Friday, May 6, 2011

1 Year, 100 Rejections: 75% Done

For those of you who don't know about 1 Year, 100 Rejections, I will explain: My friend Tanya Jarrett came up with the idea last August. This could be false. I don't recall the month, but August seems like a good enough one. The idea was this: to send out good poems to good journals and try to get 100 rejections in a calendar year, starting September 1.

So on September 1, 2010, I set out to achieve this goal. I kept writing poems to submit, and put in the long wait. Finally some rejections came pouring in. Few acceptances came, but they did come.

As of today, I am 75% done. Seventy-five rejections from sixty- or seventy-odd magazines. (Some mags rejected me more than once! Fancy that.)

So here's the roundup:

1. Third Coast: Sept. 9: Form letter
2. Sycamore Review: Sept. 10: Form letter
3. Crazyhorse: Sept. 12: Form letter ("manuscript... number 23072")
4. Mid-American Review: Sept 22: Form letter
5. Rattle: Sept 23: Form letter
6. The 2nd Hand: Oct. 10: Personal letter (a non-fiction submission with "lack of pronoun clarity")
7. Copper Nickel: Oct. 10: Form letter
8. Indiana Review: Oct. 28: Form letter
9. Bat City Review: Oct. 31 (SPOOKY REJECTION!): Form letter
10. Catalonian Review: Oct. 31 (ANOTHER SPOOKY REJECTION!): Personal letter (a "close call")
11. West Branch: Nov. 1: Form letter
12. West Wind Review: Nov. 4: Form letter
13. Failbetter: Nov. 4: Form letter
14. Smartish Pace: Nov. 18: Personal form letter: ("your submission was competitive (if it hadn't been you would have received this notice sooner) and was in the mix until the end.")
15. Fugue: Nov. 26: Form letter
16. AGNI: Dec. 6: Personal letter ("...lively and interesting...")
17. Beloit Poetry Journal: Dec. 13: Personal letter ("How to Die is the most successful. Glad to have seen your work again.")
18-20. GUD: Dec. 13: Form letters (they require you to submit individual poems as opposed to one document)
21. A Public Space: Dec. 16: Form letter
22. Memoir (and): Dec. 27: Form letter
23. Boxcar Poetry Review: Jan. 10: Form letter
24. POETRY: Jan. 14: Form letter (duh)
25. Crazyhorse: Jan. 16: Form letter (rejection #2 for the year: "manuscript... number 25054")
26. Hayden's Ferry Review: Jan. 18: Form letter
27. West Branch: Jan. 20: Form letter (#2 for the year)
28. Cream City Review: Jan. 20: Form letter
29. Ninth Letter: Jan. 26: Form letter
30. Black Warrior Review: Jan. 30: Form letter
31. Rattle: Jan. 30: Form letter (#2 for the year)
32. Third Coast: Jan. 31: Form letter (#2 for the year)
33. Beloit Poetry Journal: Feb. 10: Personal letter (with advice for edits on a poem which later was accepted with those edits)
34. Linebreak: Feb. 10: Form letter
35. Versal: Feb. 15: Form letter
36. Ninth Letter: Feb. 15: Form letter (#2 for the year)
37. West Branch: Feb. 23: Form letter (#3 for the year!)
38. Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art: Feb. 25: Form letter (masquerading as a personal letter "We really enjoyed this piece, but we didn't feel it was quite right...")
39. Redactions: Feb. 28: Form letter
40. New Orleans Review: Mar. 6: Form letter (happy birthday to me!!)
41. FIELD: Mar. 8: Form letter
42. Green Mountains Review: Mar. 12: Personal letter ("Our readers loved your stuff, as did our poetry editor...")
43. Puerto del Sol: Mar. 16: Form letter
44. The New Yorker: Mar. 25: Personal letter (I will say that it contained the word "admirable" though I won't say much else, lest I faint again)
45. Kenyon Review: Mar. 25: Form letter (after being out for a LONG time and having been on the editor's table, not that I'm bitter...)
46. Mid-American Review: Mar. 26: Form letter (#2 for the year)
47. Rattle: Mar. 26: Form letter (#3 for the year!)
48. New York Quarterly: Mar. 27: Form letter
49. Threepenny Review: Mar. 30: Form letter ("please accept our apologies for the automated message system.")
50. Alaska Quarterly: Mar. 30: Form letter (with a sloppily hand-written "RE: Your Poetry Submission" and "Many thanks" on the bottom)
51. Nashville Review: Mar. 31: Personal letter (a bland personal note about how they enjoyed my work, no doubt spurred on by the fact that they had had my submission for a long time and they felt bad)
52. AGNI: Mar. 31: Form letter (BURNED! A form letter after a personal one... ouch!)
53. Valparaiso Poetry Review: Mar. 31: Form letter
54. Foundling Review: Mar. 31: Personal letter ("some nice lines" also my fourth rejection on March 31st)
55. Catalonian Review: Apr. 1: Form letter (with my first name misspelled "Bret")
56. The Southeast Review: Apr. 3: Form letter
57. Ninth Letter: Apr. 10: Form letter (#3 for the year!)
58. Foundling Review: Apr. 12: Personal letter (with my name totally gotten wrong: "Some nice lines in there, Elizabeth. '[QUOTE FROM POEM]' We have finally decided to pass this time." What a strange rejection.)
59. The Missouri Review: Apr. 12: Personal letter ("warm, candid...")
60. Boulevard: Apr. 13: Form letter
61. Catalonian Review: Apr. 15: Different Form letter than before ("going to pass for the time being." So I should send the same batch to them again in five weeks. I think.)
62. A Public Space: Apr. 15: Form letter (#2)
63. Gulf Coast: Apr. 16: Form letter
64. Black Warrior Review: Apr. 18: Form letter
65. jubilat: Apr. 20: Form letter ("Dear Writer:")
66. DIAGRAM: Apr. 23: Form letter (one of my favorite form letters: "We get a lot of submissions and can only use a fraction of them, so please understand that this No most likely means "Not Quite the Right Fit," not "No Good." But in a few cases it does mean No Good or they wouldn't have said "most likely"!)
67. Boxcar Poetry Review: Apr. 25: Form letter (#2 for the year!)
68. Graywolf Press: Apr. 29: Form letter (on my manuscript submission)
69. Word Riot: Apr. 29: Form letter
70. Kill Author: Apr. 30: Form letter
71. Third Coast: Apr. 30: Form letter (#3 for the year!)
72. decomP: May 1: Form letter
73. ABJECTIVE: May 4: Form letter
74. West Wind Review: May 4: Form letter
75. Cincinnati Review: May 5: Form letter (also included in the envelope was a paper asking me to give them money for a contest I won't win)

So that's it so far. Lots of places rejected me, some two or three times! One day I got four rejections. But take heart! I have also received six or seven acceptances. I have already posted about most of those, so I don't need to tell you that again.

I got lazy and stopped putting in links to these journals, but they are all highly Googleable.

Ha! "Googleable."

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