A (Personal) Fortuitous Rejection

There’s a website that functions as a database of open markets for short fiction. It’s worth perusing from time to time to see what’s out there. In one case, I found a call for submissions for an anthology, wrote something for that anthology, and got my first personal rejection.

My piece was short, humorous, and I really liked it. The editor of the anthology, in his rejection email, gave me another piece of valuable insight to the industry:

Unfortunately, we only have three comedy slots available, and this story didn’t quite make the cut.  I have no doubt you’ll find a home for this story, and wish you the best of luck.

Emphasis added.

There’s better reflections on why pieces get rejected elsewhere, and I’m sure that what I’m about to say has been said better but here goes: There’s lots of reasons that a story might get rejected. Only some of those reasons are that the story isn’t good enough. Maybe the editor just bought something similar or maybe in the anthology that the editor is working on, your piece was the fourth comedy for three slots.

Rejection doesn’t necessarily mean a story is bad.