Rejected again, but maybe not…

Okay, so I posted a little prematurely that I would have a short story included in the October edition of eFiction Magazine.  Yesterday I got the following email from Doug Lance, the Editor:

Hey Kevin!

The editorial staff feels that your latest submission “Christmas” could use a bit more polish before it goes into an issue. Would you like to workshop it? Or work on it yourself and try resubmitting the piece?

Thanks for contributing!!


Certainly, I’ve had rejection notices before, but Doug’s email was different.  First off it was upbeat and positive.  It didn’t just tell be that my work was unworthy or that it wasn’t what was trending now.  More importantly, it included something none of the other rejection notices ever did ― options.

“Would you like to workshop it? Or work on it yourself and try resubmitting the piece?” Wow, options. Normally, it’s either yes or no, worthy or unworthy.  I knew that the eFiction website had a Workshop for authors, but I had never really considered it.  Basically the Workshop is a place where you can upload whatever you’re working on and other authors will read it and provide comments.  I just uploaded it yesterday, so I haven’t gotten any comments back yet, but I have seen comments made about other’s works.  I’m very impressed by the level of detail some of the reviewers provide and their willingness to help out a fellow author.  Writing is typically a solitary pursuit and I’ve always been reticent to share, but I can see the potential for a workshop if the members are really active and dedicated.

My other option, of course, was to work on the story myself which I am doing as I await results from the Workshop.  If you’ve done any writing at all, and especially if you self-edit as I do, you probably have a pretty good idea what I’m about to reveal about my own efforts.  Yes, indeed, as soon as I started rereading my story several grammatical errors, including dropped and repeated words, jumped out at me.  I know I was in a hurry to call the piece done and submit another story, but if those errors glared at me, they must have screamed at the editors.

Rejecting the story was the right thing to do.  I’m a little embarrassed because I submitted something that was not up to eFiction’s standards or my own, but I’m not upset or discouraged.  The way eFiction presented the rejection made all the difference.  It told me that while my piece needed polishing, I was not alone in the effort and help was available if I chose to avail myself of it.  I have chosen to workshop my piece, make it better, and resubmit it at some point.

I was rejected, but for the first time I actually feel good about it.

If you have comments about this or any of my posts, please leave a comment by selecting the Leave a comment or Leave a Reply links.  I look forward to your comments.


About Kevin_Fraleigh

I am a novelist, and much of my writing is predicated on the concept that within each of us is a hole. For some of us, the hole is a divot, shallow and insignificant. But for many of us the hole is a cavern, deep and expansive. We try to fill it with sex or drugs or religion, but the cavern has an insatiable appetite. This is where the dark things live―the things that fill our nightmares. The things that claw at our minds. The things that inspire the stories of horror, madness, and twisted realities. From the depths of that cavern come the seeds of my stories. Won’t you join me in the dark edges of reality? Learn more about me from my blog at You can find my novels at,, and most eBook retailers. You can also read some of my full length short stories at
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One Response to Rejected again, but maybe not…

  1. Essie Holton says:

    Hey Kevin. I’ve already read the story through the submission process, and I’m looking forward to helping in the workshopping process. I may be a little late getting my notes back to you, but the new issue goes live in just over a week, so I will be a bit busy.

    I’m glad you took Doug up on his offer to workshop your piece.

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