Week 234 – Broken Families, Broken Dreams And The Reason Why The Atlantic Should Be Wider.

Here we go again.

Another seven days have come and gone.

I would like to give you a little information on the numbers of rejections we are sending out.

This week alone, we have sent out 40 rejections. We have had 8 acceptances but we don’t need to address them, they are easy and always a pleasure to do. But I would like to make this clear, we take no satisfaction in sending out rejection letters.

…Well!

There are times when someone has been so confident and arrogant, I may smile just a bit. We will check out the work and would publish but we normally find that a writer who is so full of it, their lack of talent does truly come through. Unfortunately, they are so busy finding complimentary adjectives for themselves, they ignore the fact that they can’t write.

No-one needs confidence to send in their first story just a wee bit of bravery and it helps if you have no-expectations and are thick-skinned!

(NB – Having a baby is a terrible idea for saving a marriage. As is sending away a manuscript if you are feeling suicidal and think the acceptance will make the world your happy place.)

You do need a level of confidence when writing though. You need to believe in your story. The best way to do that is research everything that you need to, analyse the guts out of it, question everything, edit it, read it over, edit it again, sleep on it, then check it once more. You can’t get away with anything. If there is something there that you think is a bit vague and no-one will notice, they will. If it even enters your mind that you know what you mean, you can be assured, the reader won’t and will not be long before getting bored with the story.

Once you have done this for a while, all these become second nature. But if there is anyone who is reading this wants to give story writing a go, make checking, editing and questioning a part of your process, it will help you no-end.

But overall, sending out rejection emails is horrible. It isn’t us being over sensitive, it’s simply that we all know what those letters feel like. I just wonder how many of those writers have muttered something about seeing me the following Tuesday.

We’ve also been asked a few times for feedback and we do as much as we can. There is a positive side to this and that is that it does show that we read the stories. We try to be as encouraging as we can and always try and find some good points.

But if you ever ask us for feedback and you get, ‘You sign your name very well’ you may have a few issues with your work.

Okay, onto this week’s stories.

We have four new writers and an exquisite story teller.

The usual welcome to all the new authors. We hope that they have fun on the site and continue to send us their work.

Our topics this week include; realities, exhaustion, sensation, Joan and a fable.

As always our initial comments follow.

 

First up was our first new writer, Holly Wells.

Blue Flame Rising‘ was Holly’s story which was published on Monday.

‘It was great not to be given a history lesson, we were told a story.’

‘Excellent writing.’

‘This made me look up the references to see what I had forgotten.’

 

Dave Henson is a gentleman and a wonderful writer. It is a continual pleasure to have him showcasing his work on the site.

Next up was, ‘The Hand Of God‘ which was his 18th story for us.

‘This is Dave getting up there with Grimm!’

‘Weird and odd – What’s not to like!’

‘Dave continues to give us excellent, imaginative stories.’

 

Liam Silveira was our next débutante.

His story, ‘Insomnia‘ broke the back of the week.

‘The MC’s unreasoning reasoning and whether or not he saw what he did was well done.’

‘The confusion was very believable.’

‘Reality when exhausted is never clear but the writing has the clarity.’

 

On Thursday we published, ‘We’re All Mad Here.’

This was Martina Brauneggar’s first outing for us.

‘You really don’t know where the madness ends and the reality begins.’

‘This leaves the reader with all sorts of puzzles.’

‘Martina has mixed up the thoughts and actualities rather well – It’s very interesting to read.’

 

And on Friday we finished off with Melissa Feinman’s short story, ‘Seeing Music.’

‘I understand that the jealousy would feed into the OTT reaction when his mother belittled his enjoyment of the music.

‘A kid’s fixation on a passion from a parent and a sibling is understandable.’

‘Well written, thought provoking and very enjoyable.’

 

Well that’s another round-up done and dusted.

With any luck we’ll have another one next week.

Just the usual reminders.

Keep the comments coming and if you have never commented, come on, pluck up some courage and find your voice! We’d love to hear from you.

And why not send us in a suggestion for the Sunday Re-Run. Just pick an older story that you like, write a spiel or introduction, throw in a couple of questions for the author and we will publish it as is.

Last thing on over-confidence, I read a quote from James Corden. He stated:

 

I sometimes have an over-confidence that can be viewed as arrogance.

 

He is wrong, he hasn’t an over-confidence, he’s just arrogant. And not funny. And really fucking annoying. And a Fud.

No offence to our American friends but what are you thinking encouraging this guy and letting him host ‘The Late, Late Show’?

I suppose there is a silver lining, at least he is in America and not in Britain!

Hugh

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

16 thoughts on “Week 234 – Broken Families, Broken Dreams And The Reason Why The Atlantic Should Be Wider.

  1. I am confident that the arrogantly percieved affections of my fellow human beings will lead me to rejection.
    Some writers would do better if they quoted Harpo Marx: just tootle your horn and offer your leg in lieu of a handshake. Mime writing is a seldom chosen art. More should take it up.
    LA

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    • Hi Leila,
      There are a few disciplines that you can appreciate the skill, but you doubt the entertainment value. I think miming is one of those. Others include synchronised swimming, rapping and origami. Even an act that incorporated all of those would still be bloody boring!
      Thanks as always for all your input!
      Hugh

      Like

  2. Rejection isn’t fun, but after the first ten or so it’s water off a duck’s back. Since I started sending stories in last January, I’ve had about 68. The rejections are written very well though, and some of them give useful tips for how to improve the work. (he he) Writing is very much bound up with ego, and indeed I’ve met some writers who are overconfident and feel a rejection is personal, because their writing is very personal. Writing can also attract people who aren’t all that stable. Indeed, it must be difficult for editors to have to reject. Maybe we could invent a euphemism for it. I find its the same pattern with music. Sometimes the best musicians are the most self effacing, and in fact the least confident. Look at the Beatles… very self effacing. Well, John did say at one point “we’re more popular than Jesus,” but I think he was being his usual droll self.

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      • Hi Harrison,
        As long as you are of the mind that 10 is excellent and 68 from 68 wouldn’t be a disaster as you have a contingency plan!
        All the very best my friend.
        Hugh

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    • I think Samuel Beckett submitted one of his novels, Molloy maybe, or one before the trilogy, perhaps Watt, (fact checking comments? I’m too lazy Sat. morning, lol) but to get back to Beckett, he submitted that first novel to one hundred and four publishers before it was accepted. Joyce’s secretary. Nobel winner. Author of Godot. Sometimes they’re just not ready to hear what you have to say and that’s okay, too, say it for the future, and for yourself of course. The thrill of writing is momentary, after reading my own stuff for the tenth time I don’t know what’s good from shit. Like that Goya etching says “The sleep of reason produces monsters” (Checked) I can get pretty irrational when all I can see is my little world. That’s why god made legs and a place to walk up and down.

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      • Hi Penny,
        It is a very interesting thought about the thrill of writing being momentary. Some lines and ideas stick with us, but you are right, the feeling when you are happy with a story isn’t there the next time you read it.
        I suppose in that way writing does mirror life and not just through the plots. Parts of it we remember and smile but no matter how much we remind ourselves of what we have written, the feeling is very seldom as intense as it was initially.
        All the very best my friend.
        Hugh

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    • Hi Harrison,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.
      We try as much as we can to explain to any new writers that rejection is all part of it. You can’t let it get to you. If anyone enjoys writing, they should keep that enjoyment as their focus and reason for writing, anything else is either a bonus or more than likely, an idea of one person’s opinion.
      It is a weird discipline. With most hobbies and pass-times, there are very little expectations, but with writing, being published is in our minds ten seconds after we pick up a pen for the first time.
      All the very best my friend.
      Hugh

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  3. As much as I don’t like receiving a rejection, I DO like hearing why the piece was rejected. Sometimes it’s just a matter of “taste” for an editor and one can’t change that. But if an editor writes and says what he/she thinks can be improved upon, I really appreciate it and perhaps I’ll do a re-write. But alas, most editors don’t have the time for personal rejections so writers are left in the dark wondering why they didn’t choose their word baby. I will say that I have only gotten about two “snarky” rejections from editors. The rest have been respectful and kind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sharon,
      The worst piece of advice I ever got was for a collection of poems. The feedback I received was to read what is out there and follow that. I could argue between originality and commercialism but would probably have preferred them saying that it wasn’t very good!
      I suppose a no is still a no whether the reasoning is valid or not. But a yes is still a yes whether it is any good or not!
      Thanks for the comments – Much appreciated!
      Hugh

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    • Hi Penny,
      I suppose there is something comforting about being a part of the rejected majority.
      I’ve been comforted more times than I care to remember!
      It’s great to see you around the site and commenting.
      Hope we get more stories in from you soon.
      All the very best my friend.
      Hugh

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    • Hi Dave,
      Mentioning writers and multiple personalities is an acceptance we all need to embrace!
      Thanks as always for everything my friend.
      Hugh

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  4. I can’t imagine the work that goes behind a literary magazine. I try and (likely) fail. I think it’s important to put rejections in perspective. There will be space for what shines through.

    I read most of the stories published this week. I enjoyed all the ones I read. Thank you, writers and editors.

    Like

    • Hi Renato,
      Thanks so much for getting involved in the site with your comments, we really do appreciate it.
      You are right about putting rejections into context – Too much success would be tedious. (I’d like a wee shot at it though!! You know what they say, ‘A change is as good as a rest’)
      All the very best my friend.
      Hugh

      Liked by 1 person

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