Wouldn’t want you to think I’ve stopped submitting.
I’ve had TWO rejections in the last weeks: a ‘boomerang’ from Woman’s Weekly (back so fast the girl opening the mail probably dealt with it) and a letter from The People’s Friend which took about five weeks to arrive. The latter was actually a proper three-paragraph letter explaining that the story ‘hadn’t met with success because the theme of the plot would be too familiar to our readers‘.
At least it was properly considered, and at least they gave a reason.
I was one of the expeditionary force who attended the Woman’s Weekly Workshop. One of the useful things about the day – apart from meeting a roomful of people serious about their writing – was being given tip sheets. One in particular detailed why stories were rejected. Top of Della Galton’s list was predictability, with overused theme second. Point duly taken.
Entering competitions not only helps your writing, it cushions you against editorial rejection. I’ve had a win, two shortlistings and a commendation this year, and that saves me from thinking I’m a totally crap writer because a magazine rejects a story.