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Monday, March 19, 2012

No Doesn’t Always Mean No

What do you do when you receive a rejection?  Do you believe your work is not good enough to be published?  Do you feel like giving up?  Reconsider.  One editor has said no.  Others may like it.   

Over the years, I’ve received my share of rejections.  But, that doesn’t mean that I give up on them.  I love my articles too much to shelf them.  I’ve put a lot of time into my work.  Why would I give up?  Getting a “no” only encourages me.  My attitude is:  my piece will be published.

Years ago I wrote an article about Basenjis, a barkless breed of dogs.  But after I submitted it to an editor of a prestigious children’s magazine, it was rejected.  Several years later, that same editor placed an advertisement in a writers’ newsletter calling for submissions.  At first, I decided not to bother, since he had previously rejected my work.  But, he was clearly reaching out for writers.  This was my chance. 

I studied the writers' guidelines and read a few published pieces.  Feeling like I could crack this market, I explored an unusual topic—the world’s largest (and smelliest) flower.  I researched and then wrote about this amazing plant.  After the piece was edited I submitted it, not knowing if the editor would reject my work again.  And as time  passed, rejection seemed likely.  Yet several months later, I received word that my story would not only be published, it would be the cover story for the magazine!

It goes to show:  Never give up.  If you’ve done excellent research, writing, and editing, followed the submission guidelines, and addressed the needs of an editor chances are your work will be published.  But if you receive a rejection, don’t give up.  Search for different publication.  Remember to review back issues to make sure that your work will be a good fit.  Then submit again.  Believe that you will be published.  Believe that you will find a good home for your work.  

Oh, and the Basenji story?  Another editor liked the article and it because my first published piece.

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