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At what point do you let a short story go?


I have a short story that I've submitted that's been rejected a few times. I've received no feedback from any place I've submitted it to. It's within my understanding of their markets, but short story markets are notoriously vague about what they want (however, they're very clear about what they don't want).

I'm wondering if "odd" stories just won't do well, no matter which avenue I try? Are publishers only buying tried and true genre works, i.e. sword and sorcery that features your normal character types, with normal character names, with expected story lines?

Also, at what point do you let something go and start doing the rounds with the next piece? Or do you just try each magazine until you've gone through them all?

I don't want to be annoying. God knows I don't want to be that writer. But I think it's a really good story. And it's hard not to get discouraged when you're getting nothing back about why it didn't work.

I will most likely do a bit more reworking with it and try one last time, but I don't know how successful that will be. And I suppose if all else fails, I can keep it and sell it as part of the collection of shorts that I'm accumulating while I world build for the novels.


Why not offer it for free on your blog? Or, if you don't mind not getting paid but want the exposure, submit it to our e-zine?

Thank you for the suggestions, Ankari. After talking it over with some people who know the story, I think I may turn it back into a script and try getting some exposure with a student filmmaker. Still no money from it, but it may be truer to the original vision I had for it.
Why not self publish it?

If I write a short story that I think has prozine potential, I send it out to the assorted prozines, one after another. I hit every prozine I think might be interested in that story.

If none of them buy it, I self publish the story.

If one of them buys it, I self publish the story after the rights revert.