Writing for Children's Magazines
An Ezine


  How Much REJECTION Is Too Much?  

  By Mirka Breen 




It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a writer in pursuit of publication must endure many rejections. That’s rejectionS, plural.

I have not submitted much to magazines. But here and there, when I did, the response was inevitably, “No, thank you.”

But recently I got my first magazine yes, or should I say, YES! This made me feel qualified to write here, in an e-zine about magazine writing.

So back to rejection, my mother was a gifted writer. She had articles published in small magazines. Though writing was never her main profession, she decided to send a short story to one of the calls for manuscripts from Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies. Her story fit perfectly with what they asked, and was more poignant and elegant than most they had published previously. When she got a form rejection, she was done submitting fiction stories to anyone, anywhere. One rejection was enough for her.

My father was a brilliant writer, and a long-ago published poet. He was coaxed to write an academic book by a well-known publisher in Latin America. He wrote it, and when said publisher rejected it, (at least it wasn’t a form) he was done with such as well.

In many ways I am my parents’ daughter. But when it comes to rejection I most certainly am not. I don’t like these NOs, but few strike me as a true reflection of my writings’ worth.

I can learn from thoughtful feedback. But let’s be honest--very few rejections are thoughtful considerate feedback. When I get one of those, I kiss the words on the virtual page. Then there are the ones that bite. The ones that mattered because I knew they were well targeted, and the rejecter, for one reason or another, mattered to me. But most are like beads of dew on a smooth surface. I don’t let them seep in, and they evaporate faster than I can take a photograph of them.

A non-writing friend told me of another friend who had written a novel, got an agent in New York, and had the novel rejected thirty-seven times. “Can you imagine?” my friend said. “Thirty-seven times?!?”

Yes, I can. I’m not even impressed.

If you’ve been in writerly submission land, or you’re an actor who’s gone to auditions, you know what I’m saying. Rejections, one or a thousand, are things that didn’t happen. Flick ‘em off.

Only acceptances count.

Writing for Children's Magazines, August 2017           Copyright Mirka Breen



Mirka Breen writes picture books, chapter books, and middle grade novels. She is the author of the middle grade novel, The Voice of Thunder (WiDo Publishing 2012) and a picture book, There’s a Turkey at the Door (Hometown 520, 2011). Mirka is represented by Essie White of Storm Literary Agency. She is also a veteran of many rejections, which she usually handles with equanimity. More about Mirka on her website www.mirkabreen.com and her blog http://mirkabreen.blogspot.com/.



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