When the publication “Six Hens” first came out, I excitedly worked on a story to send to them. Their submission guidelines attracted me immediately, which said, “Six Hens features true stories about the moments that define and redefine. Our writers take us to the places and events that changed what they believe in, changed how they see their place in the world, and changed them. Through their storytelling, they change us. We are looking for powerful, first-person nonfiction about the moments that segment life into before and after. Make us feel something.”
After I finished my powerful story, which I was certain would ‘make them feel something,’ I sent it off. After a long wait, my submission was, once again, rejected. I had read through some of the stories in the past issues on my spare time and I realized the writing was of very high quality and that the editors were extremely selective with what they accepted.
I waited for the next reading period to send better writing, and took time to polish my work, hoping this time my story would get published. The topic was on the struggles I have faced looking after my dad who has dementia. I waited eagerly for a response, feeling a lot more confident with this story.
Once again, the editor passed on the story, but made a few comments on how I could improve this story. I immediately emailed the editor back, thanking her for their feedback (something that editors rarely do), and asked if I could resubmit the story after some fine-tuning. She said I could but she couldn’t guarantee that it would be published. I was willing to take the risk as I was now that one step closer to getting published.
I then received an email telling me I had been ‘elevated to the second round.’ The week’s following this email were filled with expectation yet I was quietly confident that I would get published.
When the next email arrived, I nervously opened it. I didn’t expect, after all that time and effort, that I would receive yet another rejection. But, unfortunately, that’s exactly what I found. Feeling dismayed, I tried to decide what to do next.
A few days later, I searched some other publications that would be a good fit for my story. I found an Australian online publication called “Eureka Street” that I thought may be suitable. I submitted the story to see if they’d consider it. To my surprise, the editor contacted me the very next day! They said they wanted to publish the story that same week. I was so happy that I finally had the story published. And, as a pleasant surprise bonus, they paid two times more than Six Hens!
With this newfound confidence, I rewrote the story, and submitted it in a different format to Kaleidoscope and Transition. They published the story, too!
I learned a valuable lesson: Rejection can be a stepping stone to success!
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Julie Guirgis is am an international freelance writer living in Sydney, Australia. Her writing has been published in several publications including Adventist Review, Signs of the Times, Transition, Vibrant Life, Majellan, Madonna, Eureka St, The Nathaniel Report, Significant Living, Caring Times, Alive Now, Now What?, Insight, Guide, Woman Alive, The Aquarian, The Edge, Creation Illustrated, Kaleidoscope, Insights, Compass, Writer’s Weekly, Coffee House for Writers, Author’s Publish Magazine, and Vita Bella Magazine. She has upcoming work in Spotlight on Recovery, The Narcissist’s Playbook Anthology, and Unity.