Guest Post: ‘Turning rejections into acceptances’ by Susie Kearley

Introducing freelance journalist and writer Susie Kearley who relays some insight and experience from her many successful years of writing articles.


Turning rejections into acceptances

Writing short pieces, like magazine articles or blogs, can hone your skills so when you’re writing books, you’re better at editing your own work and getting the tone right for the market.  When I started writing for magazines in 2011 it was a rocky road, littered with disappointment and rejection. But fortunately, with perseverance and determination, I’ve since sold well over 1000 articles to publishers across the globe. One thing I have learnt to do however, is master the art of turning rejections into opportunities, some of which have resulted in sales. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learnt.

Lesson 1: Give the editor what he or she wants

Take 3! The sound of eggs sizzling in the frying pan filled the air and James, the editor of Good Motoring magazine, asked: “What do you think of my breakfast this morning, Susie?”

He poked a microphone at my face and I garbled something incoherent about fry ups not being very nutritious. Porridge would be better.  

We were recording a podcast for the Good Motoring website, and the ‘cooking breakfast’ sounds were pre-recorded. I was nervous and didn’t like being unprepared. I wanted to write my answers down and read them back with confidence, but James whipped my notepad away saying he didn’t want it to sound staged. “No danger of that,” I thought.  

The interview was the outcome of a rejection letter. James had rejected my proposal to write about the hair-raising experience of being a learner motorcyclist on British roads, but said he was interested in other road safety ideas. So instead, I secured a commission to write about good nutrition to help drivers concentrate on the road – this podcast was part of the package.
“I don’t normally eat a full English breakfast,” said James, “but I thought it would give us more to talk about!” And so began the start of a beautiful working relationship – he has since bought my articles on speed cameras and motorcycle driving tests too.

What did I learn from this experience? To listen and learn from the feedback received. Look for opportunities that rejection letters reveal and then give the editor what he wants.

Lesson 2: Don’t write an essay!


One of my earliest customers was Paranormal magazine. The editor, Brian, didn’t offer firm commissions, but would tell me if he liked an idea. Then I’d submit a full article on spec for his consideration.

He was interested in an idea I’d pitched entitled ‘The Psychology of Fear’ so I trawled through my psychology degree books, writing up all things fear-related including conditions like panic attacks and their treatment. It was well researched but a bit academic, so I made an attempt to lighten it up and submitted it.

Brian rejected the piece saying it was ‘too clinical’. More suited to a psychology journal than a magazine about hauntings. I understood the problem and managed to find another buyer for some of the work: Leader magazine is an academic title published by the Association of Schools and Colleges. I used some of the ‘fear’ material in a feature on stress and it worked well because the body’s reactions to stress are very similar to fear.

Leader paid three times as much as Paranormal, and the sale resulted in commissions for a further two articles on the topics of nutrition and social media.

What I learnt: If you write something on spec which is rejected, think laterally about alternative markets for the piece, and consider whether parts of the article could be used to cover a different topic altogether. Rejected work can still form the basis of a good article for a different market, and that can lead to a profitable long-term relationship.

This is an extract from Freelance Writing on Health, Food and Gardens by Susie Kearley.

View the book here:

Susie Kearley is a British freelance writer and journalist, working for magazines, newspapers, and book publishers around the world. She has a collection of books on writing, and her debut novel ‘Pestilence’ is out now. You can view Susie’s Amazon author page here.


If you have an article or a book review and want to be a guest writer then the Hall of Information wants you! Reach out via the submit a book review/article section.




‘From Voiceless to Vocal’ by Danielle Larsen – Review

Candid, brave and ultimately inspirational…

While many of the subjects in this memoir aren’t easy to talk about, Danielle Larsen delivers her story flawlessly and highlights the moments and events of a journey that makes for a gripping read. In this day and age the subject of mental health needs to be talked about more and this book does that. Being wrongly diagnosed at a young age ultimately paves the way for Larsen’s struggles while the main bulk of the story focuses on her being in a relationship with an abusive controlling partner. For much of the time it’s frustrating to see the abuse that unfolds – why can’t she just leave? Unfortunately it’s a little more complex than that and part of the journey is understanding that it’s hard to leave sometimes and breaking those shackles is difficult when the circumstances of gaslighting and emotional abuse are present.

“Normal does not have to mean good or comfortable, but simply what one gets used to…”

This book acts as guide in some senses to spread awareness while also informing others. The narration style feels natural and relays every moment with dignity and there are some moments when you cannot help but feel for a person who has been through so much – a lot of it wasn’t even her fault and you just want her to succeed in the end. There are even some brighter moments later on which highlight finding inspiration from musical theatre and how we all need to find something for emotional release. For Danielle Larson to share a memoir like this it’s incredibly brave and ultimately inspirational because the message is no matter how many chips are down you can always come back, there’s always hope and survival is probably the greatest gift we have.

5 Stars – A gripping and touching well-written read that bravely shares so much. Reviews left via Amazon and Goodreads.

A message from Best Selling Indie Author Lee Hall

Above all, thank you to everyone who has ever had faith in my words. For me to be sharing this moment is both surreal and quite humbling. Those who did tune in yesterday via social media will know the news but for those who didn’t, I shall leave it here…

I’ve said before that the material things that come with writing; the sales, the reviews, the ‘success’ don’t really matter as opposed to the writing journey and that is still true to me but when the worlds largest book retailer decide that you are a best seller, then that’s a moment you cherish. This is not just a personal victory but for the wider brethren of indie authors that make up a wonderful writing community. A win for one author is a win for all.

From being 12 years old on a rainy day facing that windows 98 computer about to start this journey with nothing but starry eyed dreams to the now many wonderful people who support stories I’ve released into this world. This road has been paved by moments like this, it perhaps justifies the efforts, the hours and the work. There’s a place in the world for my stories and they can be successful, they can be best selling and they can stand on their own. And probably the most wonderful crowning moment of all of this; if I can do it, there’s no reason why you can’t. While on paper everything I have achieved over the years may appear absurd, it’s achievable by anyone willing to make the journey. How do I know that, because I did it, I achieved it!

Thank you Bookbub for the distribution and having faith in my work. Thank you readers for taking on my work and of course thank you Canada for making me a best selling author. Keep going writers and bloggers, your words are needed in this world…

Weekly Ramble #96

The sheer will to never give up has it’s rewards and as an author good things can happen if you support the industry and trust your own instincts as a story teller. That sort of shit people will embrace and unconditionally follow. And then there is old lady luck, she’s had a way in the past of turning up unexpectedly for me, that is while being mostly absent my whole life.

I’m not really a believer in her, because deep down in my heart of hearts I believe we can engineer our own destiny. We can dedicate ourselves to turning that tide to our own advantage through mainly hard work and sheer will. You can out chance the odds, you can out fate destiny and you sure as hell can out fortune that thing called luck.

Momentum is something I have a lot of right now and I’m wondering when it will be snuffed out. I’m weary of stuff like that because even though I’m the first to shout my achievements to the world, I’ve never really achieved much or even won anything in life. Perhaps like my father famously said, if you work hard enough you’ll have your day. Well maybe mine beckons…

This is just a little reflective piece acknowledging how things seem to be going from strength to strength at the moment for me. My social media is skyrocketing, this blog is growing and my author efforts are on the cusp of something bigger – I hope. Bookbub is what beckons… but no matter what, things are better than yesterday…

Lockdown Equals Opportunity

Hello friends, today’s re-blog takes into consideration the fact many of us are in lockdown conditions right now- but there’s opportunity!

Lee's Hall of information

What a week this is shaping up to be. I mean is this the run up to the final episode of 2020? We’ve got lockdowns announced left right and centre along with an election across the pond. It’s felt like one hell of a long slog to get here with March literally being three years ago, or so it seems…

While in an ideal world it’s fun to compare this present reality to one of our favourite or not so favourite shows (Game of Thrones, cough, cough…), in real life there isn’t the luxury of fading to black and rolling to the credits, or blaming the writers who secured a gig with Star Wars just before they started production of the final season…

Over here in the UK – or specifically England, we’re about to face a second lockdown. Having been there before and because so many of this blog’s…

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Weekly Writing Inspiration #26

It’s that time of the week again where memes meet writing and possibly Inspiration. What a week it has been…

No more words required…

The Governator saying it how it is!

Stay hydrated folks

These days thinking about life is dangerous…

Radiators or buildings, what do you see?

No pain no gain…

Don’t care how old this line is or how old Airplane is, it’s a hilarious film…

I made this meme myself…

Actual Inspiration things…

I made this one too…

If you wanted to check out my prose then ‘The Ghost Beside Me’ can be grabbed by clicking on the banner banner below

And here are some glowing words for Cemetery House from fellow author Sarah Jayne Harry, check out her site here…

You can grab a copy of Cemetery House via the banner…

And that wraps up another meme sharing opportunity, stay safe all…

Weekly Writing Inspiration #25

Whoa, its the 25th edition of sharing memes and some writing inspiration. That’s awesome and so are you for supporting it. Let’s dive in…

Doing the best work here

Loved her first album…

‘Flying turtle…’

Caption: Folks who don’t use dark mode…

That’s better…

Hmmmm

Writers will appreciate this..

And maybe this…

Shrek is love…

Ha…

Dogs, they know all…

I should get a dog…

If only….

Thanks for tuning in folks. See you in the next one!

Weekly Writing Inspiration #20

How many Mondays are there in the month that never ends? Nearly as many memes as you’ll find ahead. There’s actual inspirational things this time also. Let’s do this…

My family may not be any of the professions above but I’d like to think I’m on my way to meme lord status…

The Cabin in the Woods – there are two types of people in this world, those who get this film and those who dont. I feel sorry for those who don’t…

Talking of Whedon…

Can you feel the nostalgia?

Dad joke to the max.

Not that I condone such activity but the meme here is strong…

It’s giving me palpitations just thinking about this…

Honourable Mention

Rest well Vader, you were the man behind the most iconic villain in science fiction cinema.

Book Anniversary Time

It’s been 1 year since Book 5 was published. This short but powerful 59 page story served as my sort of come back to releasing books after quite an extended time away. Hand writing the project from scratch gave me the opportunity to find myself after a very heavy and busy 2018. It’s dedicated to my late Grandfather who shared with me a real Ghost story when I was much younger – it stayed with me and became to inspiration behind the Ghost Beside Me. Even those who leave us can have a lasting effect on our work and lives. To those who have read and reviewed ‘Ghost’ I thank you.

And that closes out the longest November ever, it has also been the most successful ever for this blog in terms of views so thank you! See y’all in the next one!

Weekly Writing Inspiration #19

Well hot damn its yet another Monday in the month that never ends in the year that never ends but there are memes, and a boat load of them to get us through…

You may or may not have seen what’s happened to Twitter recently with the whole fleets thing. I neither approve or reject change, I just ignore it…

Always be Batman…

Be proud of your art folks, no matter how spontaneous it may be…

Satire has predicted things before…

I was there when the PlayStation first launched (90’s), and this is true…

Advertisement that is actually mine…

Black Friday is coming up and so I have taken the initiative to make 4 of my 6 books available for a discounted price of 99 cents to download.

This includes The Ghost Beside Me – a paranormal romance perfect for a cosy weekend read and The Teleporter – a fun super hero comedy with political tones and booze… Click on the banners below for the links…

Back to the regularly scheduled memes…

It’s been a long time since I truly ‘partied’

Whoah Momma… I used to love Johnny Bravo…

I enjoy this…

Owned an I Phone once back in the day, dropped it from ‘toilet height’, the screen broke, the end…

While I like the idea of ‘Rona’ ending it’s proven how dirty and contagious most folks are but you guys reading this are squeaky clean…

Ha,

And so that wraps things up for most probably this month in terms of memes but there’s plenty more content coming. This week we have a brand new Hall of Information Interview! Thanks for tuning in and Happy Thanksgiving to those across the pond! Peace out and have a good week…

Review: Darke Awakening by Lee Hall — SDMcKinley.com – indie author / blogger

A tip of the cap to fellow author and blogger S.D McKinley for this wonderful review of ‘Darke Awakening’.

Be sure to head on over to his blog and give it a follow!

I read the first book in this series titled Open Evening and I can tell you that this writer ( Hall ) has evolved. Toward the beginning of the book, with the rocks and the lake, it reminded me of lofty, floaty feelings I got when reading Storm Constantine’s The Ghosts of Blood and Innocence […]

Review: Darke Awakening by Lee Hall — SDMcKinley.com – indie author / blogger