I have this recurring nightmare. In it, I read a gorgeous, emotionally powerful, unsettling story that isn't quite right for Liminal. I send a rejection, and in that rejection I ask, sincerely, that the author send us more stories.
And then I never see their name in the inbox again.
As you may have guessed, this is less a nightmare and more a thing that happens all the time. And yes, I notice. If you've ever wondered whether editors remember you, whether they're really "looking forward to your next submission," the answer is yes. Yes they do. Yes they are. Or at least, I am.
Now, there are a lot of reasons why we might not get repeat submissions. Maybe the author doesn't have any other free stories. Maybe they don't like the tenor of our rejections. Maybe they're simply busy.
But there's another possibility that really worries me. Fear. Specifically, fear of disappointing us.
As a writer, I struggle with this fear a lot. Once I feel an editor's gaze on me, I freeze up. What if my next story isn't as good? What if they decide the one story they liked was a fluke? What if they stop liking me?
Friends, this is silly. Honest, it is. If an editor says they like your work, send that editor more stories! And no, they won't connect with all of them. That's ok. Keep trying. They're rooting for you.
I am rooting for you!
I promise, we're not keeping a secret score card. We don't deduct points every time you send us a story we don't publish. I know rejections hurt. And I know rejections from markets that have encouraged you, or published you, tend to feel particularly demoralizing. But those rejections don't mean you're failing. They don't mean your new stories aren't as good.
They mean exactly what they say. "We love your work, but this isn't a good fit. Please, send more."
.3%. That's Liminal's acceptance rate. So it may take a lot of tries to thread that needle. But trust me, we're on your side.