As I mentioned, I set a goal to have 100 rejections of my poetry submissions in 2018. I just counted, and I didn’t quite make my goal.
Getting the final tally is a little tricky, because some of the sites I submitted to didn’t use Submittable – which means rejections may have been by separate emails. I think I got it right for my summary count – or at least I am very close.
Here is the list of rejections:
Total rejected poem submissions in 2018: 81 rejections!! I didn’t quite hit 100.
Most rejected poems that were never accepted: A tie for “the author of elements” and “Inquest,” both of which were rejected 11 times each! I like these poems, but decided it was time to share them here at underwhelm, where maybe only my mother might say she loved them, rather than continue to try to help them find the right venue. Together, these two poems were about 25% of the total rejections for the year for all my submissions 🙂 They never found a home, so I brought them back here.
Most rejected poem before being accepted: “Patronymic” was rejected 10 times (!) before being accepted (one verse was accepted) for publication. It was picked up at the fabulous Junto Magazine, where a terrific editor has now worked with me on revisions of both “Fractal” and “Patronymic.”
Least rejected poems before being accepted: “Gamos” and “Third Watch” were both accepted the first place they were each submitted. They are the exceptions, for sure. “Gamos” was also unique as the first poem I ever submitted and heard back – which was an auspicious start! This is an important reminder to me of really trying to understand what a poetry journal is about and what it is looking for, and selecting the best venue for submission for each individual poem.
I thought the only way I’d ever see any of these pieces accepted for publication would be to have lots and lots of rejections. Setting a goal helped turn a potentially unpleasant experience (rejection) into a positive part of the journey.
Because it is a journey!
And the good news?
In 2018, I had 10 pieces accepted for publication! I never saw that coming when I set a new year’s resolution last year to write and submit a poem a month. What an encouraging start!
What is your goal in 2019? How can you turn rejection into a positive experience on the path towards achieving your goal or reaching a dream? It’s worth thinking about. And it’s never too late to start!
So now, on to 100 rejections in 2019!