Why I’m Grateful For My First Rejection

A couple of weeks ago I submitted my first piece of Flash Fiction “The Price of Passage” to Flash Fiction Online. It got rejected. You would think I’d be discouraged, upset, in a funk. Actually, I’m grateful and encouraged. Excited even. Why? because I received a personal rejection note from the editor with feedback that can actually improve my writing. Here is an excerpt from the note with names left out:

To further ease your mind, I’d like you to know that both I and our publisher, _________________, read your story. We found the storytelling and narrative voice lovely and gentle, but found the POV shift, accompanied by the use of alternate names/identity tags for the acting characters, to be confusing.

 

I apologize for any anxiety I may have caused you, and hope to see your work in our slush pile again soon.

I sent a short but heartfelt thank you note in return. This feedback is very specific, and tells me exactly how I can improve my work. I don’t delude myself that this is the only flaw in my writing, but I can check this one off the list with just a little more attention to that area. Getting concrete advice for improvement is more than I expected, and incredibly useful. Also, receiving a personal note at all is encouraging due to its rarity. You can read more about why this is a good sign in the blog post How to Interpret Rejection by Joe Hessert, the editor of Ardor Magazine.

By the way, if you haven’t read Flash Fiction Online yet, you should. Its wonderful!

-Sarah

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