If Your Submission Is Rejected Twice by a Publication…

…Initial engagement, subsequent hesitation and eventual refusal is nothing but an act of schadenfreude

Vickey Maverick.
3 min readMar 10, 2023
Photo by Joshua Lawrence on Unsplash

Recently I made a submission to one of the publications on this platform. The initial response was a positive one, albeit with a directive. It read,

This is almost ready. There are quite a few mistakes. Please correct and resubmit.

I had previously submitted drafts to the publication, and they had been accepted/published. So it wasn’t as if I was new to it or wasn’t aware of the guidelines. I worked on the draft and resubmitted after a few days. This time, the publication rejected the submission altogether with the note reiterating that “few mistakes” narrative.

A publication is entitled to accept or deny a draft. So rejection isn’t something to worry about, but I wanted to know what exactly were the mistakes, especially since I had made a considerable effort in reworking the draft.

Had the editor pinpointed the mistakes or at least made an attempt to respond to my query, it would have been a positive overall experience, irrespective of the end result.

I waited for a few days. There was no response. No problem. I submitted the draft to another publication, and it is doing well. The “few mistakes” for one publication turned out to be an error free draft for another. That, though, is not the point. I was expecting a more professional response from the publication, which unfortunately wasn’t the case.

An outright rejection is a much better option than initial engagement, subsequent hesitation and eventual refusal. In fact, a straightforward refusal or using a polite way of saying “thanks, but no thanks” would eventually make a writer feel a lot better, but that is not usually the case.

Instead, if a publication rejects your submission twice over, after showing initial interest, that is, it means two things.

One, their editors aren’t willing to spend time on fine tuning the rough edges or for that matter guide you through it. Two, it is among those many publications that is only interested in icreasing the numbers, and tend to take their contributors for granted.

In the event of even the minutest of errors, the publications are willing reject the entire submission altogether. Making you work on the draft again is nothing but an act of schadenfreude.

In any case, delay eventually leads to a denial. The approach of the editor towards the submitted draft in this case is negative. If the draft didn’t meet up to the publication’s supposedly lofty standards, the editor always had the option of rejecting it in the first time asking. Instead, he/she indulged in an initial engagement. Isn’t that indecisiveness on their part?

Truth be told, if a draft faces twin rejections, it simply means you should not waste further time in convincing that publication but look for pastures anew. In other words, reject the publication that rejects you. It is imperative to explain, and understand, that this is not a negative approach. On the contrary, it is a pragmatic approach.

Just as a publication is entitled to accept or reject a draft, a writer is well within rights to choose another publication, where his/her submission will get the respect it deserves. There are always better alternatives available. The option of self publishing is always there.

In the final analysis, a credible publication is one where the editors are willing to engage with the writers to enhance the overall quality of the submissions instead of disrespecting a writer’s effort. As such, before making their next submission a writer must first attempt to understand this aspect, and submit accordingly.



Vickey Maverick.

Ditch the Niche: Focused on providing insightful narratives on diverse topics like culture, health, history, slice of life, sports, travel, work, and on writing