Feeling Rejected: What’s Next?

Feeling rejectedFeeling rejected? What comes next after you have submitted your short story. Every publisher’s process is different. Here is pretty much what you can expect from Left Hand Publishers.

Accepted or Declined: For example, for our Mindscapes Unimagined anthology, at the end of August, Left Hand Publishers will send e-mails out to all the authors who submitted short stories either accepting them into one of the anthologies or declining their submission as not a good fit at this time.

If your story is declined: That doesn’t mean it isn’t a good story, it just may mean that it isn’t a good fit for this anthology (ies). We recommend you keep writing and learning more about your craft. Things to keep in mind when submitting a story to anyone…

  • Does the story tie in heavily with the theme?
  • Does the story have a nice twist in the end – shock and awe. A surprise ending always makes a story more memorable?
  • Is the story a complete tale with no loose ends?
  • Readers/publishers are looking for fast-paced, well-written stories, with a conflict, strong characterization, and character motivations.
  • Formatted to the publisher’s submission standards? It’s amazing how few authors consider this. Some publishers will not even look at a submission if it is not formatted as per their specs. Here are ours. You can download a free template.
  • Remember: Less is more. Concise and clean are better. Re-read your story and see if there are any sections, paragraphs, or even pages that have NO impact if they were removed from the story.
  • Make sure your story is clear and direct. Many times writers have sections that are filled with metaphysical or metaphorical visuals that are not clear to anyone but the writer. Have beta readers (who will be brutally honest with you) go over your story and ask questions.
  • Have your story professionally edited before submitting? Typos, plot holes, poor sentence structure, grammatical errors, and developmental issues don’t get accepted by most publishers.

We would like to thank in advance everyone who submits.

If your story is accepted into the anthology:  Left Hand Publishers‘ editorial team will proofread/lightly edit your submission for typographical/grammatical issues, major plot holes, etc. We will send you back your manuscript for you to do your final revisions before the anthology goes to press. Prior to receiving your proofread/edited manuscript, you will receive an agreement for LHP to publish the story. You make whatever adjustments necessary, sign the agreement, and send it back to LHP.  When the anthology your story is printed and available for sale, you will receive your author compensation and an electronic version of the book.

As we said, every publisher is different. Communication is vital. Make sure that whoever you submit your manuscript to, provides a clear picture of what is to come and what is expected of you. Some may not provide details as to why your story was rejected. One reason for that may be: some authors do not accept constructive criticism well. Some editors may be too busy to personalize each and every rejection letter. It’s not personal. The best thing to do: is use this as an opportunity to review your submission. Use the ideas above to critique yourself. How can you make it better or “where did miss its fit?”

For some interesting factoids about famous writers who were rejected, take a look at author, Paul Metheney’s blog articles on the subject.


Publishing, Independent, Writers, Authors, Manuscripts, marketing, EditingLeft Hand Publishers is NOT a vanity press. We will never ask the writer for an investment or to pay any part of the cost of being published. We provide our publishing services as a percentage of revenue which we participate in, once the work sells. Optional Services are available to writers who need assistance in getting their manuscripts and/or their marketing tools honed for a successful and profitable publishing experience. For various consulting services, outside of publishing, we will provide an estimate in advance at no charge. For more information, contact us at .