Some notes about rejection letters

Here are a few interesting links I found that give some explanations on rejection letters, and to teach you to “read between the lines” of what editors are saying so that you get the most out of your rejection. And yes, most of the time you will get more than just a no…

A site dedicated towards children’s writing, but the editor notes work for any age group:

An article on why some editors use form letters:

Another writer/blogger’s opinion on rejection letters:

An interesting blog about rejection letters in general:


In response to our rejections…

Lately we have been getting several responses on our rejection letters by email from writers asking us to elaborate on our comments or suggestions to their story in our rejection letters.

Sorry guys, but we don’t have the time or the man power to do so. Besides, it’s not economically efficient for us to take more time assessing and writing out a two page response on a manuscript that we said no to. We’re not making any money off of it, and a few extra minutes on your synopsis is not going to change our minds about your book.

Now, while we do pride ourselves on giving a personal rejection letter to every manuscript we choose not to take on, there are some that will get more attention than others. Why? Well, because we choose to. No other reason, really. If we get a manuscript that really stands out, is well written, or pisses us off so much that we chew threw our desk lamp cord, then we might take a few extra minutes to write out a paragraph or two or mark up/edit the first few pages of the manuscript so that the writer can either better themselves, get an idea on where to submit their story, or give up writing entirely.

And no, not all rejection letters are equal. There are some manuscripts that come through and we can’t get past the first few pages. So we’ll say just that.

“…we’ll have to pass. We just weren’t interested in the plot, and couldn’t get past the first few pages.”

Mean? Maybe a little. But it’s better than the “traditional form” response of many publishers of “Sorry, but not at this time.”

So don’t get upset if we don’t respond to your response to our rejection letter of your manuscript. We just don’t have the time, and frankly, even if we did, unless the story was one we’d consider with a few rewrites, we wouldn’t respond anyway. If you wanted to resubmit your manuscript that would be fine – we’ll either reject it again or realize that this is one persistant sonofabitch and read a little further this time.

But sending an email with

“can you go on about what you meant about my story being slow? How can I better round out my characters to grab an editor’s attention? Could you please maybe explain your comments a little more?”

doesn’t work.

Abaculus contributor copies

A note to all Abaculus contributors –

Because of the recent fires in San Diego, the printer is a bit backlogged, and will not get to our print run for another week. Because of this, your contributor copies are a little late, but they will be on their way soon.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at


Disturbing writing prompts

I get the question of “how to overcome writer’s block” more than you’ll ever know. So, to help out a bit, below is a list of ten strange, unique…disturbing…prompts to help kick your butts in gear if you’re in a writing slump, carefully put together by our editors and strange-but-surprisingly-helpful friends.

**Note. This list is odd, and not meant for young adult or children fiction. Please be aware. There, we warned you.**

1. You wake up in your college dorm bathroom. The only light is that filtering through the filmy windows high above the showers. You’re alone. You try the door, only to find yourself locked in. Then you realize that it’s the first morning of Thanksgiving break, and since the dorms were cleared out and locked, you’re stuck for the next four days. How do you entertain yourself?

2. You’re at home. You just got out of the shower, when the bathroom door starts shaking. A seven-inch long spider leg comes exploring under the crack at the bottom of the door. What’s worse, it’s got your spouse’s wedding ring looped around it’s hairy appendage…

3. You accidently run over the next door neighbor’s seeing-eye dog. How do you tell the nine-year old owner?

4. Back in the bathroom. You’re sitting on the toilet, and you hear a splash, even get a few droplets spattered your behind. You look down – your penis just fell off.

5. You come home from work early to find your dog reclined on the couch with a bottle of Jack Daniels and a cigarette.

6. Write an 800 word story about a small, red-headed boy named Claire. Though he’s nearly 13 he looks to be pushing eight, has a fear of anything that flies (especially hummingbirds) and is allergic to chocolate, peanut butter, wheat, strawberries, milk, and latex. He only has one limb (you get to choose).

7. You find a business card left under your windshield wiper that says: “Population controller and problem solver. 15% discount to all new customers, and an extra 10% for maltreated husbands.”

8. You’re at the hospital for your mid-term ultrasound. The doctor’s face pales and steps out of the room for a moment, muttering something to someone before he turns his attention back to you. With a slight frown, he twists the monitor so you can see. Your 20 week old baby has a five inch neck and a tail.

9. You’re falling asleep at your desk when your nose starts itching. You sneeze, and an earthworm slips out.

10. Imagine yourself inside of your favorite movie. Kill off the main character and take over his love life.


New cover update

Abaculus has been edited and resubmitted, we should get the final proof by Friday to review.

Here’s an image of the updated cover:


Abaculus proofs have arrived!

The editor copies for Abaculus, 2007 have arrived, and they look wonderful!

They are hardcover laminate, cloth binding, with beautiful edges and wonderful artwork….
But, ahem, there is something that needs to be fixed before it’s approved and sent off to authors and stores. Not the printer’s fault though – ours actually. Just a mistake on the table of contents that no one caught…until now.

Yeah, it’s a little embarrassing, but hey, what the hell. We learned.

We also made a slight change to the previously posted cover artwork; just the font used in the title. The original didn’t print well, and this came out much clearer.

So the corrections will be made today, and verification should happen in a few days, and then we’ll start shipping off contributor copies and review copies. The release date is still solidly set for December 7, 2007, and we can’t wait to see them out and available.


Not following submission guidelines

Ok, so here’s the deal. Leucrota Press has explicit guidelines on what we are looking for in novels as well as how to go about sending it in. While the submissions for the most part have been following the “what we want” part, they’ve been ignoring the “how we want it” when it comes to electronic submissions.

Electronic Submissions

Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of submissions where the author just puts “Here’s a submission for ya, hope you like it!” and then pasting their three chapters (and sometimes the entire novel) into the body of the email.

…In case you’re a little behind, that’s not what we want. It’s annoying as hell to read, a pain in the ass to try to copy and paste it into Word so that we can read it later, and we’re tired of doing it.

So, we’ve decided to stop.

Not only will your submission be immediately rejected, it won’t even be read. You will get a polite (well, polite by our standards) response saying “You failed to follow directions. Sorry.” And then we’ll hit send, then delete your previous email, and forget about you.

Sound harsh? Well, maybe a little. But you have to understand that it’s not anything different than what the “big guys” do. In fact, they might not even bother responding at all. So no, we’re not being mean. We’re being practical – it’s a waste of our times to deal with authors who can’t follow simple instructions on something as simple as an email.

Postal Submissions

As a quick note, those authors that have been submitting by mail have been rather good at following all directions. Though just remember to include all of the required materials when submitting by mail: ie. a SASE.

I recevied a submission last week with no SASE, and no email address. So, guess what, that means no response. Sorry dude.