Friday, February 4, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Rejection

Hi Erin,
Thanks for the e-mail. This is definitely up Audubon's alley. Unfortunately, we recently ran a story that touched on a species relocation, so it's unlikely we'd run another story soon after.

Thank you again for considering Audubon, and best of luck placing your work elsewhere.

Best,
Audubon magazine

***
My article on managed relocation of endangered species got rejected from Audubon Magazine, and I couldn't be more excited. I have pitched the story all over creation, and haven't gotten a single response, until this one. So even though it was a rejection - the fact that they were nice about it, and that they felt it was a topic they'd be interested in (so I picked well when deciding where to pitch) was encouraging and has re-invigorated my hope that perhaps I can get it published somewhere.

Audubon's response highlights a very important aspect of pitching an article to a publication - you have to make sure they haven't already covered it. In this case, my article is a critique of managed relocation as a conservation policy not about moving a specific species so I felt it was still worth inquiring about. But alas, they still felt it was too similar to their previous story. I still very much appreciated the kind response.

Its a sad day when rejection is thrilling, but to me it feels like progress. Rejection (when kind) can be so much better than just being ignored because it can help you improve and actually get you somewhere. 

4 comments:

  1. Hi Erin,
    I'm sorry to hear of the rejection, but applaud you on your perspective on it. And I agree - the fact that they took the time to respond to you is great. A national magazine, no less.

    Just curious -- when you pitched to other pubs and didn't hear anything, did you follow up? And if so, was it by phone or email (assuming they didn't specify on their website)?

    Amy

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  2. Hey Amy,
    It varied based on the publication, my initial inquiries were all by email, I did a few follow up calls - but some publications actually said please don't follow up with us, wait two weeks and if you don't hear anything then we don't want it. I'm not a fan of the silent treatment, but that is starting to seem like an industry standard.

    I had never pitched an article before last semester so I'm still getting my feet wet with it and trying to figure out what works!

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  3. Great post, Erin, and one that all writers should appreciate. By the way, have you looked at the Journal of Universal Rejection, which has a guiding principle of rejecting everything?:) http://www.math.pacificu.edu/~emmons/JofUR/

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