Writers are accustomed to rejection. Even superstar writers often earned many a rejection slip in their early days. Stephen King’s first novel was rejected dozens of times; Ray Bradbury had 1000s of short stories rejected. While I am not in either of those esteemed writers’ class, I’ve personally amassed almost 300 short story rejections (along with 16 wins, but that’s not what this post is about).
Most rejections these days are form emails, sometimes with an attempt to sound personal “we appreciated the opportunity to read your work, but…” A few rejections are personalized, typically these are the really close but types. And a few markets seem to provide at least a few words of feedback. And it is precisely this feedback that we writer’s crave far more than kind words.
As many of you know, I keep a growing list (well over 100 now) of paying spec fiction markets for short stories, including ones I have submitted to as well as may more. A few markets stand out in terms of providing feedback either in terms of personalized notes and / or some level of tiering (“you made it past the first round but lost in the finals” or some such). The feedback is not always positive: one memorable rejection letter savaged my piece as promoting civil disorder, but any feedback has value.
As a way of saying Thanks to these markets, here are some short story markets that I have received multiple instances of useable feedback from. No guarantees of course.
- Bards and Sages Quarterly
- Will provide score and feedback if requested
- Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
- Usually provides notes from first readers
- Has a tiered system which also gives a feel for how close the piece got to acceptance
- 4 Star Stories
- Two for two with insightful comments
- Beneath Ceaseless Skies
- Also two for two with detailed comments
- Usually provides feedback
Keep on writin’!