Many writers wish editors, agents, and publishers would give feedback when they reject a submission, but they don’t. As a writer, I share this frustration. As a publisher, I know the reason why they don’t provide submission feedback.
After trying in vain to give writers feedback and wasting way too much time in the process, I’ve simply given up. I can better spend my time working with the submissions I accept to make them the best they can be.
When I reject a submission, it’s usually with a short message: “I have decided to pass. Sorry.” This is curt, but anything more, especially to tell them why, inevitably spirals into a series of email exchanges, which are time-consuming and seldom productive.
Few people who’ve asked for my feedback truly want to improve. Instead, they hope they can talk me into changing my mind.
If a person submits something clearly outside the type of content my publications use, I just delete their message. This may seem harsh, too, yet they didn’t even bother to read the submission guidelines and don’t have a clue about what we publish. I owe them nothing.
By the way, I get ten or more unsolicited submissions a day, along with several hundred spam emails. Sometimes I can’t tell the difference. It takes too much time to wade through them. I, like every other publisher, editor, and agent, am pressed for time. I need to make every minute count.
Instead of hoping for submission feedback, use other resources to improve as a writer. Then submit your best work according to the submission guidelines. That’s what I do.
Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!