My First Proper Rejection!

It arrived.

The email I had waited for since submitting my short story Adventures before Christmas.

The word REJECTION wasn’t in the title of the email. It hadn’t been typed in the body of the email. It wasn’t even included in the attachment, but my story wasn’t being shortlisted for the monthly prize. Whichever way you cut it, my story was rejected.

I could say, at least they responded at all, but I paid a little extra so I could have a one page critique of the story. They had to respond!

There were several positive comments and some helpful suggestions on how to tighten the story and improve it, which is all I can ask for. Overall, worth the extra £5 and I’m sure it’ll help me tweak the story again before I send it somewhere else.

It felt bad, but good. It has spurred me on even more.

Onward and upwards.

About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
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25 Responses to My First Proper Rejection!

  1. Is all positive feedback, from what I have seen from your blog etc, this year will be a great one for you.

    Just remember the goals you set yourself…

    Happy writing

    Dave Perlmutter

  2. What’s the saying? Every rejection is one step closer to being published…

  3. belleofmountains says:

    Getting rejected means you’re moving up in the writing world! One step closer indeed! Now other people are actually reading your work instead of it sitting on your desk. 🙂

    You’re in good company. I’ve gotten two novel rejections just today.

  4. Nick Antinozzi says:

    Hey Pete,
    I remember my first rejection letter and I know exactly how you feel. You have cleared another (bittersweet) hurdle on your path to becoming a published author. Congrats! A lot of writers frame those and some, (gluttons for punishment,) save them all.

    Don’t let it get you down. Remember, you’re writing in the new golden age of self publication and in the long run, their rejection is only an opinion. Learn what you can from the advice they offered in the critique and move on.

    Happy writing!


  5. oliviaboler says:

    Ack! My stories have been rejected so, so many times, and each and every one leaves a little scar. I’ve not the thickest skin, but like you, I’m always spurred onward. Good job!

  6. Welcome to the club! Like Oliviaboler, many rejections here. The skin gets thicker, it still stings.but each criticism inspires you to be better. Hang in there and believe in yourself!

  7. There are platitudes-a-plenty about rejections, but the simple reality is that they far outnumber the accepts; so much so, in fact, that getting an acceptance letter feels like finding a Golden Ticket to the Wonka factory. The first few sting, but after a while they feel like business as usual. Hang in there.

  8. Pete Denton says:

    Thank you all for your words of encouragement. I feel even more determined to keep working at my writing and keep submitting. Your support means a lot. 🙂

  9. Congratulations for putting yourself ot there. Eventually your time will come.

  10. craig hallam says:

    Yes! Well done, Pete. Now you’ve broken that seal, there’s no stopping you. And I bestow upon thee the greatest luck xharm one writer can give another:

    “May your rejection pile be forever smaller than my own.”



  11. djadkins says:

    Like everyone else said, this is only one step forward. Keep at it!

  12. Ben says:

    Onwards and upwards indeed. Persistence, perhaps even more than almost any other quality, is what separates published writers from unpublished ones.

  13. buddhafulkat says:

    I like this post, not that you’ve been rejected. Great outlook and attitude especially by paying the extra for the critique.

  14. April Hawks says:

    That is so exciting! I know…weird to say, but it is true. I recently got my first rejection as well. I plan on printing it out. Keep Writing!

  15. Here in Sweden an author wrote his first book ever. If I translate it with my own words the title was “The 100 year old man who climbed out through the window”. It was his first book ever, He got rejected over and over again, after sending the manuscript to several publishers. After a couple of months (?) a publisher called him up and asked if he got published yet. No, not yet, so they published him. Now, he is a millionaire with a best seller!
    So Peter, keep up the good work. It´s worth it!

  16. Pingback: The 7 x 7 Award « Pete Denton – Writer

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