Seeking publication through traditional channels means you’re going to get rejections. I have decided to set the literary goal of accumulating 100 rejections this calendar year to facilitate sustained efforts toward publication. For the purposes of this goal, submitting multiple poems to one market and having them all rejected counts as one rejection. Having any number of poems in the packet accepted means that submission counts as an acceptance .
To stay transparent, accountable, and perhaps to help inspire other writers out there to share their art, I’ll be posting monthly updates on my progress. I’m sort of fascinated at the internal response to this challenge — it has been invigorating, and has definitely made me cherish the “No” responses all the more.
Logistically, I’m aiming to submit 120 times by September 30 (allowing for a response time of 3 months for the market to notify me of their decision).
January, 2017 — 13 Rejections, 2 Acceptances, 22 New Submissions
- Love & Ensuing Madness (Rat’s Ass Review), Acceptance
- Hermeneutic Chaos Press, Rejection*
- Threepenny Review, Rejection*
- Eyedrum Periodically, Acceptance
- Amuse-Bouche, Rejection
- Whale Road Review, Rejection
- FreezeRay, Rejection
- THRUSH Poetry Journal, Rejection*
- Ploughshares, Rejection*
- Plume Poetry, Rejection*
- The Golden Key, Rejection
- Foundry, Rejection
- Synaesthesia Magazine, Rejection
- Baltimore Review Contest, Rejection
- Nanotext Contest, Rejection
*The journals marked with an asterisk (*) satisfy my secondary literary goal of submitting to as many top-tier journals as possible. I’m going by the imperfect but convenient standard according to statistics recorded in Duotrope, the site offering comprehensive databases of markets to submit work to combined with submission tracking. They collate robust response statistics and from these data, create a variety of “Top 100 ____” Lists, including things like fastest response times, friendliest and most approachable, etc. I’m gauging “top-tier” based on the Duotrope listing of the Most Challenging markets (lowest acceptance ratios) and No Acceptances Recorded lists. I’m using their statistics to help me determine what markets are likely the most competitive to get into, and therefore more desirable to have on my tear sheet to build my credibility and reputation as a poet.
Tune on March 1st for February tallies!