10 Things Magazine Writers Can Do To Not Get Rejected

There’s nothing worse than getting a rejection letter, especially when it’s from someone you haven’t even met. It can be hard to take in stride, but try not to get discouraged! We’ve got some tips that will help ensure your next submission is successful.

1. Focus on the target audience: Understand the preferences and interests of the magazine’s readers to create relevant and captivating content.
2. Craft compelling headlines: Grab editors’ attention with attention-grabbing headlines that convey the essence of your article.
3. Polish your writing skills: Hone your writing craft, pay attention to grammar and style, and make your prose engaging and error-free.
4. Follow submission guidelines: Adhere to the magazine’s submission guidelines to increase the chances of your work being considered.
5. Research the magazine: Familiarize yourself with the magazine’s tone, style, and previous articles to align your writing with their brand.
6. Be persistent and patient: Rejections are part of the process, so stay resilient, learn from feedback, and keep submitting your work.
7. Network and build connections: Connect with editors, writers, and industry professionals to expand your opportunities and stay informed.
8. Edit and revise diligently: Polish your articles thoroughly, and seek feedback from peers or mentors before submitting the final piece.
9. Pitch unique and timely ideas: Offer fresh and relevant story ideas that stand out and address current topics of interest to the magazine’s audience.
10. Develop a thick skin: Embrace rejection as a stepping stone to success and use it as motivation to improve and persevere in your writing journey.

It’s Not As Black And White As It Looks

Rejections are a part of life, so don’t take them as a reflection of your writing ability.

It’s not as black and white as it looks. The editor may have simply been looking for something else that day, or perhaps they already have an article scheduled on the topic you submitted about that week. They could’ve got caught up in another story idea, so they passed on yours without much consideration.

Don’t let rejections get you down because even if one magazine doesn’t want your piece, will you just have to keep trying!

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They Don’t Know You, They’re Just Judging You

You’d be surprised how many people don’t realize that rejection letters are often just formed letters. The editor or publisher of a magazine doesn’t know you, they’re just judging your work. So if it lands on their desk and they say no, it’s not personal it’s just business!

Once you understand this, you can stop being so paranoid about every single rejection letter and take them for what they are: often meaningless pieces of paper with no reflection whatsoever on your talent or worth as a human being.

It’s All About Being Genuine And Sincere

The best way to pitch a story is to be yourself. If you’re an expert on the topic, that’s great! But if not, don’t pretend otherwise. This will come off as insincere and will make your editor think twice about assigning you another story and rightly so! Being honest with your editor is the best way to earn their trust and respect.

It’s also important that you write sincerely rather than in a “fake” tone just because you think it’ll win over an editor. Your personality should shine through in every piece of writing you do; being fake or trying too hard can turn off editors and make them think less of you as a writer. Just add some humor here and there, but don’t try too hard at anything else!

Monthly Calendars

As a magazine writer, you have to be able to think like a publisher. You need to know what’s coming up in your publication and what other publications are doing. 

You also need to know what topics are trending, so that you can pitch stories that cover them before they’re hot again. Of course, there’s also the matter of knowing what readers want from magazines and advertisers! The best way to do this is by monitoring competitors’ websites and magazines (see point #3).

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Telling A Little More Of A Story

Sometimes you’ll get a rejection notice that says, “We enjoyed this piece, but it was a little too vague. Please tell us more about the story.”

This means they want you to paint a clearer picture of what happened in your piece and give more personal details about yourself as the writer. 

They may also be looking for an angle of why the story is interesting enough to read in print, so think about why your tale stands out from all others like it or how it changed or affected your life or someone else’s life (like if you were inspired by someone else’s story).

If you have no idea where to start with telling more of a story then try asking yourself these questions:

  • What period does this happen?
  • What season?
  • Where did this happen?
  • What was going on at that moment? And then continue answering these types of questions until there isn’t much left to answer!

Who Are The People Running The Publications?

You should know the person you are sending your work to. Just like a blind date, you need to have some idea of what they look like and what they’re into.

Before submitting anything, do some research on the editor or publisher of the publication you want to write for. Find out what their interests are and who they write for. Look at their website, social media pages, and previous articles they have published to understand their style and preferences when it comes to writing styles, word choice, and content topics.

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Send Stuff Out Early To Get Their Feedback

To avoid getting rejected, send out your stuff early. Yeah, that’s right: I said it.

It’s a cliche and I know it. But if you want to get published and make a name for yourself as a writer, then you have to put yourself “out there” and share your work before it is polished or done. 

This can be scary but will help develop your writing skills and you will learn where the holes are in your story by getting feedback from others. You can also see if people like what you are doing so far and find out what they would like more of from this person who is writing about (fill in the blank).

You’re Probably Not Ready For Publication Yet

You might be surprised to hear this, but even the best writers often make mistakes. If you’re getting rejected a lot, it’s probably because your writing isn’t ready for publication yet.

That doesn’t mean your work is bad; it just means that you need more practice and experience before sending in something that will be accepted. If you want to keep trying for acceptance into the magazine at some point in the future, then go ahead! 

You may not get it right away but if you keep at it, eventually someone will see what an amazing writer (and person) you are and feature your work on their website or in their next issue of the magazine!

Enhancing your writing skills is crucial for success in magazine writing. Dive into our guide on how to write better magazine articles: 15 proven techniques to refine your craft and craft compelling stories that editors won’t be able to resist.

Take Rejection In Stride, But Keep Trying

Most of the time, rejection is just a temporary setback. If you have a lot of experience with writing, it’s likely that you’ve been rejected before and learned from your mistakes. You may even have gotten published after being rejected a few times. 

Not everyone is going to like what you write, so don’t take it personally if an editor doesn’t want to publish your work or doesn’t respond at all. Keep trying! Don’t give up!

The more practice you get writing magazine articles and submitting them for publication, the better writer you’ll become, and eventually some of those submissions will be accepted by editors. 

Keep learning new things about writing techniques and style; keep improving upon your skills as a journalist or freelance writer; keep practicing by submitting more pieces; keep publishing at least one article every month. The key is persistence!

Don’t Get Discouraged By Rejections

Rejection is part of the process. You might as well take it in stride.

This is a difficult thing to do, but it’s important to remember that rejection is not personal it’s just an indication that your piece didn’t fit their current needs or style. (After all, you can’t expect a magazine or newspaper editor to have time for every single writer who sends them work.) 

If you find yourself feeling discouraged after getting rejected by one publication, keep trying! And don’t despair if it takes months or even years before your first piece gets accepted: writing is hard work and there are no shortcuts when it comes to honing one’s craft over time.

Searching for new writing opportunities as a magazine writer? Explore our list of 10 ways magazine writers can find their next job to discover platforms and strategies that can lead you to exciting projects and fresh publication avenues.


You can’t be a successful writer if you don’t believe in yourself, and rejection is a part of the process. You have to learn how to handle it to move on from there. So take this list with you as you go forth into the world of magazine writing. We hope it helps!

Further Reading

The 10 Dos and Don’ts of Being Rejected: Learn essential tips on how to handle rejection with grace and professionalism in the writing industry.

Getting Honest About Rejection as a Writer: Top Tips: Gain insights into dealing with rejection as a writer and discover ways to grow from the experience.

Tips for Dealing with Rejection as a Writer: Find practical advice and coping strategies to navigate the emotional challenges of facing rejection in your writing journey.


How should I handle rejection as a writer?

Rejection is a natural part of the writing process. Instead of taking it personally, view it as an opportunity to learn and improve your craft. Seek feedback, revise your work, and keep submitting to different markets.

How can I overcome the fear of rejection?

Embrace the idea that rejection is inevitable and happens to all writers. Focus on your passion for writing, set realistic expectations, and remind yourself that every “no” brings you one step closer to a “yes.”

Should I give up after facing multiple rejections?

No, don’t give up. Rejections are common in the writing world. Persistence is key. Keep honing your skills, seeking feedback, and submitting your work. Remember, even famous authors faced rejection before finding success.

How can I use rejection as a motivation to improve?

Use rejection as an opportunity for growth. Analyze feedback from editors or reviewers, identify patterns in their comments, and work on strengthening those areas in your writing.

Is it okay to feel discouraged after being rejected?

Feeling discouraged is normal, but don’t dwell on it for too long. Allow yourself to feel the emotions, but then channel that energy into your writing. Surround yourself with a supportive writing community that can lift your spirits and offer encouragement.