In an earlier post, I revealed that I submitted two articles in response to a call for new writers from an online culinary magazine. I lamented that I received no response – not even a rejection form letter. I then asked all of you for advice on how to proceed. Meanwhile, I followed up my submissions with an inquiry to the Editor, requesting a status update and feedback on my work. Within less than 24 hours, she replied. Her response was warm, kind and informative. She was unexpectedly generous and prolific with her feedback and advice. Believe it or not, I am excited about receiving this first rejection letter! I know that excitement is contrary to the typical emotional response to rejection. So, let me explain my enthusiasm.
The Editor gave me specific reasons for rejecting each submission and actionable advice about how to improve my work. Specifically, she advised that my first article (based on my review of Hurd’s Orchards Mother’s Day Tea) was too time specific, due to the holiday theme. The timing was just not right. In addition, it had only a local appeal, while her publication has an international audience.
My second submission (based on my Menu Planning Class final project) was more interesting, she indicated, and it would appeal to a wider audience. However, she advised that the photos were of poor quality and blurry when enlarged. In addition, she would want to include more information about the class and the project. She further offered to work with me on improving this article if I desired, or I could submit something new. I was thrilled with her offer to help me to rework the submission; that means that it wasn’t a total disaster (I hope!).
Additionally, the Editor praised my casual and personal writing style, but she commented that it could be refined (not a surprise to me). She went on to recommend two books, both relating to writing and prose style. She also liked my persistence in sending a follow-up inquiry and requesting feedback; she encouraged me to continue to pursue my goal of publication.
Although I have not decided if I will take her up on charitable her offer to help me rework the Menu Planning Class article, or if I will submit something new, I am delighted that she took the time to write such detailed and considerate feedback. Honestly, as an unknown and inexperienced writer, I expected impersonal rejections and challenges in getting the attention of Editors. However, I am encouraged by this particular rejection letter. Although it is disappointing, this editor gave me actionable next steps and the opportunity to have had my work reviewed by an experienced and successful writing professional.
You, my readers, also came through for me as well! One of my regular readers (and former co-worker) was kind enough to put me in contact with a friend of hers who is a successful published writer. In fact, she is in process of publishing her second novel. Although I am looking to write for a periodical or magazine, I was so delighted to communicate with her and ask her advice. She too, gave me actionable advice and next steps. She recommended guest blogging for others, promoting my blog on other platforms, continuing to submit work to publications, and to write as much as possible. I am hopeful that she and I can continue to communicate, so that I can learn from her experiences. I am grateful for her generosity of time and wisdom. I will write more about my interactions with her as our communications develop.
If others of you have any advice for new writers like me who want to write for periodicals or online publications, please feel free to share it in the comments section. I am open to learning as much as possible about this industry, and I would appreciate the advice of others who have gone before me.
Thank you for your support and encouragement.
Stay tuned for future updates!