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Week 185 – Letters Of Acceptance, Rejection And Diane Biting.

This week, I thought I’d give you all a wee bit of insight into a part of our process. It is regarding acceptance and rejection letters.

Now just like being on the hunt for an interested person of the opposite sex, it is easier to be accepted than rejected. Not many of my rejections had ever been written, normally a ‘Fuck off’ would suffice. In the same way none of my acceptances ever produced a letter, just a very grateful me and a lady that I would later judge. (OK, I may have written some poetry, but it was the eighties and I had hair.)

It’s easy to say yes to a submission but we wouldn’t be doing anyone any justice if we did this as a given. So we try to keep the site’s integrity.

It’s always a thrill to say yes. It doesn’t matter if it is to an old hand or someone new, it’s always a pleasure. We’re all writers and we all love an acceptance. And it is never like a junky chasing their initial hit, any hit we get is like mother’s milk. (I only use that as phrasing as I have never tasted mothers milk. Not even any that I had to pay for as I think that’s weird. And even though I am curious, I have never been curious about that. I think there is a fetish about this and it’s called, ‘Weird Mother Fixation, Freaky Mutant Virgin.)

Maybe I should explain using my own experience and preferences:

…Any acceptance is like a bloody good drink of Bacardi And Coke / Woods Rum / Talisker / Guinness / Chablis / Remy Martin / Pipers (Maybe only James McEwan would know that) / Absinthe / Tennents / Bollinger / Drambuie / No. 3 Gin / Cointreau / Laphroiag or Advocaat.

So the positives look after themselves. The negatives are a bit more tricky. If it’s someone we don’t know, we can be polite and pretty standard no matter how awful the story is. If it’s really bad there is always a temptation to say, ‘What the fuck are you thinking!!! Were you on drugs? Are you a maniac?? Have you consulted a Priest or a real Mental Health professional like a Gym Teacher?

I have to admit, we have to reel Diane in with these as she actually wants to hunt people down and hurt them. (A warning to all Historical Fiction Writers) Her preferred method of pain is either burning or biting – She likes the letter ‘B’ – Bless!

If it’s someone we do know then to be truthful, nine times out of ten, it’s normally a problem with the story being a fit for the site.

We know these folks are cracking writers and the only issue we have is that they have written something that is, story-wise, not what we are looking for. Sometimes this is the hardest thing to refuse as we know that the work is good and it’s only our opinion for our site. The good thing is that most of the writers who we have a superb relationship with accept this.

One thing about some writers that I’ve noticed and makes me smile is the capitalisation of their titles. No offence folks but some of you are wordist. Why should a name have a capital letter but an ‘And’ is ignored. There may be some protocol or rule here but I say ‘Fuck It’ (If that was a title!) I think every word is as important as any other in the title of a story and I will always capitalise. So if I set up your thread for us to discuss, even if you have ignored an ‘and’ or ‘but’, rest assured, I will give those words the respect they deserve.

From titles to this weeks….emm…titles!

We had three new writers, the legend and me.

Our topics include; dairy prohibition, a fantasist, war, a lovely child and a dream.

As always our initial comments follow.


We began the week on Monday – No difference there. And there was no difference with the quality from Tom Sheehan. ‘Town Without Butter‘ started off the week.

‘Silly but really rather clever.’

‘Preaching against freedom of choice has never been argued in this way before.’

‘Lots of nods to self interest and self satisfaction and what not.’


On Tuesday we had our first newbie. No crap links like last week, I will just welcome everyone, hope they all have fun on the site and request that they all send in more of their work.

Denis Bell was next up on Tuesday with ‘Jake And The Rat.’

‘Really well put together and enjoyable,’

‘Very atmospheric.’

‘There’s something gripping about the weirdness.’


I was next up on Wednesday with ‘Bingo‘, my usual happy type of tale with some romance and kittens and marshmallow and unicorns.

As always it is a continual pleasure and honour to have my stories on the site.


Thursday followed Wednesday and our next débutante, Rachael Peralez had her first story, ‘The Garbage man‘ published.

‘The discipline that Rachael writes with shows a lot of skill.’

‘Excellent writing. There is so much in here, pain, madness, loss and maybe hope – Although I’m not sure about the hope.’

‘His daydreaming was full of sexual violence but the comments regarding his past sort of balanced this as you thought more about his past than the possibility of his increasing madness.’


And we finished off the week with our last new author. Chad Plunk had ‘Prisoners’ published on Friday.

‘This was dark! Brilliant and dark!!’

‘I think there is more truth in this than we would like to acknowledge.’

‘It made me look up the translation – ‘God will judge’ is a cracking line.


That’s us for another week folks and to finish, I would like to quote an anonymous writer.

‘Please let me be half the man that my dog believes me to be.’

What a super line.

I really need to rip more of the pish out of the political correct Nazis. So if I PC’d this it would be:

‘Please let me be half the man, woman, person, LGBTQI, BLBGBBBTBQBI, alien, deity or concept that my dog, bitch or other form of the canine genus believes, associates, depending on it’s mental health status, me to be.

-The line loses it’s charm somewhat!



Banner Image – Something Hugh had of me last week in our editorial meeting!! He had promised not to use it but what can you do. D.

16 thoughts on “Week 185 – Letters Of Acceptance, Rejection And Diane Biting.”

  1. Acceptances and rejections have changed over the years. Technology has made it easier to phony-up a sincere-looking form-rejection (which, to its great credit, LS does not do). Used to be that you had to mail your work of genius in to a publication and wait nine months for a hell spawn (like the fella in the heading pic) to crawl out of the gray beast’s vagina and mail you an impersonal, shitty little scrap-paper rejection slip in your SASE.
    If you kept at it long enough, the hell spawn might show pity and put its mark on your shitty little rejection slip. If you hadn’t hanged yourself in the meantime, the rejection slips would begin to contain personal replies from the hell spawn: “This part was okay, but the ending wasn’t hell-spawnish enough.” And if God got drunk and decided to show you a little mercy, the hell spawn would still turn you down but ask (almost nicely) you for more stuff for it to reject.
    By the time the hell spawn finally accepted you, your mind would have long since been reduced to a bowl of green Jell-O, thus incapable of experiencing joy. And somewhere in one of the lower pitted plains in the Valley of Despair, the hell spawn laughed and laughed and laughed….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leila,
      I used to take rejection letters with anger and sadness and then I remembered a line from the legend that is Mr Eastwood in the film ‘Dirty Harry’ -‘Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one’.
      I then thought that a decision was one person looking at a story and all sorts of preferences and bigotrys could be factors.
      That is why I think we work well. We listen to each others views and between us, hopefully, we can come up with a well rounded reasoning.
      Thanks as always!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Always interesting to learn a bit about what goes on behind the scenes. And now I know to not only dot my I’s and cross my T’s, but also capitalize my And’s, titlely (?) speaking, that is. Gets me wondering … is a titleist a golf ball or someone who takes too much pride in their titles? Maybe I should ask my dog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the idea of a ‘Titleist’ being a pedantic writer!
      I’ve lost my fair share of them in my time!!
      Thanks Dave, great to see you around.


  3. It’s always thought provoking, this acceptance and rejection stuff. Most writers are very sensitive folks, or we wouldn’t be writers. We send our word babies out and sit and wait. When a rejection comes in, it stings….a lot. Acceptance? Ah, validation, love, happy dance. I’ve gotten a wee bit better about rejection as time goes by, but it’s always wayyy better to get a yes. I appreciate it when an editor tells me why they rejected my piece. Sometimes it’s just a matter of taste, or fit into the journal – but other times, there are some reasons that really help me to revise the story. And as far as Diane goes – she pointed out a few things about my story, “One Star” that I will always thank her for, and appreciated it. I love working with editors who clearly want the story to be the best it can be, and Diane is one of them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sharon,
      We were all part of another writing site up until 2014. The problem with it was that it accepted everything. This actually causes a lot of problems as it can give some a false idea of ability and it waters down an acceptance to those who have ability.
      I am a bit thick skinned. Oh and that has nothing to do with my traits as a human, it’s just that I have had so much rejection in my life, it’s water off a ducks back!!!!
      Thanks so much for the comments.


  4. It is never a wonderful experience receiving the dreaded rejection notice but it seems to sting a bit less when it comes from Hugh. He has a way of making you feel that he shares in your disappointment. And having been rejected three times more than having been accepted (7-21, a good average for a ball player, not so much for a writer), I appreciate his approach. However, Hugh as a poet? With hair? Who woulda thunk it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Fred,
      Yep I did have hair but what I didn’t pull out must have fell out!!
      And poetry was my first writing discipline. I had a few published in anthologies both here and in the USA. Anthologies feed your self worth but you make nothing from them as the poem is yours but the copyright for the whole book is the publishers.
      I found that getting a collection of poems published was impossible to be accepted. So I moved onto shorts. That didn’t work either so then I tried novels and again zilch.
      I have been very consistent in my writing career!!
      In working with Nik and Diane and all of you writers, I have got a lot of fun and pleasure out of the short story genre and it has given me a love for doing this.
      All the very best my friend.
      (And I think that your average has went up since this posting!!!)


  5. Rejections – Because very few potential romantic partners would let me get close enough to earn a rejection, the ones from the few hurt like hell. On the huge plus side, because of that I ended up with my in-house editor. Literary rejection is mild.

    Twice now LS has rejected a story on the same day as someone else has accepted it. I wouldn’t have mentioned it, but it is on topic. In the future I will send LS my worst stories knowing that upon their rejection someone else will take it.

    Rejections that I hate – To paraphrase “Here are the ten things wrong with your piece of crap” after I’ve explicitly indicated I don’t want a critique for just that reason. Someone else will take it anyway, and you won’t hear from me again. Two that defied my comprehension (two rejections same place) – Commas and grammar in a diary. Even though it is boilerplate, “Not appropriate for our journal at this time” (then at what time?) is one I like. Just got an all time first out of hundreds – “But you can resubmit”. Does that mean that their queue is full now, but they didn’t hate it? I only have gotten a couple of “Make these changes and it will be OK”.


    1. Hi Doug,
      We don’t offer feedback but if asked we will try and tie some thoughts together.
      I do think that some rejection is standard but as we have three sets of opinions we can normally be honest as we have a mix of opinions and reasoning.
      When we ask to see more work after a rejection it does mean that we are interested in the writer but not that particular story. So if anyone who is reading this (Is anyone??) has had a letter without a request for seeing more of their work probably need to have a total rethink!!
      Thanks as always for being around!
      All the very best my friend.


  6. Yes this is my second response, but the subject holds some interest for someone who is not a writer, but plays one on the internet.

    I capitalis(z)e all words in the titles (I think I do, but I have a hard time remembering what I had for breakfast and here in the states I may be denied health services when I forget my birthday).

    My hope is that my comments are taken with the same seriousness as my stories (none).

    But seriously folks, “We like your story, but it is not for us” is only 90% bad.

    I always feel warm and all glowy when Hugh calls me “friend”. Back at you buds across the water.


  7. A rejection slip is an acknowledgement of your influence in the world. Someone actually took the time to decide (not easy – they could have just ignored the submission) to say ‘no thank you, but you are wonderful’. Then, they would have to delete the work or shred and recycle the paper. Remember rejection slips signify someone has a job, keep writing. One day you may have to say NO when you receive multiple offers for your work. I love the positive approach to life, it makes sitting in XXXXX a luxury.


    1. Hi James,
      A Scotsman with a positive approach is so refreshing.
      I only allow myself to smile when I am in Brigadoon having a drink and feeding my Griffon Eric!!
      Thanks as always!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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