This is a variation of a post I’ve put up before.
One of the short story publishers to which I submitted acknowledge receipt with, “Interesting, but doesn’t meet our requirements.” Another said, “…not consistent with interests of our readers.” I’d read several articles from both journals and thought I’d hit their audiences. Well, the rejections for the 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 contest. The great thing about the group to which I submitted 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 judgments (including the most negative) inspired me to rewrite the story, but the rewrite took its length out of the flash fiction category. So, I made it far more concise and submitted again this year. Two evaluators gave it an average of 9.6 of 10. The third rated it 6.6.
Many of my other short stories submitted to various places haven’t made the cut. I can’t help but wondering about the real reasons my previous efforts didn’t make it. 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. Did my word processor put an uncaught ‘they’re’ in place of their expected homonym?
Perhaps it wasn’t PC of me to compare Cain’s killing of Abel and Romulus’ killing of Remus to the death of Rishon Byzantine and his brother.
Should I have another word for ‘rectally extruded solid waste’ instead of the word ‘crap’ in my soldier’s story?
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.
I’ll write more.
Real answers to the Q&A posts from July 5th and 12th are on the Morning Thoughts page, however, I’ve moved the link to my home page. You’ll have to search for the access point. I’m still having a fun with the experiment, so if you find the hidden link, tell me on my contact page.