I only received 4 rejections last year – mainly because I decided to improve the book instead of flogging a lame horse. This year I’m not going to focus on rejection at all – it’s about learning and upskilling. 3 months ago
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Bringing me to a total of 22. I’m not going to make it this year. :(
One of the rejections, from one of the biggest poetry magazines, was hilariously garbled. C’mon, interns, cutting and pasting is not that hard! 7 months ago
I got a long hand-written note from one really good magazine apologising for the long delay before the rejection. I had actually already written them off as a rejection. :) They want me to send more poems. I sent them my best ones before, in my opinion. But who knows? They might have a different opinion!
ETA: 19! Another contest non-win. 10 months ago
Here’s my cover art for the book coming out in October! I’m so excited! 11 months ago
I’m counting contest non-wins as rejections. I need to get my chapbook out to a few more places in the next month or two! 11 months ago
Not bad, but I need to keep up with the submitting! 11 months ago
I finally heard back from one of the agents today. She was complimentary about my writing, but said the main character didn’t work for her.
Her comments were exactly the same as the ones that the consultant editor pinpointed in the report. It gives me a huge amount of confidence to know that I already have a roadmap for the revision. I wouldn’t say I’m confident, but I know that I can improve at least one major weakness. 13 months ago
and it makes me feel a little nauseated. But I really wanted to win their contest, not just get published in their magazine.
I hope this sounds OK:
Thank you very much for your kind words and your offer of publication! I know that if I published in XXXX Review, I would be in some excellent company. However, I’ve decided I would like to reserve “After the Apocalypse” for future contest entries—I hope you understand.Thank you again. I really appreciate it.Best,Stacey XXXXX13 months ago
We would like to inform you that (famous poet) has chosen (some poem) by (some guy) as the winner of the (poetry contest) for 2012.
We felt, however, that you had very fine poems, and we would like to publish (your super awesome poem) in our next issue of the (poetry review) that will be available in September of 2012.
This is a tricky one. I wanted to win their contest. BUT, I really do think it’s my best poem and could maybe get accepted at a more prestigious magazine.
Nice dilemna to have :) 13 months ago
I didn’t win another poetry contest.
Another publisher expressed interest in my haunted house book!, but I like the first publisher better. :) 13 months ago
No, really! I’m not cheating. I didn’t win a poetry contest, which I’m counting as a rejection. I got another poetry rejection, and a fiction rejection.
Total so far: 10 rejections! I am right on track for making my number this year! 14 months ago
I didn’t find out about this until after the fact, but here’s the editor tweeting about my book last week. When I read these I was overjoyed! Still am, in fact!
Why am I posting this on my rejection goal? I will tell you! I would have never sent out this book again had it not been for this goal. A little while after setting it, I thought, “How the heck am I going to get that many rejections in one year?” and then I decided, you know what, the haunted house story is really pretty good. I should give it a few more chances. 14 months ago
That’s OK, Georgia Review. Not everyone is cool enough to enjoy my poems. :) 14 months ago
Standard little slip-of-paper rejection from a literary magazine.
I like getting poetry rejections; it means I can send those poems elsewhere! I just don’t like my poems sitting at their offices! 14 months ago
on the haunted house romance novel. It came with some good feedback, and I know now that I have a recurring problem in my fiction I need to fix.
I’m not very focused on fiction right now, however. I’ve been writing poetry like crazy! 14 months ago
We would like to include your poem “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” in the 2012 issue (7:1) of Measure. If the piece is still available for publication, please let us know as soon as possible either by email or letter.
Also, at your earliest convenience, please send an electronic copy of your finalized version of the poem and a bio to email@example.com.
When the issue comes out, you will receive two contributor’s copies; and, if you would like, you may also purchase additional copies at a substantially reduced price.
Thanks for sending, and congratulations.
The Editors of Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry
Yayyyyy! 15 months ago
This was from an agency to whom I had forgotten I submitted. It was very odd. They said I had sent the story twice (I didn’t…I keep very careful track of my submissions!), and they said I should have included an SASE (I submitted via email, because they accept email submissions.)
It may be just as well they won’t be representing me. :) 15 months ago
Hi Bryn,Thanks very much for giving me the chance to look at a sample of your story. I really loved the premise, with the flower shop owned by the heroine and her knowledge of the language of flowers, but unfortunately as I read I found I wasn’t as caught up in the story and characters as I had hoped. The pacing seems to slow as we move past the flower shop scene and it felt like there just wasn’t enough happening to make the story stand apart. I am really sorry this isn’t working for me, but as I am sure you realize another agent may see this completely differently and I do wish you the best with your story.
Thanks again and very best wishes,(agent)
This is somewhat consistent with the feedback I got from the editor. Those opening chapters are too slow, and people aren’t falling in love with my hero and heroine right away…and they’re not feeling them fall for each other enough, either! There’s a lot of good stuff in this story, but it’s taking too long to build. I’m sure I can fix it, though!
I’m not sending it out again until I’ve done a rewrite, so if I want to reach my goal of 43 rejections in 2012, I’m going to have to do a lot of poetry submitting! I’m going to count not winning contests as rejections, because that makes sense, right? 16 months ago
From an editor who is pretty darn fancy (she had a couple of things on the NYT bestseller list last year.)
It was such a pleasure to meet you in Atlanta, and I’m so glad you sent your project my way. I love that you’ve thought about the marketing hook and have developed a series with great branding potential. Though a shade similar to Laura Lee Gurkhe, I thought FULL BLOOM was fresh enough to stand out in the marketplace and deliver something a little different to readers.
Ultimately, though, I wasn’t feeling the chemistry between your hero and heroine. The attraction felt a bit forced—as if we were being told that they suddenly liked each other instead of being allowed to see them fall in love for ourselves. Because the plot is pretty light, you really want to ramp up the emotion factor of the characters. If you’d care to revise and resubmit, I’d be happy to take another look.
(Pretty Fancy Editor)
I think she’s right, though I need some time to digest why. Damn straight I’ll revise and re-submit! 16 months ago
This comes from an editor at a big fancy publishing house.
Thank you for submitting the first several chapters of your novel. I’m afraid that in spite of its merits, it’s not quite right for xxxxxx’s very competitive list; I’m sorry.
This is obviously a highly subjective business, so I hope that you will not be too discouraged, and will ultimately find the right home for your work.
Thank you for giving me a chance to consider your work.
That’s 1 down, 42 at least to go! Submit, submit, submit! 16 months ago
Recently, I’ve realised that my writing has been extremely narrow in its focus. I’ve been concentrating solely on novel writing – an extremely competitive and sometimes disheartening pursuit.
Inspired by Being Bryn’s goal, I intend to use this area to experiment with subbing other forms of writing – probably not poetry, but definitely flash fiction and shorts.
I’m not entirely sure where I’ll find the time. I’m seriously considering giving up my job to take a year out, but will probably stick with it until June at least. By then, I should have a better idea of how other major parts of my life are panning out. 17 months ago
Why couldn’t they have waited until 2012 to send it out?!
Don’t they care about my goals at all? 17 months ago
“That’s a FUCKLOAD of rejection for one year!” (Maybe you would phrase it more politely.) “How can one person hope to achieve so much rejection in such a short time?”
Well, it won’t be easy. I admit it. It’s going to take a lot of submitting, and submitting to places with very high standards.
There’s always the possibility that a submission will result in an acceptance rather than a rejection. If that happens, I won’t get discouraged on this goal! I’ll just double down and submit more.17 months ago