Introducing the Rejected Page

In the interest of compiling all my submission records (Submittable and Duotrope) into one, organized location rather than expecting readers to dig through the archives of posts to find out who, when, and where I’ve submitted and what the submission response time was, I present to you a Rejected list. Similar in structure to Court Merrigan’s Failure Page, it’s intended to expose you to lovely literary journals you might never have heard of before and to give you a general idea, as this blog originally intended, of how long you can expect to wait before receiving a rejection or acceptance letter. So instead of sporadically forcing a Slow Sunday blog post upon you, you can check the list whenever the fancy strikes. Also you can check out my published page to learn about other great journals and magazines!

Does this format work for you, or is there valuable missing information you’d like me to include? I’m open to suggestions :]

All I Want For Christmas is an Acceptance Letter

It’s not really the only thing I want this year (I’d really like Bank of America to stop dragging their feet–they’re taking so long that paperwork keeps expiring and we have to resubmit things over and over again–and let me buy the condo I’ve been waiting on for months so I’ll actually have a place to live) but an acceptance letter would be a nice gift to receive! I’ve gotten several rejection letters as of late and haven’t been submitting great quantities of new short stories anywhere, but I am still waiting to hear a “yes” or “no” from the following:

Painted Bride Quarterly (date submitted: January 4th, 2011; what submitted: 1 fiction, 1 non-fiction)  Official Response Time:  unknown

Writer’s Digest Young Adult Fiction Contest (date submitted: October 16th, 2011; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: December 31st

Literary Laundry (date submitted: October 1st, 2011; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: 6 months or under

Tennessee Williams Fiction Contest (date submitted: November 13th, 2011; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: March 1st, 2012

Press 53 (date submitted: September 24th, 2011; what submitted: 1 non-fiction) Official Response Time: July 1, 2012

I never heard back from skirt.com and on their submission page they state that if they don’t respond within eight weeks, then it’s a rejection. This, I would just like to mention, is my greatest pet peeve as a writer–especially when they don’t even confirm receipt of your submission–so I’m not even sure if someone read my story. Let’s hope that all publications make a New Year’s resolution to use submission managers like submittable from now on!

Writers Are a Virtuous Breed

True fact.  Not that we have much choice, now, do we?  I suppose we could always write nasty emails demanding quicker responses, but that probably occurs to writers as often as it occurs to them to respond to rejection letters. (PS: DON’T DO IT!)

I’m currently waiting upon:

Painted Bride Quarterly (date submitted: January 4th; what submitted: 1 fiction, 1 non-fiction)  Official Response Time:  unknown

Skirt.com (date submitted: September 3rd; what submitted: 1 non-fiction) Official Response Time: 6-8 weeks

New South (date submitted: September 20th; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: Unknown.

Press 53 (date submitted: September 24th; what submitted: 1 non-fiction) Official Response Time: Will find out by July 1, 2012

Literary Laundry (date submitted: October 1st; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: 6 months or under.

Writer’s Digest Young Adult Fiction Contest (date submitted: October 16th; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: Will find out by December 31st.

 

PS: See my super cool debut on the Weave magazine blog!  I cannot wait until Issue #7 comes out, with my flash non-fiction story, “To the New Owners of My Childhood Home,” in it!  Subscribe to Weave to read it yourself (I think it might become available online as well, but I’m not sure yet.  I’ll get back to you)!

PPS: As you can tell, writers are an extremely humble breed as well.  False.  As Brevity magazine assures us, it is 100% okay–and actually a good idea–for writers to brag about their accomplishments.  How else would our writing ever get read?!  (Sorry if you’ve already read this article because I’ve linked to it before, but it’s one of my absolute favorites.)

Sucker Lit Mag Spits Out Responses in 11 Days

I was expecting to have to wait a month to hear back from Sucker Literary Magazine–which is a rather quick turn-around in and of itself–but I’ve already heard back!  (I’ll admit it; it was a rejection.  But they did give feedback, so I’ve gotten an idea of some things I’m going to change before submitting it elsewhere.) Personal Response Time: 11 days.

As for the other things I’m currently waiting on:

Painted Bride Quarterly (date submitted: January 4th; what submitted: 1 fiction, 1 non-fiction)  Official Response Time:  unknown

Skirt.com (date submitted: September 3rd; what submitted: 1 non-fiction) Official Response Time: 6-8 weeks

The Madison Review (date submitted: September 20th; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: Unknown

New South (date submitted: September 20th; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: Unknown.

Press 53 (date submitted: September 24th; what submitted: 1 non-fiction) Official Response Time: Will find out by July 1, 2012

Literary Laundry (date submitted: October 1st; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: 6 months or under.

Submission Update for Fiction and Non-Fiction

I haven’t posted a Slow Sunday update in a while because, honestly, I’ve been so busy trying to get employed and housed that I haven’t been submitting (or writing much, which is depressing).  But things are finally starting to calm down (I am employed and temporarily housed, though I’m search for something more permanent in central New Jersey that would reduce my driving commute time of 1.5 hours in half.  Longest. Drive. Ever).

Anywho, off topic.  These are where things are right now!

Painted Bride Quarterly (date submitted: January 4th; what submitted: 1 fiction, 1 non-fiction)  Official Response Time:  unknown

Skirt.com (date submitted: September 3rd; what submitted: 1 non-fiction) Official Response Time: 6-8 weeks

The Madison Review (date submitted: September 20th; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: Unknown

New South (date submitted: September 20th; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: Unknown.

Press 53 (date submitted: September 24th; what submitted: 1 non-fiction) Official Response Time: Will find out by July 1, 2012

Sucker Literary Magazine (date submitted: September 30th; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: 4 months or under

Literary Laundry (date submitted: October 1st; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: 6 months or under.

How to Delete Paragraphs without Crying

I was getting tired waiting to hear back about the same submissions from the same places and realized that I literally haven’t submitted anything since BEFORE the NYU program. [shocked gasp]  Of course, this is not only completely unacceptable, but an unsustainable writing practice.  Thanks to Kat over at her blog After I Quit My Day Job mentioning her new (and hilarious!) publication credit, Adventures in (M)anthropology, I discovered skirt.com.  A website always in need of non-fiction essays aimed at women, it was the perfect home for a story I’ve been trying to place since last summer.  The only problem?  Skirt.com’s maximum word count is 1,500-words and my story was 2,400-words.  Yeah, exactly.  Yikes.

What do you do in these situations?  Do you sigh deeply and look for a different publication with a higher word count?  Or do you try to edit?  How many words are you willing to delete without fear of killing a little part of your writing soul?

I’ve found that having two Word documents is the best way to trick yourself into deleting sentences and paragraphs that you’ve grown emotionally attached to.  You leave the original document as is.  It is a historical document.  Preserve it.  Then on the editing document, have at it!  Delete everything that you don’t think belongs, even if it’s the most beautifully constructed sentence ever.  Don’t worry, it’s saved in the preserved document and you can visit it later, maybe even transplant it into a new story where it actually belongs.

It hurts less to know that it’s not really gone, not permanently deleted.  The trick makes me a much better editor of my own work and, with the help of my critical younger sister–who shows no particular favoritism for any of my prose, unless it’s actually decent–I was able to shave it down to the right size.  Cross your fingers for me!  Skirt.com responds in 6-8 weeks.

Writing Submission Status

I haven’t posted my personal waiting experience in a while.  So if you’re interested…

  • Painted Bride Quarterly (date submitted: January 4th; what submitted: 1 fiction, 1 non-fiction)  Official Response Time:  unknown
  • Cicada (date submitted: February 16th; what submitted: 2 poems)  Official Response Time: up to 4 months

I’ve given up hope on the Cicada submissions, to be honest.  It’s going to be one of those infamous lost submissions that happen all the time.  I’ve sent the editors several polite emails inquiring as to the poems statuses, but never received a response to those either.

I also sent a polite inquiry to the PBQ staff asking what the official response time was, but they never responded either.  But they are staffed by Drexel University students and their semester doesn’t start until mid-September, so perhaps I’ll have to wait until then.  Has anyone heard back from PBQ recently?