I’ve never met a writer who has never had a story rejected; it’s all part of the writer’s adventure. The rejection lands on the doormat or the inbox, then it’s time to move and find another home for your prose baby. But sometimes, the rejection is more than a ‘sorry, not for us’ but a sign that the story just isn’t right.
And what came back was:
As you can imagine it wasn’t what I wanted to read, and my initial reaction was: let’s try somewhere else. But a couple of other submissions later and I was still no further. Then in 2011 I saw the call for Men of Steel, Dreamspinner anthologies about superheroes, and I thought maybe I was missing something, and rewrote Life in the Land to become a slightly longer story (3500 words) and introduced Mike, best friend of my hero, and gave it a new title, The Artichoke Avenger and Sprout Boy. So, convinced I was now onto a winner, I sent it off…
‘At the moment, your story does not fit our needs for the collection. However, if you would like to have it considered as a stand-alone novella, please consider expanding and resubmitting it as such.’
What I can honestly say now is it is a better a story, and I obviously needed the time and impetus to write and extend it. So, yes, rejection hurt – but in this case it was what was needed, and I’m very grateful for the feedback I’ve received. I’ve something else in the pipeline that’s has a similar path… fingers crossed I’ll be as lucky with that one!
Short Excerpt from Land in the Land
“Please don’t cry, Bobby.”
There was a tremor beneath him, a mild shake that made his whole body vibrate. They sprang apart, both staring wide-eyed at the dirt as they tried to work out what could be causing the disturbance.
With an undignified yelp, Bobby fell backward and scrambled away, but a soft rumble from the oak made him stop. It was reassurance, a call for calm, and he knew then everything was okay.
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-in-the-Land-ebook/dp/B00EOHT98E/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377102122&sr=1-1&keywords=life+in+the+land+rebecca
Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and baby son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.
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Contest ends: 8/27/2013, Tue, at 9PM CDT.
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