Rejected – The Return

Returning to my glum post of last week, a little more murk to cheer your day. Below is the form response one gets from Apex Magazine when one is rejected – I have no problem with being rejected (it has become my cross to bear in 2010), but it is why it was rejected that really hits home. Have a read of the note and I’ll see you on the other side…

Thank you for submitting “Masks” to Apex Magazine.

Due to the volume of manuscripts received each day, we now respond to most submissions via this form. Unfortunately, I’ve decided to pass on this story. Listed below are the most frequent reasons we reject a submission. Any marked reasons means your story fits into that category.

[ ] Does not have an adequate speculative fiction element
[ ] Does not have an adequate horror element
[ ] Too frequently seen storyline
[x] Fails to hold interest
[ ] Poorly edited manuscript
[ ] Does not meet guidelines
[ ] Other

Best of luck placing this story elsewhere, and please feel free to submit again.


Jennifer Brozek
Submissions Editor – Apex Magazine

So, what’s being said here is that story was dull. Boring. Staid. Bland. Uninteresting.

Which is a kick in the guts – at the very least, one would like to be entertaining, even entertainingly bad. But ‘fails to hold interest’? I worked my guts out on ‘Masks’, reworked it endlessly and even gave it a whole new first half to give it a bit of depth and punch. And this is my reward?


I know I sound self-involved and quite a whinger. The only thing to do is keep plugging away, waiting for that light at the end of the tunnel (which hopefully isn’t the 7.30 a.m. express from Craigieburn to Hell) to come and sweep me away to a much sought after publication credit. But hurry the fuck up, okay?

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