Monday, March 2, 2015

The Ups and Downs of Submissions & Rejections

Thank you for the opportunity to consider your work. Unfortunately, it doesn't fit CutBank's needs at this time. We wish you the best of luck in placing it elsewhere. Regards, CutBank Literary Journal 

The first rejection rolled in mid-February for my essay "Wildish Woman: A Portrait." A writer friend recently remarked that I have 'thick skin.' Honestly, it doesn't bother me to be rejected because I expect it. I usually submit a piece to several publications at once, knowing that statistically it's just more likely a submission will be rejected more often than accepted. It's par for the course. 

Here's what my Duotrope submissions tracker looks like from December 2014 to February 2015: 

I've got that essay pending responses from four more lit journals, with a few more lined up to send it to with future deadlines should I have the misfortune to be rejected from all of the above. I'm always looking at contests and calls for submissions in my Duotrope weekly email catered to nonfiction, my Review Review weekly email, or the monthly Poets&Writers listings in the back of the magazine. 

It's quite fun and interesting to look up new journals I've never heard of and to consider which themes or journal styles may be a fit for a particular essay. cahoodaloodaling, for instance, sent an encouraging and personalized "please send more of your work" rejection and has a March 21 deadline for a "he said/she said" theme for which I aim to revise a blurring-the-boundaries piece I wrote in my MFA fiction class based on a three-month foray into the online world of
What was said? You tell us. This issue we’re seeking submissions with conversations, dialogues, and quotations. While we want a strong conversational component to each piece selected for He Said/She Said, this call for submissions is theme, not form, based. Send us your visual, audio, written, and multimedia work of any genre and style that you feel speaks to this theme. This is a great opportunity to submit a scene from your play or to collaborate with others.
In the meantime, I'm also waiting to hear about two reprints I submitted to Nowhere and Sequestrum; I sent a revision of an essay "Pearls," about my paternal grandmother, to an elders-themed issue of biostories; and I reworked a short essay called "Welcome to Womanhood" for a new anthology chronicling humiliating experiences that should make the reader cringe and wither to consider.

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