Positive rejection

It’s nice to have something else positive to write about.

I recently read this post about submitting stories for publication.

I then followed the link to the original post to read more here.
4 Ways Longshot Island Helps Emerging Authors

I liked the sound of this a lot, and decided to check out the publisher’s website.

They take submissions of stories from anyone, within certain parameters. If it is selected for publication, it is shown online, with some being chosen for inclusion in the printed magazine. Although they don’t pay the author, you do get five copies of the magazine mailed to you, so you at least get to see your work on the printed page. In the meantime, your story is out there on the website, to be seen by many more readers, as well as those on your own blog or site.

Feeling positive, I decided to submit a story, using their simple submission form.
I soon received a reply from the editor, Daniel. This was it.
“Hi Pete Johnson,
Thanks for sending your story, The Garden Shed, to Longshot Island.
We thought it was a little predictable. The ending was weak, too. That could be touched up.
So we’re going to reject this story. But please send us something new at your convenience. Do you have anything humorous?

I could have been downhearted. My first ever attempt at getting a story published had ended in rejection. But the advice was positive, expressed fairly, and I took the criticism happily. I also acted on that last but one line, and soon sent them something else. Once again, the reply came very quickly.
“Hi Pete,
Thanks for sending your story, Valerie, to Longshot Island.
It’s got a good twist, but still not what we’re looking for at this time. We’ll keep you in mind, though, if we should find a place for your work. You’re a solid writer and have a good future ahead of you.

Two rejections in as many hours. I might have just given up, but instead started to think of a story they might want to publish. I had been inspired to try harder, and I found that rejection was actually something positive, after all. Then I received this.
“Hi Pete,
I’ve just reconsidered and looked at your story one more time. Call me crazy, but it grew on me. Usually we try to have something a little out of the ballpark and your story fits the bill.
Is it still available? Could we put Valerie online?
Please send me your photo, author bio, and a link to a website (if you have one).

Of course, I was very happy indeed. Not only has my story been published on the website, it will be included in the next magazine, and they will send me five copies by way of payment. I found the whole process very exciting, even the initial rejection. They even sourced a very suitable image to illustrate the story, which you can read via this link. And I hope that you do.
Not only that, but I also have an author ‘bio’ now, and a photo too!
For many of you, this might not seem to be that big a deal. But for me, it was something quite wonderful.

From what I can see, Longshot Island is a bona-fide company, with no hidden ‘catches’. They have certainly not requested any fee, and although they do not pay for the stories sent to them, they appear to be up front, and honest and fair in their dealings. If this is not as it seems, I will let you know.

So, why not give it a try yourself? If I can do it, so can you!

Staying positive, in 2017.

86 thoughts on “Positive rejection

    1. Thanks very much, Nandia. I did agree with Daniel that the garden shed was predictable. But the point of the story was the disjointed memories, and not the climax. However, I am very happy that Valerie was chosen, and I will continue to submit work to Longshot Island.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. There is nothing quite like your first publication. Everything suddenly seems more possible. I’m so glad for you that you have this. It’s smart of you to blog about it. When you get down about writing, come back to this post and reread it. Remember, someone likes you well enough to publish you. It’s not just a hope. You’ve gotten real outside validation. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Pete, Don’t forget: you got the right, positive spirit for this yourself as well! That’s the most important part of the (attempted) publishing part. The other fifty percent is done by publishers and it sure helps that there are still people like Daniel of Longshot Island. Keep up the good work and its a good thing that you share this because publications like Longshot can use the publicity among readers and authors I’m sure.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks very much for your comment. I agree that Daniel and Longshot need publicity to make this work for all of us. I not only created this blog post to help that along, but also shared everything on Twitter and Google+. I don’t have a Facebook account, but I like to think someone will put it on there too.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  3. Well that’s pretty positive Pete! I had a couple of articles published in a teaching magazine, but I won’t be going down that route again πŸ˜‰ It is a lovely warm fuzzy feeling to see your own words in print. I’m sure there will be more for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Congratulations Pete! My inner belief system has always told me from the outset that you have the two ingredients essential to be a publishable writer, that of Voice and the art of story telling. As I have said before everything else can be learnt.

    People also say ‘write about what you know’ and I have often wondered why they say this? I believe there is some truth in what they say since it gives you an organic truth and experience to work from. However, imagination and creativity are the ‘magic’ ingredients; otherwise we would never had Mary Poppins, Peter Pan or The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe.

    I would urge you to take a look into your own story world, the world of London, the medics, the people, the settings and the organic stories at your finger tips. Combine them with your very own unique imagination and creativity and I believe you may just have the essence of some remarkable stories.

    Keep up the good work. See you when I move to Norfolk!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Gary. I have written a lot of ambulance stories on my blog. They are all true, but often crazy enough to read like fiction. I know many people think that I made them up.
      Thanks for your kind words, and good luck with the move. Bring some umbrellas…
      Best wishes, Pete.


  5. Hi Pete, congratulations on your very first story being published! My first story online happened in almost exactly the same way as yours did, with the very same website, not too long ago. As you have mentioned in your blog, Longshot Island has the easiest, most user friendly submission process, and Daniel is honest, precise and consctructive in his criticism, whether he intends to use your story or reject it. I have two stories up there, but somehow this journal, or rather this ‘space’, already feels like home thanks to him. I approach other online magazines from time to time with my stories, but if there is one that I think will fit Longshot, I submit here first before thinking of any place else, even if it is better known and better paying.

    Daniel and Longshot Island are a boon for people like us who are trying to explore their skill with words and come into their own as writers.

    I wish you many more successes Pete! Good luck.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Many thanks for your kind words, and the positive information about Longshot, Adithi. Good to know that there are platforms out there for new writers that actually take their work seriously.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  6. Oh my goodness, Pete! That’s tremendous news! Congratulations! ❀ Of course they chose you, you have a extraordinary knack for storytelling. I couldn't be prouder and shall read the story post haste. I'll also raise a snifter of something…. to you! x

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Congratulations, Pete! I think it’s a big deal too. You had a good story, so much so that it stuck in Daniel’s mind even after he emailed the rejection – sure sign of a hit! I know I liked it.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Call me quirky, but, I was most struck, nay encouraged, by the following sentence in their note to you: You’re a solid writer and have a good future ahead of you. Maybe there is a future for someone as old as I am too.
    I liked Valerie when you first posted it. I am surprised that it took a second look. On my first read you got me with the twist.
    Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I did get encouragement from that comment also, Theo. It undoubtedly applies to you too.
      I am now trying to decide what to send next month!
      (I have sent you an email, but now you already know some of what was in it)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Bravo, Pete! I love how you told this story by the way – how you handled the rejection, how it turned around and now you are published for it – terrific!

    FYI, I was published almost two years ago in a magazine – they saw my cheeseburger posts and wanted me to write about the origins of fast food in America! Here is the link to that story – it was really fun to share that with friends and family!


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, John. Your burger and food posts are legendary, and should have their own magazine! Likewise your posts on crazy films. I would buy them! I will check out your linked post now.
      Thanks again, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Pete, you write excellent stories, and I suspect many of them would be readily published if you submitted them. As you know, I’ve urged you on several occasions to publish an anthology. Congratulations on this latest literary victory!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. “Longshot Island” seems to enjoy a really positive reputation on various writer forums online so I congratulate you on being accepted for publication. I hope the literary future bodes extremely well for you and I hope that you receive many more honors for your writing which I find to be .. refreshing. (And I do not read that much either so consider this as a great compliment.). You do have a great gift and I am glad to hear that someone is recognizing your potential. Good luck and God bless you.

    Liked by 3 people

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