Query Rejections

It’s September 3rd, and two days ago I got yet another rejection. I should be happy for the rejection email. Many times, editors don’t say anything at all. At least my most recent rejection, a piece I pitched to the magazine The Banner, came back with a personal reply from the new editor.

This year, I have submitted 42 queries and or complete pieces to almost as many periodicals. Two of those queries were for a book and seven were for science fiction short stories, but the rest were in line with my main thrust for the year…writing practical theology and essays about Christian living. I’ve received 27 rejections (or no response at all).

So far this year, my writing has appeared in four periodicals with one more coming in the next few weeks. That’s painful! Percentage-wise, I’m batting .119. That’s bad enough to get sent back down to the minors in the MLB! The ratio of published to rejected is a little closer 5.1 to 1.

It gets so frustrating sometimes, as you can imagine. However, and I say a big however here, I feel good going forward. Several of the queries out there right now show promise (I have nine queries or stories out). I’m learning more this year about what to submit and what to hold off on for further development. I’m holding off on the book project for a little bit (more on that in a few days). Finally, I’m ditching science fiction writing for the time being. I might even publish those stories independently.

Bottom line, things are rough as a freelance writer, but the future looks good for me. Yes, a rejection letter (or email nowadays) hurts. In fact, I often get very disappointed and discouraged by rejection. I’m just also hopeful for the future. I’m grateful for the credits I have this year so far, and look forward to the rest of the year!

Have you faced rejection in writing? Tell me about it in the comments section!

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