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Not all rejections are because your story isn't good enough, or because your writing is sub-par. More often than not, it is because your manuscript isn't what the publisher is looking for. I'm saying this not only as a writer, but also as a publisher. For my new magazine, I've recieved a lot of great, well written stories that I just cannot use. Either because they don't fit in with the theme/genre or they are just too long. I'm fairly good at spotting a "blind submission" when I see one. (And, I confess to doing a lot of blind submitting myself in my early days as a writer). It really pays to read guidelines thuroughly, and if you can take a good look at what else the publisher is printing. Small presses go out of business occasionally; big publishing houses change with the trends... So keep up to date. Do not rely to heavily on the writer's market books (I was so guilty of this back in the day). I cannot tell you how many manuscripts were returned to me because I was following outdated information, or the publication was going out of print...
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Feb 28, 2010