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Are You Receiving Lots of Form Rejections?

Beginning Writer's Answer Book

I get lots of form rejections that have little or no feedback on my individual work. What might be wrong?

Reasons for rejection can be incredibly subjective (indefinable issues of taste), or your work may not be polished enough. Aside from the quality and style of your work, consider if the following might apply.

  • Something similar is on file or was recently published. You're not the only person with your idea. Often your work will be rejected simply because someone else beat you to it.
  • The timing is wrong. Editors change. Publishers cut back on their lists. The market changes. Sometimes it's hard to hit things just right.
  • You don't have adequate credentials (particularly if you're writing a nonfiction article or book), or you don't have an attractive marketing platform—a way to reach readers and promote your work.

If you're attempting to get your book published, keep in mind that most New York agents and editors take on a new project or a new author only when they feel there's solid potential for a significant or guaranteed return. Your book may be too "small" for some publishers to consider; if you believe that's the case, start querying small or regional presses.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 588

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a last poem.

The Differences in Writing a Memoir vs. a Novel

The Differences in Writing a Memoir vs. a Novel

Where fiction writing is about concealing emotional truth for interpretation, memoir is about exposing it for what it is. Writer Jenna Blum discusses the differences she experienced in writing a memoir vs. a novel.

17 Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

17 Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

When choosing your publishing journey, it's important to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks in order to make the right decision for you and your work. Author Rick Lauber lays out 17 pros and cons of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.

Spooky Season

Scary Season

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, write something that has to do with the scary season!

Parker, 10:26

Christopher Parker: On Learning to Let Go in the Publishing Process

Author Christopher Parker discusses how he celebrated small victories in writing his debut novel, The Lighthouse.


Writer's Digest November/December 2021 Cover Reveal

Revealing the November/December 2021 issue of Writer's Digest: Magical Writing. Featuring advice from R.F. Kuang, Alix E. Harrow, Maggie Stiefvater, Tobias Buckell, Ran Walker, and many more.

The Lane Report: Market Spotlight

The Lane Report: Market Spotlight

For this week's market spotlight, we look at The Lane Report, the business publication of Kentucky.

Exercise vs. Exorcise (Grammar Rules)

Exercise vs. Exorcise (Grammar Rules)

Let's look at the differences between exercise and exorcise with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Your Story #115

Your Story #115

Write a short story of 650 words or fewer based on the photo prompt. You can be poignant, funny, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.