Rejection notes – no.19 in a series

One of the most interesting rejection notes I’ve received. This was a story I wrote many years ago and I suspect the criticisms are quite accurate – it’s just a question of whether I have the time to revisit and rewrite the story.


Thanks for sending me your story “Immortal Longings”, unfortunately it is not quite right for [...].
An interesting idea and well written, but it was far too drawn out with little plot (beyond the guessing who was who). I’m afraid the ending did not come as a surprise, and as the whole story seemed to lead to that twist ending it was disappointing. I felt your story sometimes confused the novel and film version of a character (Rhett Butler?), as if it actually was an actor being cast in a part. I had hoped there would be more of a plot, like a murder of a character to be investigated by Sam Spade or something. A new story populated by old characters. The background is promising, but, for me needs more excitement and action, not just talking and guessing games. I also wonder what happens to characters who have had ‘parts’ but are now out of copyright?

Please bear in mind that this is only my opinion. I hope the comments help, if not there are many other editors with different opinions and tastes.

I wish you all success in placing your story elsewhere.

Rejection notes – no.18 in a series

And this is from a first-rate magazine.

Dear Edoardo Albert,

Thank you for your submission to […]. I thought your story had its strong points, including an interesting concept, but ultimately I didn’t think this was quite right for us. The voice, here, didn’t seem to be what we’re looking for: something lyrical, while being understated and emotive. I’m going to have to pass on this, but I wish you the best of luck placing your story elsewhere.


Rejection notes – no.17 in a series

I’m getting more encouraging rejection notes – see no.17 and no.18 in the series.

Hi Edoardo,

Thank you for submitting to […]. We regret to inform you that “Plausible Deniability” was not selected for publication in Issue #16. We received an abundance of submissions and had to make some very hard decisions. We liked your story very much and are certain it will find/has found a home. We welcome any future submissions to […].

Thanks again for letting us read your work.


Book review: The Eeerie Silence by Paul Davies

The full title of the book is The Eerie Silence: Are We Alone In The Universe? The fiftieth anniversary of SETI has recently passed and Davies provides a clear and well-written evaluation of where we stand now. Unfortunately, and despite the author’s optimism, the answer must be no further on than when we started. If anything, the evidence gathered over the last 50 years makes it less likely that there are many technological civilisations out there. In fact, we could well be the only one. The gap between non-living matter and living things has widened considerably since the optimism engendered by the Miller-Urey experiments (although Davies makes a good case for looking for second-start life forms right here on earth). Even should that gulf be somehow bridged, there’s still the Needham question (which Davies does not seem to have heard of): why of all the civilisations on earth did only the European one conceive and execute a scientific society? Scientists, being scientists, tend to think they are inevitable – I am less sure.


New Back Cover Copy for Edwin: High King of Britain

Now my publishers, the lovely people at Lion Fiction, have had the chance to read the complete text of Edwin: High King of Northumbria they’ve written a fresh draft of the back cover copy. I’d be very grateful if you could read it and let me know what you think.

Edwin: High King of Britain | Back Cover Copy

Edwin is a king. Yet he is about to be betrayed and butchered.

Edwin, the long-exiled king of Northumbria, thought he had found sanctuary at the court of King Rædwald – his friend and now protector.

But as Rædwald faces the draw of riches and the fear of bloodshed, rumours abound that he will not hold firm to their bond.

As Edwin contemplates his fate and the futility of escape, hope is offered by a messenger from an unknown god. It is prophesied that Edwin will ascend to greater power than any of his forefathers.

Through cunning victory in battle and a strategic marriage to the Kentish princess Æthelburh, Edwin’s power grows.

But his new wife and her missionary priests bring more than political alliance. Where should Edwin look to for a power not of this earth: with their new God, or with the Anglo-Saxon gods of old? And can any power raise Edwin above all other thrones?

Edwin: High King of Britain is the first book in The Northumbrian Thrones trilogy – a riveting read seeped in the intrigues, bloody battles, and romance of the kings of Anglo-Saxon Britain.




Acceptance notes – no.8 in a series

But however nice a rejection note, it will never be as good as an acceptance, particularly one like this! Triple whammy!

Thank you for your submission.

The Elephant’s Boy – an excellent story accepted.

The Reluctant Eagle – this section does not make sense:

The Reluctant Eagle said nothing. And then he made a big mistake. He looked down again.

             “Oh no,” he said and closed his eyes tight shut.

             So he did not see Mr Fox put his long red snout right up against his ear .


             The Reluctant Eagle jumped.

If he is high up it is not possible for the Fox to go ‘Boo’ in his ear. If we can resolve this it will be accepted. [Gentle reader, it was.]

The Pigeon’s Revenge – this story is exceptional and is most definitely accepted. Have you thought about approaching film companies with regard to it being made into an animated film? I have emailed Aardman animation this morning to enquire about the method of their considering such work.

Rejection notes – no.16 in a series

This is the sort of rejection note that is almost as good as an acceptance!

A fun tale, Edoardo!

Unfortunately, it’s not a good fit for us at this time – even though I love a good satire!

I wish you the best in placing this elsewhere. I noticed your books above, and they sound fascinating. I do believe I’ll place them on my list.


Book review: Vanished Kingdoms by Norman Davies


OK, I admit it, in the end I didn’t read all 848 pages. Some of the kingdoms were just too obscure, the characters too interchangeable, and the permutations too complicated (Burgundy, I’m thinking of you) to prevent my eyes glazing over. But where I did know something about the background history, Davies was downright brilliant. In particular, the chapter on Alt Clud, the Kingdom of the Rock, that endured upon the twin humped lump of granite overlooking Dumbarton for four centuries during the Early Medieval period was wonderful. It brought the old British kingdoms vividly to life, and was worth the price of the book (or at least the reservation charge at the library) on its own. So, particularly recommended for periods and places that you know a little about, and want to learn more about.