Model of Jerusalem at the time of the 2nd Temple now situated at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I’m often asked,
”Why did they reject my  last piece?”                                                           
“Why did they take the last two stories essays I sent them but not this one?”
“ I think my stories are good and everyone says so, so why doesn’t  …..magazine publish them?”

There many possible reasons why articles /queries/ essays are rejected.

1. The magazine may  have recently published something similar.

2. It might be on a subject that just doesn’t interest their readers. Take it from me, the editors know better than you, what interests their readers.

3. It might be too long or too short for them – most publications have standard length for their articles and you need to read a few  copies to get an idea of their length and style.

4. If you’re writing for the religious Jewish market, the particular  subject that you’re writing about or the way that you have written it may not be handled by the publication, or be too questionable or with to many problematic ideas/ thoughts to pass their rabbinical editorial board.

5. It may not be written well.

Notice that reason #5  which is the reason most people think is THE  reason, comes last,so that you don’t always take rejections personally. If you have had several items published then the chances are that you are able to write well. However it is always  possible that you rushed this off too fast and didn’t take enough care with it. Read it through again and check for typos, incorrect grammar, sloppy word choice – just in case this is the reason
Only essays, humor and short stories should be sent in already written to the publication.

All non-fiction article  ideas should be sent as queries before you start writing. them.It’s a waste of time to write the article and then send it in, unless the publication asks to see only completed articles.

These are a few possibilities for rejections, please feel free to add more in the comments section below


  1. Sometimes you can change your story to suit the audience. Sometimes you can try resubmitting to a different section of the publication, or resubmit at a later date. (It's probably considerate to mention that it's a resubmission).
    I have a story looking for a good home. Any suggestions beside the famous frum four?

  2. Thanks for your good ideas about resubmitting.
    I don't know if your story is fiction or non-fiction but there's more than four frum publications/websites
    Mishpacha, Ami, Binah, Hamodia, The Jewish Press, Jewish Action,, ...and probably more if anyone can remind me

  3. It's a while since I submitted any articles or short stories but I can tell you what children's book publishers say in their standard rejection letters because I am the unproud owner of many: this story is not strong enough to stand out in an overcrowded market. I sometimes want to reply with a tiny voice saying, 'can't we go to market first thing Monday morning? It's never crowded then!' But I don't.