Strycher wrote:Wanting a second look at a story does not mean it won't be a straight rejection. People end up in the second look pile at Daily Science Fiction, Shimmer, and other markets that notify you if you make it to the second round and still end up with form rejections.
But it does give some reason for hope and the knowledge you were better than average at least. That's something for many beginners and some not so beginners.
Reason for hope? Maybe.
Knowledge that you were better than average? I disagree entirely, at least so far as the mythical WotF "hold pile" goes.
There's a big difference between "Since my story was in the hold pile, I can hope that it meant I was going to get HM or better" and "Since my story was in the hold pile, my story was definitely going to get HM or better until DF took over the contest and rejected it."
I hate to seem like I keep hammering on this, but most of the posts I see on the "hold pile" read more like the latter than the former.
To go with Strycher's comparison to other markets, I suspect the "second round" in those basically just means "Congratulations, you did not turn in a poem/cookbook/memoir/MS-containing-600-pages-of-gibberish! Now someone will actually read your story."
With WotF, all we can really say for absolutely certain is that KD didn't assign places to stories in the "hold pile." Whether that means she thought they were HM-or-better quality or whether she wanted a second read before deciding, or even whether she just hadn't read them before she passed away is impossible to tell