Nancy's Books

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rejection, Writing End to Beginning, Call for Submissions

Rejections letters. Eeuuu, nobody likes them, but a few rejection letters specifically state the problems, such as The ending was not realistic. You now know where your story may be lacking and also more about the type of story the editor is selecting. Seriously consider the comments made by an editor. Editors know what manuscripts work for their publishing houses. The best rejection letters request you to submit a revised manuscript or offer to review some of your other manuscripts.

If rejection slips with no comments flow in like tidal waves, you may want to reevaluate the manuscript. Could the manuscript be lacking in quality? The sheer volume of manuscripts publishers receive is overwhelming and the cream of the crop rises to the top. We become so emotionally attached to our writing it is impossible to be subjective in evaluating our own work. Join a critique group and get professional feedback.

All rejections are not the same. Reflect on the number of rejections, the type of rejections, and the reasons for rejection. Correct the problem by revising your submission list of publishers, the cover/query letter, or the story itself; then resurrect the manuscript with another round of submissions. With a little reflection, you can take your story from rejection to selection.

Writing from End to Beginning

Students sometimes we have great ideas for stories but don’t know where the story should start. Create a plot outline and write the ending, then the middle and finish with the beginning. This activity encourages creative thought long before the first word is written.

Call for submissions:
Once Upon a Day
Deadline: May 15th.
Your protagonist is about to have a day. He doesn't know it yet, but it's going to be a day that, for him, will live in infamy. A day she will point to, years later, as the specific moment when something in her soul changed. It can be a teeny tiny change or it can be a ginormous change. But it has to occur in the light of day.
The first line of your story must begin with: The sun rose...
The last line of your story must end with: ...just as the sun went down.
That which occurs in between—be it drama, comedy, mystery, romance, fantasy, etc.—is entirely up to you. What changes your dawn character to the one we shall see at dusk?
Prize: $100, plus the story will be published in The Verb. More details at

A Cup of Comfort® has once again joined hands with REDBOOK magazine to sponsor a true story contest!

Enter the Cup of Comfort/REDBOOK Your Love Story Contest for a chance to win $1,000, have your story excerpted in REDBOOK magazine, and publish your story in A Cup of Comfort for Couples!

A Cup of Comfort® for Couples: (Call for Submissions)
Stories that celebrate what it means to be in love

This book will feature uplifting true stories with a balanced mix of tones—romantic, poignant, humorous—on a wide range of topics. Story Length: 1000–2000 words.

Call for Submission Deadline: April 20, 2010
Finalist Notification: June 15, 2010
Details at


  1. Interesting post. Thanks so much for sharing. I've never tried writing from ending to beginning, but I think it might be fun to try!

  2. If you know the ending, it is sometimes easier to outline the plot by working end to beginning.