Data on why you should keep submitting rejected work! I Should Be Writing, Episode 239: Interview with Vylar Kaftan (science-fiction short story writer) contains a link to some interesting statistics on Kaftan’s submissions. In the interview, she says “have faith and keep trying.” I think most wannabe writers have heard that so often that it starts to sound trite, but this time it comes with data.
I note (and much of the details are discussed in the interview) that even after 7 years, three dozen short stories, and a Nebula… Kaftan’s work still takes an average of about 6 submissions before acceptance, a number which apparently hasn’t changed over time (even as she has become more well-known and established). Further, there was no difference in the submission count between pro- and non-pro markets.
Even her Nebula-nominated story I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You In Reno was rejected three or four times before getting picked up by Lightspeed. One story took 19 submissions to get accepted, and that one received six Nebula recommendations.
So… wow. Makes me feel a whole lot better about my two lousy rejection letters. Time to revise and resubmit elsewhere!