Okay, I fell off the wagon and didn’t write a submissions challenge update during month five. Month five (December) I made twenty submissions and not much happened in the acceptances category. Well nothing actually. I did pass one hundred subs.
In month six, I really fell off the wagon, and only made fourteen submissions, with the same zero acceptances. But, in the desert, there are discoveries to be made, about the world and about yourself …
Most interesting news this period: I discovered with the help of Julie Reeser’s Patreon (follow her on Twitter at @abetterjulie) the dreaded Rejection Wiki. This is a website where writers have posted the various literary journals’ form rejections, and the truth is some of the journals invite everyone to submit again.
Everyone. That means if they asked you to submit again, you’ve got to check the wiki and see if the invite means anything.
Does the invite suggests anything about their feeling toward you as a writer? Or, God forbid, do they just appear to be willing to read more pieces for an accumulation of the $3 submission fees?
I’m talking about you, Ploughshares.
On the other hand, some rejections were more helpful. Baltimore Review gets a shout out for giving me and all other declined submitters a nice roundup of online search engines for journals, so that we can continue looking for our literary-journal-soul-mate. I excerpt their email below:
Thank you Baltimore Review. I appreciate this.
Finally, the question arises: Should one keep submitting? I haven’t really lost interest, and I steel myself with the memory of how Sylvia Plath submitted to Seventeen Magazine no less than forty-seven times before being accepted. But in the New Pages blog, I found a link to another perspective:
The Year I Gave Up on Submitting to Literary Magazines, in Women Writer’s, Women’s Books, by Annette Gendler. Gendler decided that literary magazines were to be given up on, because the acceptance rate was so low. She decided to concentrate on consumer publications and book publishing, which have worked well for her.
Well I can’t argue about the low acceptance rate. Although I do hope to see that improve for me sometime in the next decade. Nevertheless, I feel drawn to the freedom or writing for these literary magazines, which allow you So Much Latitude in what to create. So no, I have to say, I’m not close to quitting.
I kinda hope you’re not too. And if not, Gendler has a free Writer’s Workbook you can get for signing up for her email newsletter (request form at bottom of page). In this workshop there’s lots of reflections about projects, plans, what’s working, what’s not.