I’ve gotten sick and tired of being rejected by form emails.

At this point, I prefer to only send to magazines who will at least give a bit of feedback to authors whose work they turn down.

Do you know magazines/editors who routinely make comments about the story in their rejection emails?

  • 3
    Have you tried small, unknown magazines who aren't receiving dozens of submissions every day, and so are able to find the time to provide feedback? Or, perhaps, hiring a professional editor to review and feed-back on several pieces of your work, to get an honest opinion (however brutal it may be) rather than expecting these magazines to provide you with such a service for free? – Chronocidal Aug 5 '20 at 15:16
  • I ask because I have heard that there are several magazines/editors that DO provide free feedback. – user394536 Aug 5 '20 at 15:17
  • Also, why does that mean you should downvote my question? I have seen questions asked here before regarding magazines or editors and their behavior and policies. So why can't i also ask? – user394536 Aug 5 '20 at 15:22
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    @user394536 You can't know that Chronocidal was the one who downvoted your question. I don't see any suggestion from him that your question is off-topic, either, and nobody has voted to close it so far. Downvotes and close-votes are not the same thing. – F1Krazy Aug 5 '20 at 15:25
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    I haven't downvoted, but things that might be the problem: "pretentious"; "will at least have the kindness"; obliviousness to the fact that editors get a huge number of submissions and usually don't have time to respond personally to each one; general tone of entitlement. – DM_with_secrets Aug 5 '20 at 22:42

Most magazines are understaffed, and the staffers they have are overworked --print media is a difficult career, these days. Combine that with the ease of submitting work via email, and you reach a situation where most editors are overwhelmed with submissions, which makes responding personally to them difficult. In addition, there are very few advantages and some significant disadvantages to providing actual feedback. For one, many writers --myself being one --get emotionally invested in their work, and can take negative criticism badly. Conversely, encouraging criticism might unleash a flood of follow-ups. Keep in mind, providing feedback isn't really a part of their job or their mission. Given the large number of polished, accomplished writers out there, it really doesn't do a magazine any good to spend time on helping a less experienced writer improve their craft.

If you are really dedicated to the idea of submitting to outlets that will be willing and able to give feedback, your best bet is small, obscure, local and/or niche publications --ones that won't have thousands of other submissions competing for their attention.

Speaking as someone who once relied heavily on the submission process for feedback, it's a fool's game to look for useful criticism that way. Join a local or online critique group, it will be much more valuable. I signed up at Scribophile (a well-known online critique circle service) a little less than a year ago, and I've found it super-helpful. I always had a very fraught relationship with getting feedback/criticism, and this experience has really helped me embrace it.

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