My guest today is Margaret Skipworth. She's come to tell us when to just give up...
When you’re a novice writer it’s easy to convince yourself that if just one editor rejects a story then that particular story isn’t good enough to be published.
My early rejections, going back to 1998, were always ‘spiked’ or filed away on a floppy disc – never to be looked at again.
Thankfully, as my number of acceptances grew, so did my confidence and these days I never give up on a story.
I have sold a few rejected stories without altering a single word. But most stories do need some work on them before they’re suitable for another magazine. This can mean anything from simply changing double to single quotes, tweaking a few words, changing characters’ names to doing a complete re-write – changing from first to third person viewpoint or adding more dialogue, for example.
One of my favourite stories, about a female window cleaner, holds the record for being submitted the most times. It took 11 years and rejections from 9 magazines before it was published. It travelled the world as a twist in the tale, a love story, then a crime story…
Finally, in 2010, I wrote in a new character (the window cleaner’s mother) and it was accepted by Woman’s Weekly.
The Swedish magazine, Allas, was unknown to me until Patsy highlighted it on this blog in March. Since then, Allas has bought three of my stories and these were all stories that I’d re-written after they’d been rejected by other magazines.
When I worked as a writing tutor for a Home Study School I used to tell my students, ‘never give up.’
Now I would add another piece of advice – ‘Never give up on any of your stories.’
You can find out more about Margaret here.