Rejection for DDI article isn't so bad
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  1. #1
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    Rejection for DDI article isn't so bad

    I know that lots of people are thinking of submitting material to Dungeon or Dragon Magazine now that the submission window is open (October 1 through November 30), so I thought I'd share my experiences with my submission.

    Full details, including the link to the version of the adventure I submitted and the submission and rejection emails, are on my blog. The adventure itself is available here.

    I submitted an adventure pitch to Dungeon Magazine. I sent my email an hour after the submission window opened on October 1, and I received a rejection letter from Chris Perkins on Monday morning, the first business day after the window opened.

    I really appreciated the quick response on my submission. I also appreciated that Chris talked about WHY he was passing, rather than just saying no.

    The lessons I learned are:

    1. Feel free to write a full draft of the piece you're submitting in advance, but don't expect it to help you get your submission accepted. They have a lot of submissions to go through, and they only have time to read the pitch itself, not your full draft.

    2. For adventures at least, focus on creativity rather than execution. I think my adventure is quite good, with interesting combats and puzzles. However, the plot is fairly mundane - collect the MacGuffins, stop the bad guy. The plot is what makes them decide to accept or reject the pitch, not the details.

    3. Do your research. If you submit something that's similar to a recently-published piece, you're going to be turned down. My submission suffered in part because an upcoming adventure has a similar villain. I couldn't have known that, of course, but if it had been similar to a recent adventure's villain, it also would have been rejected.

    4. Don't be afraid of rejection. In my case, I received a very nice, professional, helpful email. Even though they decided not to publish my adventure, I was glad I submitted it.

  2. #2
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    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)

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    Keep up the good spirits- pitch more ideas.

  3. #3
    My last article pitch submission was so bad I didn't even get a rejection .

    I just sent in a new one, but I am not counting on anything. I did go into more detail than the last one, but still.

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    Well, I think this is their new approach, in part to avoid what happened to you. A lot of people apparently sent in pitches in the past that were silently rejected. They know that's discouraging, so they've committed to review and comment on every submission by no later than two months after the close of the submission period.

    So far, so good, I'd say. Sorry to hear about your past experience, though - that stinks.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by OnlineDM View Post
    Well, I think this is their new approach, in part to avoid what happened to you. A lot of people apparently sent in pitches in the past that were silently rejected. They know that's discouraging, so they've committed to review and comment on every submission by no later than two months after the close of the submission period.

    So far, so good, I'd say. Sorry to hear about your past experience, though - that stinks.
    I sent it during the last review cycle, so theoretically I would have been part of that review and comment commitment. If I don't get a response this time around, I will take that as a hint.

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    Interesting. Thanks for sharing. One thing that Chris said is worth considering too. He sounded a bit concerned about potential length. I didn't count words, but I suspect the length is a little beyond the 5k word region. It is HARD to get in anything in that size that is very substantial. I suspect you can just about barely squeeze 3 encounters and a bit of fluff in 5k. It's not a bad adventure though, no doubt fun to play.

    Now, lets see who can get accepted!

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    Quote Originally Posted by OnlineDM View Post

    2. For adventures at least, focus on creativity rather than execution. I think my adventure is quite good, with interesting combats and puzzles. However, the plot is fairly mundane - collect the MacGuffins, stop the bad guy. The plot is what makes them decide to accept or reject the pitch, not the details.

    But there is a shortage of adventures that do combats and puzzles and exploration right! Especially at the paragon and epic tier. Why focus on new outlandish plots when the fundamentals haven't been covered? Ah well, thanks for sharing. If I can't get my adventure fix from Dungeon I am glad there are fans that are picking up the slack.

  8. #8
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    @ppaladin123: Well, I agree - I think we should have lots of adventures that get the execution right, with cool combats and puzzles and exploration. But when it comes to pitching to Dungeon, they get so many submissions that they don't have time to check that stuff out, and they have to go by whether the adventure has a cool hook or not. I guess they figure they can add the good execution to a good hook.

    Thanks for the feedback on the need for higher-level adventures. I think the next adventure series I write will be focused on paragon tier. I don't know what that series will be yet, but I've enjoyed the adventure writing process!

  9. #9
    see i was a bit confused with my submission, i assumed they wanted the pitch as short as possible, so i short sold my idea for a backdrop a bit (i forgot to mention the hook!) by cutting it down, it was a fairly original idea, but I think Chris Perkins more than amply made comments that let me know what they are expecting and i was nice to hear that the bestest best DM ever read my idea SQUEE!

    that aside, shall we post some of our ideas in a thread here so that even if they are similar to an upcoming project, or they had a basic plot, or in my case, a bit too much even for FR, for the benefit of the ENworld crowd?

    Also, now because of my rejection, ive had an even better epiphany and I may even have a better idea for a backdrop article for FR than my other one (chult is a bit out of the way, calimshan not so bad!) with a very similar basic premise (A+B+C faction in area, PCs pick which group to ally with, changing area dynamics and rewards) but with the all important HOOK!
    Last edited by generalchaos34; Wednesday, 5th October, 2011 at 07:14 AM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ppaladin123 View Post
    But there is a shortage of adventures that do combats and puzzles and exploration right! Especially at the paragon and epic tier. Why focus on new outlandish plots when the fundamentals haven't been covered? Ah well, thanks for sharing. If I can't get my adventure fix from Dungeon I am glad there are fans that are picking up the slack.
    Still, execution comes after conception. I think it's perfectly ok for Mr. Perkins and co-workers to decide based on plot description and tag line. Just imagine how much work it'd cost to analyse submitted encounters for correct execution.

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