One of the short story publishers to which I submitted “Twins” acknowledge receipt with, “Interesting, but doesn’t meet our requirements.” Another that responded said, “…not consistent with interests of our readers.” But I’d read several articles from that journal and thought I’d hit its audience. Well, the Rs for that story weren’t as severely disappointing as if I needed a job and was told I was woefully unqualified by someone who couldn’t fill the job either.
I submitted a flash fiction story to a writers’ group contest. The great thing about the group is that writers get the readers’ evaluation sheets. No one I know submits without expectation of winning or at least making the finals. Those who read my story before submission, implied it was worthy of entering. Two of the three evaluators gave nearly the same scores on each of the 10 criteria. The third reader gave lower scores for all, and significantly lower scores on all but 2 of the standards.
The judgements (including the most negative) inspired me to rewrite the story, but the rewrite took its length out of the flash fiction category. So, I’ll ask a few writers I know personally and trust to give me another opinion, then seek a publisher.
I can’t help but wondering about the real reasons my previous efforts didn’t make the cuts. Was it spelling, word choice, publishers audience, or…?
Spill chick takes care of spelling, but doesn’t know the difference between to, too, or two. Was there a ‘they’re’ in place of their expected homonym?
Perhaps it wasn’t PC of me, in “Twins,” to compare Cain’s killing of Abel and Romulus’ killing of Remus to the death of Rishon Byzantine and his brother.
Should I have used the phrase ‘rectally extruded solid waste’ instead of the word ‘crap’ in my Osama Bin laden story?
In “A Brother’s Gift” I used the word Christmas – perhaps I should have said, “December celebration of the birth of a person after whom a major religion is named.”
With tens of thousands of submissions and random readers, chances of making it to the top are slim.
Oh well! I enjoyed writing them and others. And, I’ll write more.