Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shall We Play A Game?

Okay, fans of contests, games and other online funnery!  Here's a competition for you.  I'm calling it, "You Can't Win If You're Not in the Game."  The goal?  Rack up 100 rejections by the end of the year.  Truly, I'm aiming for the end of the summer, but realistic goals are a good thing.  The rules?  All your submissions MUST be in "good faith."  That is, they have to be well-researched with a chance of a reasonable fit.  For example, a realistic, literary fiction story submitted to a science fiction magazine doesn't count. A zombie gore-fest submitted to a literary fiction magazine doesn't count.  That part's going to be on the honor system, since I'm not about to spend my precious rejection-gathering time researching everybody else's submissions.  Your submissions don't have to be all the same pieces.  In the event that nobody reaches the goal of 100 rejections, the person with the most good-faith rejections wins.   Just to give everybody a head start, any rejections you've accumulated since January 1, 2012, can count towards your total.  That puts me at 10.  I guess I've got my  work cut out for me!  Lucky for me, I'm a teacher on summer vacation.

Why am I doing this?  I've been resolutely committing myself to submitting my short stories and other work and building up my rejection callouses.  It's not fun.  So I want to make it fun.  The more I submit, the better chance I get an acceptance.  The corollary?  The more rejections I get, the closer I am to that acceptance.  Mind you, every submission I make involves a certain amount of homework:  What kind of magazine, agent or publisher is a good fit for this particular piece?  How can I craft my cover/query letter to interest this magazine, agent or publisher?  Are there any new revisions that can make this piece even better?  What format or other rules does this magazine, editor or publisher have?

Putting all this effort in, on top of the effort to get a piece to what I honestly believe is submission-ready quality, takes a lot out of me.  Then I start second guessing myself and trying to read between the lines of silence.  Is a short turn-around time a bad sign or a good sign?  If it's been out there too long, does that mean it's gotten lost, is being considered, or what?  Did this one-sentence rejection reflect a complete disinterest in my piece or simply an efficient editor?  So, I'm changing the rules of the game to keep myself entertained and keep my chin up.

Whose with me???

1 comment:

  1. I won't join this particular game because of my genre(s): plays and novels at the moment. But I will support you to the hilt! I am definitely submitting plays to places that are good fits, and I'm marketing my mystery novel at the moment. So, I get how important this is. I applaud your enthusiasm and join THAT! I hope you get 100 people in your game!


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