Winning Stories Rejected by the Zines?

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chuckt
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Winning Stories Rejected by the Zines?

Postby chuckt » Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:24 am

Don't know why I became curious about this. Maybe because the story I am considering for 2019 Q4 has two rejections. Have there been winning stories that were previously rejected by the zines? I know that there have been plenty of finalists, semis, and HMs that went on to be published.
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Michael Kingswood
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Re: Winning Stories Rejected by the Zines?

Postby Michael Kingswood » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:28 am

No idea, but I'd wager the answer is almost certainly yes.

Different editors have different tastes, and different visions for the works they are putting together. A story that doesn't work at all for one person, or for one project, may be the perfect fit for another.

Writerly delusions about polishing and perfecting the precious gems that are their stories aside, past a certain level of basic competence it is all just a matter of subjective taste, nothing more.
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Wulf Moon
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Re: Winning Stories Rejected by the Zines?

Postby Wulf Moon » Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:46 am

As an editor for a professional SF magazine and having read slush for a literary magazine, I will say there is an enormous difference between manuscripts written by seasoned published professionals, and those that are still in the novice stage and have little or no professional sales yet. That said, if a less experienced writer is in the right place at the right time, meaning their story is exactly what the editor is seeking AND the execution is excellent, a newer writer can connect and make a sale. Also, as you drop in pay rate, most often the writing does as well, and a novice writer has greater and greater chances of making a sale. You just have to decide what your threshold is that you feel would still be a worthy showcase for your work.

As to stories shopped to pro markets elsewhere and then sold here, I suspect it's very rare. The benefits for a novice writer selling to WotF are so high, if they've got a good story, they would most likely submit it here first. Of course, many have submitted here and, after being rejected, have gone on to sell it to pro markets elsewhere. I have a story I submitted to and had it rejected by every coordinating judge in this contest, and it eventually sold to a pro paying market elsewhere, and was also reprinted in their Best of the Year anthology. Brad Torgersen is probably the best example, however. Dave rejected his story, but told him to send it to Analog, and it won their readers' choice award as best story of the year.
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Andy Dibble
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Re: Winning Stories Rejected by the Zines?

Postby Andy Dibble » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:00 am

My first place piece was rejected by Analog and likely others (I didn't always keep good records on my submissions back when I first wrote it). The beginning also got a facelift before I resubmitted to WOTF, so my experience may not speak much to your question.

In truth, I think the best way to succeed in WOTF is to read recent anthologies, learn what characterizes winning stories, and make sure that your story has most of the same virtues. If a rejected story is your best chance, submit it to WOTF. I know when publishing academically, whether or not a given paper passes first round reading differs significantly from reader to reader, even at the same journal. I'd be willing to bet that phenomenon is even worse with fiction because the ways a story succeeds are much more diverse than papers in a particular academic discipline. Past failure is not a great indicator of future failure :)
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TimE
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Re: Winning Stories Rejected by the Zines?

Postby TimE » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:03 am

Andy Dibble wrote:My first place piece was rejected by Analog and likely others (I didn't always keep good records on my submissions back when I first wrote it). The beginning also got a facelift before I resubmitted to WOTF, so my experience may not speak much to your question.

In truth, I think the best way to succeed in WOTF is to read recent anthologies, learn what characterizes winning stories, and make sure that your story has most of the same virtues. If a rejected story is your best chance, submit it to WOTF. I know when publishing academically, whether or not a given paper passes first round reading differs significantly from reader to reader, even at the same journal. I'd be willing to bet that phenomenon is even worse with fiction because the ways a story succeeds are much more diverse than papers in a particular academic discipline. Past failure is not a great indicator of future failure :)


Interesting to read - thanks for posting.
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KyleKirrin
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Re: Winning Stories Rejected by the Zines?

Postby KyleKirrin » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:55 am

my first place story was rejected as well--straight form rejections from f&sf, strange horizons, and clarkesworld. no edits between any of the subs, either.

/shrug
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