Rejection number 96–for a half dozen other reasons

“Airlock” earned rejection number 96, yet another form letter which laid open the possibility of not one but six possible, unnamed reasons for rejections.  A lawyer in their midst, perhaps.

“Thank you for submitting your story, “Airlock”, to Xxx. Unfortunately, we have decided not to publish it. To date, we have reviewed many strong stories that we did not take. Either the fit was wrong or we’d just taken tales with a similar theme or any of a half dozen other reasons. Best success selling this story elsewhere.”

Airlock’s unnamed captain and her clandestine copy of Moby Dick  will just have to accept those half dozen unnamed reasons. For now. It’s a good story; I’ve already sent it back out, to a more prestigious rag no less. Double down on sixes, why not.

96 down, 4 to go.

CR Hodges


I’ve accumulated 90 rejections for my short stories over the past 3 years and change. A few wins too–6 to be exact–on a total of 16 stories put out there.  My record is 12 rejections for one story (“The Cavalryman’s Saber”), but the good news is that it was accepted for publication this fall.

So I’ll be counting down the rejection notices over the next couple of month from #91 through lucky #100.  Yes it’s a little morbid, but hey it’s a coping mechanism.  I think. Stay tuned.

PS–Maybe I’ll get a win in the mix.

CR Hodges

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2 Responses to Rejection number 96–for a half dozen other reasons

  1. Chris says:

    Being very new to this how does one find all these publishers to get rejection letters? I tried googlr and the names that popped out where the ones who want me to pay .

  2. crhodges says:


    For short stories there is actually a really good answer: Free, no strings, lists over 4000 markets and best of all you can sort by genre, pay scale, length, even if they charge a fee. I find all my short story markets, the many that reject me and the few that have accepted (and paid for) my stories, through duotrope.

    For novels it’s much, much, much tougher with no easy path save self publishing, which is easy to do but very tough to get any sales. Best advice I have there is to very thoroughly research the art of the query letter (Google “query letter” or some such). But it is unfortunately very long odds for sure.


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