Monday 23 August 2021

Yours and Yours Fiction rejection policy

Recently I've seen a few comments from people who've submitted to Your or Yours Fiction and after not hearing back for a few months are wondering if they should consider their stories to have been rejected. 

This is from their official guidelines.

"Rejection policy 

For short stories submitted to Yours magazine, you will receive a rejection slip if we are unable to use your story. 

However, for short stories submitted to Yours Fiction, because of the volume of submissions, we are unfortunately unable to provide individual letters of rejection. If you would like your posted short story returned to you, you are welcome to include a Stamped Addressed Envelope with your submission. Please note, however, that it may take up to six months to return these stories."

When you make a submission, you'll get an auto response, which includes this –

"Our review period is x6-12 months. As a result, if you haven't heard from us by the end of 12 months, it's safe to assume we haven't been able to use your submission. 

Space in the magazine is very tight, so please don't take it too badly if we haven't been able to publish your submission."

So, we need to wait 12 months with either publication, unless we get a rejection before then. Just to add to the confusion, it's not uncommon for a story to be passed from one editor to the other. I'm not sure if that story would then jump the queue, or if there could be a further 12 month wait.

Usually the response, if there is one, takes less than 12 months but I don't think it's safe to assume that what has usually happened in the past will necessarily be the case for current submissions.


Maggie Cobbett said...

Very useful information, Patsy. Thank you. I'd been wondering how long to give it before chasing up my stories.

ChrisC said...

Thanks Patsy. I had one story accepted for Yours in Sept '20 but never had any success with Yours fiction. I've been waiting over a year to hear from stories with TPF so I think it's the same all round.

Sheelagh said...

Thanks for that information Patsy

Carolb said...

Thank you for the update Patsy.

It's a long time to wait, but knowing after 12 months it's a no, helps.

Bubble said...

Thanks for this, Patsy. It's good to know.


Wendy said...

Thanks for the information, Patsy. It's so helpful to know these things.

Eirin Thompson said...

If having stories turned down is the worst thing about being a writer, then waiting to hear news can be a close second. This is where I have found that following blogs like this one and Helen Yendall's can be so helpful - here we can feel part of a community, learn of opportunities and other news, pick of tips and guidance, celebrate and commiserate. Much better than going it all alone and just...waiting. Also, the more stories you have 'out there', the more hope you have to hold onto if one story is turned down - would strongly recommend writing and submitting more new material while waiting for responses. (And having stories turned down possibly isn't actually the worst thing - sometimes you can learn something from the experience which will immeasurably improve your future efforts. But it can feel like the worst thing, at the time.)

Sheelagh said...

That's so true, Eirin

Penny A said...

Excellent advice from Eirin! I think it's not so much down to Patience, as to Fireproof Stickability. One good thing, though, it encourages you to think up new ideas.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this Patsy. It's really helpful.
I agree with Eirin. Groups like this are invaluable so you don't feel all alone and can share info. Sharon H

Marian said...

Thank you very much for this Patsy. I agree with the other comments, I'm learning so much on this group. It's very encouraging as well.

Sharon boothroyd said...

I haven't received the usual rejects from Yours (the normal magazine) for a long time - around 8 months I'd say, which is odd, as rejects have tended to come in around the 3/ 4 month mark.
However, me and another writer were constantly sent a reject message for the same story around 6 times!
It was getting annoying but I suspect that their system was off kilter. I wonder if it still is? I feel that they put 12 months simply to cover themselves.
Personally, I reckon after 6 - 8 months, it's a no. I've found that acceptances come in around 3/ 4 months after being subbed.
Bear in mind that Marion and Kathleen both write non- fiction for Yours too, so they have other demanding jobs as well as being fiction editors.

ados123 said...

I'd agree with Sharon that acceptances come from Yours at around 3/4 months (if at all). Marion is lovely to work with - she sent me a note that a reader had sent them saying how much they had enjoyed one of my stories in the magazine.

Sharon boothroyd said...

Ahh, how lovely, Alyson. Yes, Marion is nice.
She rang me once to clarify details and then thanked me for subbing such a lovely story! I only subbed it on the off- chance.
Also, Kathleen has been kind, allowing me to sub an extra Xmas story once at the last minute. It was a no, but it was nice of her to take the time to read and consider it.

New girl on the block said...

Thank you for all these comments. All of them really useful and encouraging. I've had 2 stories in Yours Fiction in the past, but currently waiting for news on stories I've submitted to them more recently.

Patsy said...

Thanks everyone for your comments! My own posts far more useful when others add their own experiences, questions suggestions etc as it gives the bigger picture.

@ Chris – You're right, slowish response times seem to be the norm now. It's something we're probably going to have to get used to.

@ Eirin – Personally I find not knowing even worse than the rejections. As you say, sometimes we can learn from them, and we can try elsewhere, or know to try that market with something different.

Totally agree about having several pieces out at a time. A no doesn't feel so bad if there are chances of an acceptance to follow.

@ Sharon – I've had multiple rejections for the same story from a different market in the past. My guess is that they either forget to note one has been sent, or mark the wrong one as rejected. With so many submissions, and as you say editors often being short of time, it's not surprising there are sometimes mistakes.

@ Alyson – I've just had a response from Marion 5 months after subbing – and that was to say it's been passed over to Katharine, so I still have to wait for a definite response – if there ever is one. Still, it does mean the story has another chance.

@ Sharon – Such responses do make a big difference, don't they?

Anonymous said...

I had two stories published in the Yours specials last year, but despite submitting several more over the past year, I’ve heard nothing. I even tweaked and resent two in March, thinking perhaps they hadn’t received them (the sent section in my emails showed ‘no content’, so I had thought that maybe they’d gone through blank). I’m wondering if Katharine is just selecting stories from a pile at random and discarding the rest. Just a thought. But I’m continuing to write, and I always believe that luck has a lot to do with it. Perseverance is the way to go. Like they say, the more you have out there, the greater chance of success. Good luck, everybody.

Michael D

Kate Blackadder said...

Thank you, Patsy, for this update. Sorry, I can't remember - do Yours/Yours Fiction take All Rights?

Patsy said...

@ Michael – I'd like to think she takes a look at all submissions, but can't say for sure that's the case. Perseverance is indeed very important, and I tend to agree that luck can play a part.

@ Kate – No, they don't. They used to, but changed their policy – proving that those who have changed to taking all rights really do have another option.