read”. I once submitted to a firm who offered express reading for a small fee. As I had bought one of their books I didn’t have to pay.

    Eventually the rejection came with a note to the tune of “The story isn’t right for us but we don’t have time to tell you why… but please keep submitting!”

    I replied that I wouldn’t be submitting again because if they wouldn’t say what was wrong, how could I avoid the same mistakes?

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