Nick's picture
Nick from Toronto is reading Adjustment Day December 5, 2011 - 9:47am

Juked.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. December 5, 2011 - 2:08pm

I hate submitting stuff.  It drives me crazy.  

I wish I could find a short-story agent of some kind.  Like, if the story makes money, they get half.  If there's no pay for the story, then the agent gets... I don't know, like a small monthly fee for a certain minimum number of submissions or something.  It'd be worth it to me.

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter December 5, 2011 - 2:21pm

I always feel like most of the stuff that gets published is always this sort of absent writing that sounds nice...but there's never much of a story there.  Am I just crazy, or what?

Nick's picture
Nick from Toronto is reading Adjustment Day December 5, 2011 - 2:33pm

Beka, maybe I'm just bitter about my three rejections but I think you're right.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break December 6, 2011 - 7:33am

You're both right.  I've noticed the same thing.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 6, 2011 - 7:43am

I think publishers publish what they feel is "safe" or that will appeal to a mass audience.  They don't want to take chances on edgier stuff.  I suppose that's why we are all here because we have noticed the void in the industry and want something different.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break December 6, 2011 - 8:03am

See, and here I thought it was all part of the hipster lit movement: no plot, bland characters, vague dialogue, and a general flatness about it--yet, this is considered some form of high art or a "new take" on minimalism. 

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 6, 2011 - 8:11am

Well, that isn't too new a trend.  I remember taking lit class and all the stories had really vague endings and all the teachers cared about was the symbolism and metaphor of everything.  Sometimes I don't want a metaphor, I just want a goddamn story.  By the way, I started reading your novel, Brandon.  I read like the preview chapter on Amazon.  I really liked it, I'll have to buy it over the holidays. 

Nick's picture
Nick from Toronto is reading Adjustment Day December 6, 2011 - 8:14am

not trying to kiss up to BT but I quoted Out of Touch for my facebook status a while ago:  "If you don't figure out what you want for yourself, you'll be crushed by the wanting of others."  Good stuff.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break December 6, 2011 - 8:18am

Oh, that's from the first edition and Amazon never updated the 'Look Inside' feature.

I'll attach the updated preview.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break December 6, 2011 - 8:19am

@Nick

I'm flattered, sir.

Nick's picture
Nick from Toronto is reading Adjustment Day December 6, 2011 - 8:21am

.... and it got three "likes"!

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break December 6, 2011 - 8:25am

You could try: "She smells expensive, so when I fuck her...it feels a little bit like shoplifting."

You'll probably get unfriended by a few people. That's how I weed out the lame-o's on Facebook.

Nick's picture
Nick from Toronto is reading Adjustment Day December 6, 2011 - 8:28am

I think I would weed out my girlfriend if I did that.

Also, I'm saving this one for my upcoming birthday:  "Even the son of God didn't really start to impress people until his thirties."

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break December 6, 2011 - 8:31am

I remember coming up with that line at a party.  We got into a discussion about late-bloomers.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 6, 2011 - 8:38am

"Sometimes I don't want a metaphor, I just want a goddamn story."

I actually think this is the new trend. 

spence's picture
spence from planet is reading Books December 6, 2011 - 9:54am

I'm terrible at metaphors and symbolism. 

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 6, 2011 - 1:12pm

The horse is her shame.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 6, 2011 - 1:17pm

The wallpaper was her virginity. 

I think people are a little afraid of symbolism sometimes.  It's tricky.  If you go too heavy it's corny, and if it's too subtle, no one ever sees it.  And no one wants to point it out because they don't want to be wrong.

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter December 7, 2011 - 5:40am

Some of the stories I read don't even seem like metaphors, or I read them and I know they're supposed to be, but I don't really get the metaphor, and I have to ask myself, Am I fucking stupid to get the utter brilliance of this story?  And then I just feel like shit.  I like to think that I'm pretty crafty with metaphors, so then I send my story out there and it gets rejected, and I always wonder if I'd written it not in first person and as this vague sort of faceless narrator that's in the scene but not really and didn't craft a decent ending for it that maybe it wouldn't have been rejected.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs December 7, 2011 - 6:26am

I never write fiction with all encompassing metaphors and symbolism, but readers are welcome to interpret my writing however they want (although I occasionally use metaphors in my sentences: for example, writing a comparision that's like a simile but doesn't include the word, "like"). I guess instead of doing that, I write a lot of social commentary.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies December 7, 2011 - 5:37pm

@jacks_username re: "Thats quite a list Richard, how did you keep the motivation to keep sending them in?"

see this week's colum on "Rudy". because i believed in the work. http://litreactor.com/columns/storyville-the-journey

Nick's picture
Nick from Toronto is reading Adjustment Day December 7, 2011 - 6:11pm

Splash of Red.

When it rains, it pours.

Nick's picture
Nick from Toronto is reading Adjustment Day December 16, 2011 - 3:41pm

Emprise* Review sent me a rejection that was actually pretty nice.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. April 1, 2012 - 8:48pm

Today's Rejection letter:

Dear Bryan Howie,

Thank you for sending us "What Happened to Carl". While we read your work with interest, unfortunately, we decided it's not quite right for (the magazine) at this time. However, we are intrigued and would be interested in seeing more of your work in the future. Onward with the battle!

Thanks again.
Warmly,
Editors

To which I replied:

Dear Editors,
I gotta disagree.  I'm pretty sure this story is perfect for (the magazine).  :)  Thanks for taking the time to read it and responds so quickly.  I'll send more stuff your way.

Sincerely,

Bryan Howie

Covewriter's picture
Covewriter from Nashville, Tennessee is reading & Sons April 1, 2012 - 9:15pm

I submitted some earlier when I thought they were good. Now I'm cringing becasue I see they needed more work. I understand why they were rejectred .And, I sent them to tough literary places which was probably not the right thing to do for at the start.  Also I think Glimmertrain is hard place to get in because of so many people seeing the contests in writer's mag ads. I like them though. I sent one in a while back and they critiqued it. I'm waiting to submit now until I'm sure I'm ready.

drea's picture
drea from Rural Alberta, Canada is reading between the lines April 1, 2012 - 9:26pm

Before I switched from CNF to writing fiction/memoir, everything I submitted got accepted (3 feature stories in a now defunct local magazine, cover story for an American mag, monthly column for local newspaper). My first real rejection came as a nutkick (shouldn't have) when my submission to PANK was rejected. On Valentine's Day. I was so so embarrassingly arrogant about the process. 

When I hear people like Roxane Gay (one of the editors at PANK) racking up ridiculous rejections, it does one of two things; I look at her mastery of the essay and think, Shit, if they're rejecting her perfectly polished work, my little popsicle stick and duct taped together pieces are never going to float. The other thing it does is encourage me. It is just part of the process, isn't it? 

Actually, the more I write, the less I care about publication. For now I'm up to my elbows in craft essays and spending a lot of time workshopping and getting down with the basics. That being said, I'm still shooting for ten more rejections this year - maybe looking at it that way will take some of the bite out receiving a "Dear Writer" letter. 

 

Covewriter's picture
Covewriter from Nashville, Tennessee is reading & Sons April 1, 2012 - 9:32pm

Oh no I just realized I said "waiting to submit" again. Please read the context. It was non-sexual.

drea's picture
drea from Rural Alberta, Canada is reading between the lines April 1, 2012 - 9:36pm

It's really no coincidence. Submit like that chick in the 50 Shades of Grey Mommy Porn series. 

Grigori Black's picture
Grigori Black from US is reading Radium Girls by Amanda Gowin April 1, 2012 - 9:41pm

I haven't submitted anything since January. I had submitted three pieces to two seperate publishers. From one I got 'wow, this is great, but we're going to put it in the next issue'. The timeframe came and went without a second issue going out. All e-mails went unanswered so I pulled the piece.

The second one gave me a 'wow, this is really good but it didn't make the cut. Can we hold onto it for a couple of days to go over it, we might use it in the next issue. We'll have a definite answer for you by 'x'.' Again, the timeframe came and went without an answer.

The third one I've still received no word on. Everyone else who submitted got back something. I'm starting to wonder if my e-mail is fragged or if I'm just walking that weird gray area of mediocrity that's good enough to get a read, but not good enough to get published.

Is this the new form of rejection? It feels a little bit like the equivalent of the high school put off: 'Oh, but we're such good friends, I don't want to ruin that by dating.'

Covewriter's picture
Covewriter from Nashville, Tennessee is reading & Sons April 1, 2012 - 9:50pm

Alien why don't you submit that story about the poison cake to some places? Go on, try again.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. April 1, 2012 - 10:23pm

I wrote that back to them to hopefully make them laugh.  But I got 8 rejections last month (and 1 today).  So, not too shabby.  Just gotta keep sending those stories out.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. April 1, 2012 - 10:29pm

Hey cove, yeah I have submitted it actually a few places.  Just waiting to hear back.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs April 1, 2012 - 11:10pm

Places that have rejected me and never accepted me according to my stats on Duotrope (I don't submit much and I only submitted once to maybe 80% of these places):

McSweeney's, Fence, Hobart, Monkeybicycle, Rumble, Cafe Irreal, Titular, Behind the Wainscot, bear parade, DOGZPLOT, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, Harpur Palate, Johnny America, A Capella Zoo, NANO Fiction, Redivider

Americantypo's picture
Americantypo from Philadelphia is reading The Bone Clocks April 2, 2012 - 5:25am

Shimmer, Abomination Magazine, Kzine, snmhorrormag (the last two both accepted other stories though), Weird Tales, Shadows and Tall Trees, Ideomancer, Dislocate, Not One of Us, Apex, Spinetinglers, and a bunch of others I can't think of off the top of my head.

Shimmer are nice. They usually write something personal in their rejections and they've given me advice on each story they rejected, or a specific reason why it wasn't right for them. I'm gonna keep submitting to them until they break I think.

 

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter April 2, 2012 - 6:17am

Shimmer are nice. They usually write something personal in their rejections and they've given me advice on each story they rejected, or a specific reason why it wasn't right for them. I'm gonna keep submitting to them until they break I think.

That's pretty cool.  The "isn't right for us" response always annoys me, because they're being nicer than they actually are.  I want to know if it's too graphic or sexy or metaphorical or shitty.  Which one is it?  It would help greatly if they'd just tell.

It'd be lovely if the standard rejection letter was like:

Dear writer,

We appreciate the chance to read your story, but felt that it was too ________ for our magazine.

Thanks.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. April 2, 2012 - 9:01am

I should use duotrope more.  I use it to find places, but I never keep track of my stats.  The submishmash thingy that everyone uses now is really handy, though. I wish more places used it. 

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. April 2, 2012 - 9:20am

Word Riot was 5 of those rejections.  Man, they read fast!

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs April 2, 2012 - 10:15am

I've been rejected by Word Riot much more than I have been accepted (once).

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. April 2, 2012 - 10:16am

I appreciate any site/magazine that reads fast enough to reject 5 times in one month.  That's really impressive.  

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 2, 2012 - 11:17am

Got rejections from Daily Science Fiction and Scissors & Spackle in the last 24 hrs.

Nick's picture
Nick from Toronto is reading Adjustment Day April 2, 2012 - 3:55pm

One of the nicest ones I've received:

 

"Dear Nick

Thank you for sending us "Ping Chong".

While this particular submission isn't quite what we're looking for, we were very impressed by your writing. We hope you will feel encouraged by this short note and send [us] something else in the near future.

We look forward to reading more.

Sincerely,

[the editor]

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones April 2, 2012 - 7:33pm

rejected from PNCA's journal (submit) what's funny is the story i sent them was accepted for a project that went under last year. the editors asked to meet me, and people fought over who was going to do my reading, since i was going to be out of town for the event. i find it hard to believe a piece that garnered that kind of reaction isnt fit for an art college journal.

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry April 4, 2012 - 2:03pm

I said "waiting to submit" again.

Probably just something on your mind.

Nick's picture
Nick from Toronto is reading Adjustment Day March 8, 2014 - 9:59pm

running list on my current piece:


 Family Matters    Tin House    Gargoyle  Threepenny Review, The    Portland Review  Ploughshares  Short Story Award for New Writers  Caketrain  Mid-American Review   Cimarron Review  BULL: Men's Fiction   Camera Obscura   Esquire Arcadia   Bat City Review  Colorado Review    AGNI    Pleiades    Cincinnati Review, The   One Story   Harpur Palate  Crazyhorse   Southeast Review, The   Emerson Review, The Third Coast  Ninth Letter  Kenyon Review, The  Redivider   Thomas Morton Memorial Prize Minnesota Review, The   PANK Magazine 

note I'm aware many of these were Hail Marys. BULL and Arcadia gave me personalized, don't give up letters. Not bad.

MattF's picture
MattF from Tokyo is reading Borges' Collected Fictions March 8, 2014 - 11:14pm

Nick, your list looks a lot like my list:

Tin House, Black Warrior Review, Blue Mesa Review, Bat City Review, Cream City Review, Camera Obscura, Crazy Horse, Cininnati Review, Glimmer Train, One Story, Berkeley Fiction Review...so far on my current story, still waiting on a handful more. (Have a story coming out in Gargoyle this summer).

Of the above, only One Story gave me personalized, said they liked the story, but wasn't for them. Damn.

Shannon Barber's picture
Shannon Barber from Seattle is reading Paradoxia: A Predators Diary by Lydia Lunch March 9, 2014 - 9:23am

My first was in 1994 a local indie zine called Dire (or something) most recent was The Black Market Lit. I have a public list of 100 rejections and am currently 15 deep in my new list.

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this March 9, 2014 - 4:22pm

I had a story called "Pont des Arts" picked up by Helix Literary Magazine. Got rejected by PANK, Caketrain, One Story, Ploughshares, Tin House, Keyhole, A Public Space, Pleiades, New Yorker, Paris Review, Juked, Slice, probably a few others that I've since forgotten. 

Got a story now called "Countdown Clock" that's been rejected by Slice and PANK. Still pending at a dozen other places, as I only just sent it out. 

Those are both "literary" stories. My track record with crime fiction is better. I've been published in Thuglit, Needle, Shotgun Honey (as well as their anthology Reloaded), Crime Factory, Kwik Krimes, and I've got a few more that are have been picked up and will be coming soon. 

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami March 9, 2014 - 5:54pm

I only recieved one rejection letter (because I don't submit very much, I'm very much of a sort of under confident writer.)

I learn short ficiton more for pacing reasons, rather than "here is a short story."

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer March 9, 2014 - 6:52pm

I've been rejected forty times, all by different magazines, for about 25 different stories. I really need to start doing simultaneous submissions when I am done with grad school. I was afraid it would be too much to keep track of along with classes.