So close, so far.

IWSG badgeThis post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. The awesome co-hosts for the the September 2 posting of the IWSG will be Julie Flanders, Murees Dupé, Dolorah at Book Lover, Christine Rains, and Heather Gardner!



What’s worse than an outright rejection?

The almost acceptance.

I’ve experienced the almost acceptance a number of times in my life, and especially the past year I’ve had more than I would like. What’s the almost acceptance? When you send something off to an agent or editor, they seem intrigued and want to see more, so you send them the rest, and then wait…and chew off your fingernails…and go stir-crazy. You can picture a happy day in the future when they’ll tell you they love it and want it. You can smell success in the air. You’re so close you can almost taste it, almost there, allllmost…

And then they say no.

You can handle this one of two ways:

  1. Scream. Curl up in a ball. Drink an entire bottle of wine. Weigh how much you want a career against writing to tell the agent/editor what a loathsome bucket of swine they are. Sober up and not do this. Sigh. Try, try again.
  2. Give yourself a pat on the back for at least getting that far and getting their attention. Feel proud of how much you’ve improved. Sigh. Try, try again.

If you automatically do the second thing good for you, and also, I don’t believe you. Almost acceptance sucks. I’m currently in the hellish limbo of yet another one, hoping it goes the happy route this time. If not I’ll recover and try again, but I’ll drink that bottle of wine first.

Have you had an almost acceptance? What was your reaction?

Author: Megan Morgan

Paranormal and contemporary romance author.

27 thoughts

  1. I did, actually an tbh I was a little upset but mostly happy that someone had expressed interest in what I had to say, even if only initially. That means your writing is good. Especially if it comes with extensive feedback, win-win.


  2. Good luck with waiting this time around. Even though it hurts, an almost acceptance is better than an outright rejection. It means there’s something there, there’s potential, but maybe something is missing.


  3. Hi,
    I’m laughing at your question but not at you because I’ve gotten so many of those almost acceptances and then later I receive a nice encouraging letter. And I scream,’this stinks’. I have just gotten back into the mode that I will resubmit my stories somewhere else. I know there’s an agent out there for me, but it at times when I’ve received a rejection that I waiver. It takes me a couple of weeks to get back on my feet. I still write, but I have to let myself heal first.
    Let yourself heal and then go at it again.
    Wishing you all the best.


  4. Oh, Megan, I’ve been there. So many times. Still, the “no” hurts even when we’re told by our fellow writers that we’ve made progress. Feedback, etc. sure beats a generic “Dear Author” rejection. Think positive!

    Best wishes,
    Diane IWSG #95


  5. Yes, I have definitely been there once, or twice when I was still querying. It was hell. I would probably go for option one just after receiving the rejection and eventually, I will get to #2. Thank you so for visiting my blog and for your kind words of encouragement.


  6. I had an almost acceptance. I was in a query writing workshop which, to my surprise, had a prominent New York agent as the instructor. For practice purposes only (because that’s what I thought we were doing) I had prepared a query for an old manuscript, one that I knew had serious problems and that I’d basically given up on.

    My query impressed the agent. A lot. She wanted me to send her the manuscript immediately. I did, and a few weeks later she rejected it.

    This didn’t upset me much simply because I knew the manuscript had problems and at that point I wasn’t too keen on having it published anyway. But the experience taught me that I have some sense of what I’m doing in this business, or at the very least I learned that I do know how to write a good query letter.


    1. Oh my gosh, that makes me want to drink a bottle of wine in sympathy for you! It’s a shame they weren’t more clear about the fact that query wasn’t ‘just practice.’ But hey–at least you know you have made query writing skills now! The class worked!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. SO many times! And people would say, “That means you’re close.” But then it would happen again. I think, though, that you can think of it as a new relationship with that editor or agent. The person obviously likes your style, so you can put that person on your short list for your next round of submissions. By the time I landed my agent, I was jaded about it after having been “almosted” so many times…so it was a HUGE surprise when she said yes!



  8. Oh yes, I’ve had those times when I’ve been short listed and then BAM! Rejection. I’m pretty good at handling rejections these days, but those ones are the worst. It’s lovely to meet you. Thanks for visiting my blog. (I noticed we write the same genres of fiction!)


  9. Yes, it was maddening, but it also gave me some confidence and a push. I remember one agent, in particular, who said she would always be a fan, cheering for my success. Though I didn’t gain representation, I gained a sense that I wasn’t doing this for naught. There was hope. And wine works, too. 🙂


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