How NOT To Get Published

There are many paths to publication. That discussion could go on for days. And does. If you’ve been to any writing conference, you’ve witnessed it.

But there is only one surefire method to NOT get published. Very simply, don’t submit.

Many of us are terrified of having our work actually read. Many more of us are mortified at the prospect of rejection. Get over it. If you have dreams of publication, you are going to have few nightmares involving rejection. It is going to happen. Accept it and move on.

The next stumbling block is the fear of multiple rejections. Okay, you sent that short story out and it got an impersonal form rejection letter. Don’t run the story through the shredder while wailing and gnashing your teeth. Find another potential market and send it back out. If you get a rejection from that one, send it out again. In the meantime, write something new to send to the first market on your list.


We’ve got about a week left to our October Word Watchers Challenge and I’m going to throw out a new challenge to you. Do you have a short story sitting dormant in your computer? Perhaps it’s been rejected and you haven’t had the time or the heart to force that child back out into the world. Perhaps you never sent it out in the first place. Always meant to, but never got around to it.

Do it! It’s already written. Just type up a cover letter and stick it in the mail this week.

I am including myself in this challenge. Last weekend’s acceptance of “A Signature in Blood” by Mysterical-e reminded me that it’s not always the first market that accepts a story. Sometimes it’s the fourth. Or the fourteenth. As long as there is another market to send it to, keep sending it out. So this week I am revising my standard cover letter to mention my new status as published fiction author and I’m sending another story out that’s been sitting here collecting dust since Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine rejected it. It’s a good story. I feel hopeful. If it gets rejected again, I’ll send it somewhere else. But it will get published.



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