All right, friends and fiends! Now that Q2 has officially closed, it’s time for an update on the progress of my second annual quest to get 100 literary rejections in a year. For those who appreciate a quick statistical rundown (and who doesn’t?):
- I’m at 61 submissions so far this year (on-pace for my goal of 120)
- 77 rejections (33 from this year’s submissions, 44 from things submitted in 2017)
- 3 acceptances
- 9 personalized encouraging or “near miss” rejections
And to get into a little more detail…
One thing I’ve come to appreciate is the timing cycle. Because even the speediest journals can take weeks to get back to you, and waits of months or even more than a year are not uncommon, if you want to get rejected today, you need to have submitted a while ago. So, while I didn’t hit my 100 rejections goal last year, so many of last year’s rejections are still coming in that I should easily surpass it this year.
- I had a guest blog appearance on the Submittable Blog in May sharing lessons I learned making independent films in San Francisco.
- My short story “No Hiding Place” appeared in Jerry Jazz Musician in June.
- I have a poem forthcoming later this summer, details TBA when it’s out there.
So far this year I’ve gotten some version or another of encouraging rejection from Bellevue Literary Review, C&R Press, Eclectica Magazine, Glimmer Train, Memoir Magazine, Muse/ A Journal, Sequestrum, Sky Island Journal, and Typishly. Thanks to all of them! No, really, sincerely! Because while publication is the most encouraging response of all, comments like the following really keep this writer going:
- “It was very enticing story. I continued to engage and wanted to know more about the story. I can relate to the intense struggle presented with decisions about moving forward. Excellent piece.”
- “Though we cannot offer you publication, we wanted you to know that your book came close and made it to our second to last reading round and we found much to like about the work.”
- “I enjoyed reading these, particularly “They haunt the empty spaces,” and hope you’ll continue to think of us.”
- “You are spewing so much truth and wisdom, there is almost too much here for a 3000 word essay. I believe this is worth workshopping and maybe even developing into a much longer piece. I hope you consider resubmitting if you make substantial developments to the piece.”
- “While “Young Karl Marx” isn’t quite right for us, many on our staff were impressed with your writing. Please take this personal note as encouragement to submit to us again in the future.”
Finally, for those interested in the theory and practice of rejection, I’d recommend Kim Liao’s great essay on seeking to get 100 rejections on Literary Hub, and Laura Maylene Walter’s piece in Kenyon Review on why and how she decided to double this and go for 200. Both are an inspiration, and it’s great to be getting rejected in such fine company!