As I type this I am waiting on TWO rejections from the SAME MAGAZINE to come in at the SAME TIME. A couple months ago I heard about a new spec magazine opened up here in Toronto. I was in the full swing of “why am I bothering, oh right, I want to hit my 200 subs” low period last October when I was sent the call for submissions, so I decided I would send them one. At which point I discovered they take MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS (which is fairly unheard of in the spec mag world) so I said “what the heck” and sent them two stories. Both of which have each racked up 15+ rejections because, as I said, what the hell.




And let me know that they would be voting on January 12th, 2020.

What a wait! But I know the best cure for refresh-itis is finding something else to do, so I put the note in my file of the voting date and went on submitting and querying.

Well, here we are on the 13th. No emails yet, refresh-itis back at full strength, I am biting my nails down to the nubbins and trying not to check my inbox endlessly (I turned off notifications for the sake of sanity back in the fall when I was getting my deluge of rejections and never turned them back on. I highly recommend it as a sanity-restoring tactic).

Nothing so far. And so the world spins on, and other stuff needs to go out the door, so let’s get on with it!

In honour of these two stories and the nerve-wracking wait, here’s my challenge for you this week:

Take a story out that you’ve left sitting for a while. You know the one. Maybe it’s got “too many” rejections. Maybe you just ran out of places to sub it. But you still believe in it, so blow the dust off, give it a quick glance (but no more than that!) and send it out to TWO PLACES. That’s the challenge.

(If your response is “pfft, I sim sub all the time, thank you”, well, let’s up the challenge, then! Still two subs, but this time… find two new places, ones… outside your comfort zone. Maybe they are literary and you lean speculative. Maybe they are pro and you don’t feel you’re there yet–how will you know, unless you try? An 80% and a 60% percent, however you decide what those 20% & 40% mean. Stretch yourself.)

Lots of places take simultaneous submissions these days – both Duotrope and Submission Grinder can search for them. Throw caution to the wind. Find one place that you think is a good fit (80% sure and up) and a place that you’re less sure about but still maybe (60%… take a chance! You have nothing to lose but gaining a rejection) and SUBMIT. Now you’re two subs down towards your goal, at the very least, and you might get surprised.

WHAT HAVE WE GOT TO LOSE! NOTHING! WE FEAR NO REJECTIONS! Remember, a rejection is not a “this will never sell” but merely a “not here” or a “not today”. There is always tomorrow, and next Monday’s challenge.

GOOD LUCK! Let me know how it goes!

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Victoria Feistner is a novelist, a graphic designer, and an artisan in equal parts, although some of those parts are more equal than others. She resides in Toronto with her husband and two fur children, also known as cats.

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