When Story Rejection is Awesome

Yesterday I sent my novella THE WALKER AND THE DOE to Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine. Today I received this, a rejection:

“Thank you for giving me a chance to read “The Walker and the Doe.” I liked the way this started by putting us right in the present moment of the narrative, and I thought there was an interesting story with good worldbuilding and details in here, but it also had structural and pacing problems for me, and overall it didn’t win me over. I’m going to pass on this one for F&SF, but I wish you best of luck finding the right market for it and hope that you’ll try us again in the future.”

As a writer, this is the type of rejection I look forward to. The editor told me what they liked about the story as well as what wasn’t working, which allowed me to go through and polish the story where necessary. I’ve put a lot of work into this novella and it’s probably my favorite story out of everything I’ve written. The fact that the editor of one of the oldest and most revered speculative fiction magazines took the time to provide me with such great feedback only increases my confidence in this story.

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4 thoughts on “When Story Rejection is Awesome

  1. This is wonderful news.
    Too often editor’s are unwilling to give feedback and simply send rejection notes.
    Not that we can blame them of course. They certainly do lead much busier life styles and have a lot of work to get through. It’s rare, but whenever you receive news like this – it tends to be a little beautiful.

    1. Absolutely agreed. I’ve been fortunate enough to receive similar rejections from places like Tor.com, Apex Magazine, and Deep Magic. It’s always nice to see what the professionals actually think of the stories we send them.

  2. You’re lucky to get feedback. I’m aware from some publishers that issues with the cover letter, first page etc can make their minds up quickly. There is no time to waste if it doesn’t work straight up. The fact that yours was read is terrific.

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