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JACK B. BEDELL

editor, THE REJECTS

"There's no way around the sting of rejection."

Jack B. Bedell has spent the last three decades writing poems, teaching creative writing at the university level, and editing/directing a journal and press. He is the author of eleven poetry collections, most recently No Brother, This Storm and the forthcoming Color All Maps New (both from Mercer University Press). He is committed to supporting and raising all voices in his community, recently serving as Poet Laureate, State of Louisiana, 2017-2019.

 

Jack on Rejection

 

There’s no way around the sting of rejection. As a writer, I invest a great deal of personal emotion in my writing, and I do tons of research to get as good a feel as possible for the journals/presses to whom I submit my work. All that adds up to tremendous time and energy spent on the submission process, and when it results in rejection, there’s no doubt it hurts. As an editor myself, though, I understand more goes into a decision than quality. Every piece we publish at the journal and press I run fits into the context of an issue. It has to match tonally and thematically with other pieces already selected. I also realize my own shifting moods and tastes affect my selection process as an editor on a daily basis. Most importantly, I try to view my own submissions as signs of respect for the editors of the journals I’m sending my poems to. I wouldn’t trust those editors with my work if I didn’t respect the decisions they make and the taste they’ve shown building journals. That respect has to include the decisions they make on my work, too, or it wouldn’t be genuine. It’s always best to stay focused on that respect and not on the rejection. I accept those decisions and get the work out to another editor I respect as soon as possible.

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

I believe it’s just as important to offer writers honest, engaged reactions to work they’ve submitted for feedback as it is to offer line edits and other revisions. I always hope to provide a healthy mix encouragement and advice for revision in any feedback I give. I would also be happy to provide suggestions for journals who might align with the pieces submitted for my review.

 

Response Time

 

I will do my best to respond within a week to work submitted for review. At certain times in the year, my own workload might delay response times, but I would definitely communicate any delays to writers submitting work for review as soon as their submission is delivered to me.

 

Fee

 

While I don’t want any personal compensation for providing feedback, I am interested in helping the journal receive support. I request any and all tips offered to me for providing feedback go directly to VERSIFICATION.

 

MELISSA BOLES

editor, THE REJECTS

"Rejection, for me, is something I still deal with."

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Melissa Boles has a Bachelor's Degree in Social Sciences with a focus in English and has been published or has forthcoming work in Emerge Literary Journal, Stone of Madness Press, Dream Journal, The Daily Drunk, Versification, and Dwelling Literary. She will be part of the Pages Penned in Pandemic collective coming out in January 2021, and has a chapbook forthcoming with ELJ Editions, Ltd. in May 2021. She has 10 years of communications and writing experience for political candidates, political organizations, and non-profits. You can find her full portfolio at www.melissaboles.com.

 

Melissa on Rejection

 

Rejection, for me, is something I still deal with. I have ADHD, so rejection often feels less like a rejection of my writing and instead rejection of me as a person. I work through that process by remembering that lots of great writers I know have been rejected, and spend time investing in learning what that journal or magazine is looking for should I want to write again with them in the future. The thing I have to constantly remind myself is that not being the right fit for a journal doesn't mean I'm a bad writer. I often will send pieces that have been rejected to other writers to get their feedback so that I can learn from the experience (especially if the journal doesn't have the capacity to provide feedback). It's a process I anticipate going through forever, but it makes me a stronger writer.

Types of Feedback Offered

I am able to provide grammatical and sentence structure feedback, feedback on how the piece flows, and feedback on where I have questions or see gaps. Typically I provide all of this feedback in one review, but I can provide specific feedback if that's what you're looking for (just grammatical, just where I see gaps, etc.). 

Response Time

Under 2,000 words, 7-10 Business Days

Under 5,000 words, 10-14 Business Days

5,000 words or more, 14-20 Business Days

Fee

Contact us for more information. Sliding scale available.

 

CHRIS L. BUTLER

editor, THE REJECTS

"You don't need to change your style or who you are to fit a literary magazine, a publisher, a record label, an art school, etc. Being your true self will get you much further in the end."

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Chris L. Butler is an African American and Dutch poet, essayist, and reviewer from Philadelphia, PA. Chris graduated from the University of Houston-Downtown, where he earned a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies, History, as well as Xavier University where he earned an Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts. Currently he is a Columnist for The Daily Drunk Mag, where he covers pop culture. In 2017, Chris founded the community blog The Millennial Gazette, where he serves as Managing Editor. His poems can be found in Wine Cellar Press, Dreams Walking Lit, Ghost Heart Literary Journal, Trampset Magazine, Perhappened Mag, Lucky Jefferson Literary Journal, The Bayou Review, and here in Versification. His essays can be found on Head Fake Hoops, FlyPaper Lit, The Millennial Gazette, and Medium. Lastly, Chris' reviews can be found on New Pages' blog, Trampset Magazine, and forthcoming in The Poetry Question.

Chris on Rejection

 

When I read someone’s writing, I want to hear their voice, I want to read them, hopefully to relate to the poem/story in some way. My goal is to help bring out your best poetry out of pieces that may have a little more trouble. I don't want to tell you to write a specific way, but rather help fine tune your already great work. Most of the time, pieces are missing something, or something about the poem is in the way and it takes an outside reader/editor to find those 1-2 things that need reworking.

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

As poets, we know rejection accompanied by detailed feedback is a rarity. When it does happen, I often feel as fulfilled as an acceptance. This is not to any fault of a journal/mag who cannot offer feedback, as they receive hundreds if not thousands of solicitations. Here's where my services come in. I'll give you that diamond in the rough experience of thorough feedback. Things I love to aid with are cultural sensitivity, line breaks, grammar, metaphor sharpening, rhyme or "Break Beat" style poetics. We can also explore other forms that may help you bring out your best version of the piece. If I haven't mentioned what you're looking for, that's okay too. Let's figure this out together!

 

Response Time

 

1 week

 

Fee

 

No fee. Tips appreciated.

3 page maximum length/piece

 
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TAYLOR BYAS

editor, THE REJECTS

"As a writer, it's so important to remember the nature of the game we play."

Taylor Byas is a black Chicago native currently living in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is now a second year PhD student and Yates scholar at the University of Cincinnati, and an Assistant Features Editor for The Rumpus. She was the 1st place winner of both the Poetry Super Highway and the Frontier Poetry Award for New Poets Contests. Her chapbook, BLOODWARM, is forthcoming from Variant Lit (July 2021). Her work appears or is forthcoming in New Ohio Review, Borderlands Texas Poetry Review, Glass, Iron Horse Literary Review, Hobart, Frontier Poetry, SWWIM, TriQuarterly, and others.

 

Taylor on Rejection

 

As a writer, it’s so important to remember the nature of the game we play. Every magazine has its own needs, its own aesthetic, its own vision for what each issue will look like. And as an editor, it’s never easy to make decisions and have to send rejections. I have to tell myself that most of the time, a rejection is not a reflection of me or the work. When publications say “this piece isn’t right for us at this time,” they probably mean it. When they say they want to see more work, they probably really do. But I’m always telling myself that a rejection is never a flat out “No”, it’s just a “No, not this one.” And that just motivates me to send that rejected piece out to more places to find that perfect home.

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

Poetry - line edits and/or macro concerns such as poem structure, titles, flow, etc. 

NF essays - line edits and/or macro concerns such as cohesiveness, voice/perspective, titling, structure/organization, etc.

 

Response Time

 

2 weeks

Fee

 

No fee. Tips appreciated.

3 page poetry max

5,000 word max NF essay

CAVAR

editor, THE REJECTS

"Had I known the number of rejections that would follow, I would have been scared to death."

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I am Managing Editor at Stone of Madness Press and curator of the folio WRITING OURSELVES / MAD at ANMLY lit; in the fall of 2020, I read hybrid and creative nonfiction manuscripts with Split/Lip Press. In 2020, I earned my B.A. in critical social thought from Mount Holyoke College, and I am currently a PhD student in cultural studies at UC Davis. While at Mount Holyoke, I worked as a speaking, arguing, and writing (SAW) peer mentor, where I collaborated with peers at all stages of project/paper development across genre and discipline. 

 

I have two chapbooks debuting in 2021: “A Hole Walked In” from Sword and Kettle Press, and “The Dream Journals” from giallo lit. I’ve had writing in Bitch Magazine, The Offing, 3:am Magazine, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. I also have several published and forthcoming “scholarly” book chapters/papers, including  “Trans Identity and Disability” in Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, 2nd. ed. (2021) and “The Mad Possibility of Interethnography” in The Mad Scholars Anthology. 

 

Lastly, note that I’m a Sagittarius sun *and* Mercury. Don’t be afraid to send me your feisty words.

 

Cavar on Rejection

 

I’m the sort of person who easily ties their worth to their work. I mean, it’s only a two-letter difference! I’m also the sort of person who tends to give up on pursuits in which they’re not immediately successful; I think the only reason I’m writing this today is that my very first Professional™ literary magazine submission happened to be accepted. Had I known the number of rejections that would follow, I would have been scared to death.

 

Nearly four years after that first acceptance, I can’t say I’ve “overcome” the shitty feelings attendant to rejection, especially on a piece I had been enthusiastic about. But, with distance and experience, I also know that I’ve had pieces receive 30, 40-odd rejections, perhaps more, and go on to be placed in amazing magazines, even “prestigious” ones! I also know that, sometimes, rejection is a blessing: it’s an editor’s way of letting you know that your work has promise, but isn’t currently getting what it needs from you (I think I need to get better at taking my own advice!). Especially as I take on more editorial roles in the ~literary world~, I’m working on envisioning rejection as a form of encouragement –– “this piece deserves more [of/from] you!” Not to mention, sometimes rejection really, truly is about fit and editorial taste alone, and there’s no level of perfection you can reach to change that! (Try as I might, I haven’t yet convinced a soap-cilantro person to see the error of their ways.)

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

I’m willing to provide any and all types of feedback, from acting as a sounding-board for ideas, to big-picture comments, to detailed/line work. I can also provide specific feedback on works of all genres that engage on some level with Humanities-based scholarly/theoretical texts and ideas. My fees and response times will vary based on the editorial-depth requested and the length of your submission.

 

Response Time

 

Poetry (1-5 poems) and flash, depending on level of feedback requested, within 1-2 weeks

Larger poetry packets (6-10 poems) and prose 1,000-3,000 words within 3 weeks-1 month

 

Fee

 

Long work/quick turnaround: $6

Long work/standard turnaround: $5

Short work/quick turnaround: $4

Short work/standard turnaround: $3

 

Disabled/Mad QTPOC are welcome to submit free or tip-only whenever I’m open.

 

MATTHEW FEINSTEIN

editor, THE REJECTS

"I believe rejection provides an opportunity for eventual success."

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Matthew Feinstein is a neurodivergent poet from Tracy, California. He is pursuing an MFA at Randolph College, starting in Winter 2020. His work has appeared in Drunk Monkeys, Macqueen's Quinterly, Rejection Letters, Stone of Madness Press, and elsewhere. He is the founding editor of Plum Recruit and just released his debut chapbook, Breeds of Breath (Alien Buddha Press 2020). He once appeared on court television with his former roommate over a whopping 130 dollar dispute.

 

Matthew on Rejection

 

As someone who has received over 150 rejections in the past year, I have learned to take rejection as something to grow from rather than be disappointed by. No one will be a desirable candidate for everything, and because of this, it is important not to take rejection personally. I try to look at every rejection through an objective lens. I believe rejection provides an opportunity for eventual success. This success can only be achieved through hard work. If one is unwilling to put hard work toward being successful in something, I do not believe it is a point of weakness but rather an opportunity for that individual to find something they are passionate about.

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

I can provide feedback on poems at both the content and sentence-level. Generally, I like to make comments and suggestions in the margins of Microsoft word or Google docs. For content-level questions, I like to start with "I wonder" statements. The author is always the authority on their own work. For sentence-level feedback, I tend to suggest rather than be intrusive or pretend I am an end-all opinion.

 

Response Time

 

1-2 weeks

 

Fee

 

Tip only

ANNA E. FULLMER

editor, THE REJECTS

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"I understand that I can play it safe and be rejected, or I can take risks and be rejected - might as well go for it!"

 

Anna E. Fullmer is a Library Assistant at Cleveland Public Library in the Youth Department, slinging story times and songs about the ABCs. She’s the lead singer of a band and misses playing shows. She writes songs, poems, and to-do lists. Back in her grad school days she worked at the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Rat’s Ass Review, Uppagus, Dreams Walking, and Versification.
 

Twitter: @anna_fullmer Instagram: @anna_the_bad_banana

 

Anna on Rejection

 

After receiving a rejection letter from a poetry MFA program, I stopped writing altogether. I was one hundred percent expecting to get that acceptance letter in the mail, but it didn’t happen. A few years later, I realized the true reason I was upset about that rejection; it wasn’t because I thought it meant I was a bad poet or not-a-
poet. I know what I am. The reason I was upset was because, at the time, I did not do things that would run the risk of rejection. To be rejected when I thought I was playing it safe, well, it was a blow to my ego. Five years later, I understand that I can play it safe and be rejected, or I can take risks and be rejected—might as well
go for it! The first rejection I got when I started to send out my poetry actually made me feel relieved because the process was at work, and I was a part of it. The only way I get where I want to be is to participate.

Types of Feedback Offered

 

I will print out your poem and mark words, phrases, line breaks, etc. that either resonate with me or need further attention. I will also include notes about my overall impression of your poem. In workshops, I tend to let folks know exactly what part of the poem has me feeling unsure (title, word choice, structure) to get their focused thoughts. If there is a specific area that has you feeling unsure, please point it out to me. I will be happy to take a second look at your revisions and give you suggestions for journals that I think would be a good fit.

Response Time

 

2 weeks

 

Fee

 

I’ll gladly accept a tip so I can keep my dogs in the lifestyle to which they have grown accustomed, but will not charge a fee.

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MELISSA ASHLEY HERNANDEZ

editor, THE REJECTS

"Rejection is a natural part of this writing world."

 

Melissa is a Latinx writer working towards her MFA in creative writing and publishing from DeSales University. She is the founding EIC of The Minison Project. Her work can be found in The Minison Zine, The Daily Drunk Magazine, Fahmidan Journal, and her chapbook, The Love in Between, published by Lazy Adventurer Publishing in January 2021. Her editing credits include editing Spanish/English essays for grammar, format, and flow; editing letters and motions for grammar and proper formatting before sending to courts; and peer-editing Ada Wofford's I Remember Learning How to Dive, among other pieces of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.

 

Melissa on Rejection

 

Rejection is a natural part of this writing world, but I was spoiled at the start of my journey and got whacked by reality pretty hard. When I first started submitting to magazines, not only was my very first poetry submission accepted, but it was an entire chapbook manuscript as well. I had hoped that this would set the tone for my future submissions, but none of the poems in that collection were accepted anywhere else. I tried about thirty places and each time, without fail, a rejection email would be sitting pretty in my inbox. I found that sending my poems out to my editor friends helped me understand why I was having such trouble and I received a lot of helpful tips from everyone. Following some of their advice not only helped me to get published, but it opened up my mind to creating poetry and short stories about topics I’ve never written about before! I feel more confident than ever, and I want to help other writers feel that way, too!

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

I can provide any and all types of feedback on your work: we can take your ideas and flesh them out or I can provide specific back-and-forth feedback on your finished pieces. The conversations we'll have can range from bigger-picture comments to linework/detailed critique, and I can offer specialized feedback on anything dealing with the journey of self and thoughts about love and human interaction. I like approaching work from a personal angle and am willing to be in contact as frequently as need be depending on the piece.

 

Response Time

 

2 weeks

Poetry: 60 line MAX

CNF: 10 page MAX

 

Fee

 

Poetry: TIP ONLY, 3 POEM MAX

Photography: $10/Photo

CNF: $.05/word, up to 10 pages

STEPHANIE JACOBS

editor, THE REJECTS

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"I feel like my life has been a symphony of rejection."

 

Dr. Steph is a psychologist with a doctorate from Purdue University. She has a variety of experience that enhances her skill as an editor. As a psychologist, Dr. Steph specializes in counseling creatives with an emphasis on understanding self-identity as a means of enhancing craft. She understands the uncertainty caused by societal norms and expectations, and helps people connect to their truth. As an educator, Dr. Steph teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and has served on dissertation committees. She specifically helps students improve their writing skills with a focus on depth and clarity of content. As a writer and editor, Dr. Steph's area of expertise is in nonfiction. She is comfortable with any work that falls within that realm (e.g., self-help, CNF, memoir, academic, etc.). 

 

Stephanie on Rejection

 

Having rarely taken a traditional path, Dr. Steph has encountered significant rejection along the way. She experienced several traumatic experiences in her youth and spent many years acting out with self-sabotaging behaviors. Throughout her life, she has developed the fortitude to keep going in the face of adversity, which results in resilience and growth. She understands the anger and sadness that arise with rejection. Yet, she also believes that the more you accept rejection, but not absorb it into who you are, the better you can shift focus and try again. She believes with writing, as with many things in life, one should listen to the feedback, change what you think you need to change, and let go of the rest. 

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

Dr. Steph is highly skilled at recognizing patterns. With that, she notices the missing pieces, the gaps, and the ways the story is sitting on the surface when it could sink much deeper. With Dr. Steph, you will likely increase your vulnerability and find ways to truly express yourself. It might be challenging, but she is very supportive and kind, and she is skilled at offering feedback and shifting perspectives. If you have been told your piece is "not quite right" or "almost there," then she is the editor for you. She is also adept at sentence structure and writing with clarity, so if your words seem fuzzy or your focus is absent, she can help you align. 

 

Response Time

 

2 weeks for 2,000 words or less 

1 month for longer works

Fee

Sliding scale and/or tips via CashApp, Square, or Zelle only

Inquire for quote

B F JONES

editor, THE REJECTS

"I try to take rejection in my stride, knowing that it comes with the territory."

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B F Jones is French and has been living in the UK since 2002. She works in web development and moonlights as a book blogger and beta reader and has flash fiction and poetry published in various UK and US online magazines. She is currently working on a collection and a novella-in-flash. 

 

B F on Rejection

 

As a regular submitter, I take rejection in my stride, knowing that it comes with the territory. I know it's all subjective, it could be because someone submitted something too similar around the same time, or because there is a limited amount of acceptances some magazines can provide at any given time, or because I wrote something that's completely shit. I also know that I don't like everything that everyone writes all the time so I expect it to be the same for my own writing.

However there are some pieces that I can tell are almost there, and when the rejection stings more than usual I know it is because the story a special one worth of a decent home, and having some feedback and suggestions would get it somewhere; and I'd love to be able to provide that kind of support to others. 

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

proofreading for typos, repetitions, advice on tone, style and structure, feedback on exploitation of themes

 

Response Time

 

2 WEEKS

 

Fee

 

TIP ONLY

1500 word max

KIP KNOTT

editor, THE REJECTS

"Rejection is a means of motivation, of working harder, and a means of growing and improving."

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Kip Knott's debut collection of poetry, Tragedy, Ecstasy, Doom, and so on, was published in 2020 by Kelsay Books. His second full-length book of poetry, Clean Coal Burn, is forthcoming in 2021, also from Kelsay Books. His writing and photography have appeared in numerous journals and magazines throughout the U.S. and abroad, including The American Journal of Poetry, Barren, Barrow Street, Beloit Fiction Journal, Gettysburg Review, La Piccioletta Barca, Long Poem, Poet Lore, The Sun, and Virginia Quarterly Review. He has received grants from the Ohio Arts Council in both poetry and playwriting and is also the author of four poetry chapbooks: The Weight of Smoke (Bottom Dog Press, 1991); Whisper Gallery (Mudlark, 2004)); Everyday Elegies (Pudding House, 2007); Afraid of Heaven (Mudlark, 2013)

 

Currently, he teaches literature and composition at Columbus State in Columbus, Ohio.

 

Kip on Rejection

 

Rejection has been—and continues to be—a big part of life. While I’ve faced rejection in  every aspect of my life, the rejections that I’ve experienced in my career as a writer far  outnumber the rejections I’ve received in all other aspects of my life. But being the stubborn  bastard that I am, I take those rejections and heft them up on my shoulders to carry like chips that  motivate me. 

 

Take, for example, the very first poem that I ever wrote in the very first writing class I  ever took. To my surprise, the poem ended up earning high praise from the professor, a grizzled  poet who had a reputation for being particularly hard on students. When he sang the poem’s  praises in front of the class, I felt like the greatest poet in the world. My inflated sense of  greatness didn’t last very long, however. The professor declared—somewhat eagerly, I  thought—that every poem I submitted to the class after was shit. He even went so far as to say  that the first poem I wrote must’ve been a fluke.  

From that moment on, I was determined to write a poem that would make him sing my  praises once again. It took three years and three more classes with him to get him to finally  admit—although not in as glowing terms as he had used to describe my first poem—that I had  written a good poem. The next year, when he asked to be the guest editor for a literary magazine  called Gambit, he actually asked me if he could publish two of my poems, which became my  first publications. 

 

So for me, rejection is a means of motivation, a means of working harder, and a means of  growing and improving. Perhaps these lines from a poem that I wrote years later about this  professor—a poem in which I describe him as a father-figure in my life—explain how I deal with  rejection: 

Father, you are the chip I carry to make my back strong, 

the man who knows the power of silence, 

the man who taught me to keep to myself, never to rely on others, 

to harness loneliness like a plow and make something out of hard ground.

 

Types of Feedback Offered

I primarily write poetry, so I feel most comfortable offering feedback on poetry. I have taught creative writing on-and-off for nearly 30 years, though, and I’ve published stories, essays, and plays over the years, so I can comment on short stories, flash fiction, creative non-fiction, plays, and screenplays. But poetry is what I would prefer to comment on. The kind of feedback that you’d like to receive from me is entirely up to you: I can offer help with brainstorming ideas for writing new pieces; I can offer general feedback on complete drafts; or I can offer more specific line-by-line/marginal comments on your work. The most important thing to remember is that any comments that I do offer are not personal judgments of you or your work. The comments that I offer are meant to be suggestions for how I believe a specific piece of writing can be improved.

Response Time

 

4 weeks

 

Fee

 

No fee. Tips for Versification appreciated.

RICHARD LEDUE

editor, THE REJECTS

"In 2018, I decided on the New Years resolution of sending out at least one poetry submission a month. That decision resulted in a lot of rejection letters, but also eventually resulted in me being published."

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-The Loneliest Age (Chapbook from Kelsay Books)

-Over 75 poems published in 2020 and more publications forthcoming

-I spent some time on a poetry workshop website called “Pig Pen Poetry” before being published, and am actually quite comfortable giving feedback on poems. That website's main rule was that you had to critique poems to have your own poems critiqued, so I got a lot of practice in giving feedback. I still visit that website sometimes and critique a poem here and there.

Richard on Rejection

 

I only started having success with my writing in 2019. However, I started writing poetry when I was in high school (graduated in 1999). That means it took around twenty years for me to get to this point. I experienced many rejections during that time. My worse rejection was from a publication called “The Pottersfield Portfolio.” They actually accepted a poem of mine and offered me ten dollars as payment. A few months later, they sent me a letter explaining how they had lost their grant and were discontinuing publishing, so I never got published or paid. This lead me to giving up on writing for a while, but I returned to it in 2017 through a poetry workshop site called “Pig Pen Poetry.” In 2018, I decided on the New Years resolution of sending out at least one poetry submission a month. That decision resulted in a lot of rejection letters, but also eventually resulted in me being published. From that point onwards, rejection just became part of the process of being a published writer to me.

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

Poetry Critique

 

Response Time

 

One month

 

Fee

Tip only

50 line max

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JAY MILLER

editor, THE REJECTS

"If you compare writing to surgery, then rejections are like cadavers. You don't hold onto the corpse afterwards. Dig in, scalpel around, stitch it up."

 

Jay Miller is poetry editor at The Lit Quarterly (litquarterly.ca, @LitQuarterly), a print and digital publication for new and rising talent in poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. He is a poet who works full-time as a technical writer in industrial engineering and has several years experience as a translator (working primarily with French, as well as with German and Spanish as a
freelancer), copywriter, literary book reviewer, and blogger. He co-founded the Canadian literary criticism blog Literatured (2011-2016) and holds a BA (Hons) in Linguistics and World Languages from Queen’s University (2015).

 

Jay on Rejection

 

My few creative publications may lend credence to my familiarity with rejection. I maintain a rigorous spreadsheet detailing all my creative writing submissions and to date this year I can boast of a whopping 80% rejection rate. If you compare writing to surgery, then rejections are like cadavers. You don’t hold onto the corpse afterwards. Dig in, scalpel around, stitch it up. You have to come to terms with the certainty that even as a training professional, you are going to commit some errors, even on living outpatients; your career won’t take off until your thirties, if you’re lucky, and your success rate won’t plateau until your forties. It all depends on your pucker factor: either kill your darlings or patch them up.

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

Comprehensive service: proofreading, editing, formatting. I offer editing for creative non-fiction, fiction, poetry.

I also offer translation from French, Italian, Polish and German into English. 

I've done legal, medical, technical, commercial, political, academic, and historical freelance translation in the past 3 years and am totally transparent on my processes and limitations.

 

Response Time

 

My response time is 4 weeks for most projects and 6 weeks for book-length manuscripts.

 

Fee

 

$0.06 USD/word

I always work on a sliding scale and remain open to all counteroffers.

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AMY-JEAN MULLER

editor, THE REJECTS

"It's not just about knowing whether or not you're good enough, it's about being able to discern when to be humble and learn, or stand up and fight again."

 

Writing and art has always been a part of my life both professionally and personally. I have a keen focus on emotion in poetry and writing that is confrontational and sticks with you. With a postgraduate degree in Fine Arts, I have lectured and practiced as an artist in South Africa and London and worked as a mentor for teams to create work that develops personal style and innovation. Having over a decade of experience in Advertising, I have honed my skills in the specialization of communications and design with a focus on copywriting and art direction. Both my interest in core messaging, simplicity and purpose, features as a key motivator in how I approach feedback and editorial work.

 

Amy-Jean on Rejection

 

I find the best way to deal with the sting of rejection is to see it as an opportunity to ask questions. Sometimes rejection means having to be open to improving, and other times it means being firm and standing behind your work. It's not just about knowing whether or not you’re good enough, it's about being able to discern when to be humble and learn, or stand up and fight again.

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

I like work that’s going to make me feel deeply, challenge me and make me wish I’d written it first. I’m not easily offended and appreciate work that pushes boundaries with painful honesty. I’m happy to provide feedback for art and design with specifics on technique. My feedback is exceptionally fair and detailed and always recognizes elements that work. The constructive feedback will always look on areas where things could improve and I'll often provide examples from other artists or writers to help clarify. 

Response Time

 

2 weeks

Fee

 

$5/piece

16 line max on poetry

4 art pieces per submission

NICK OLSON

editor, THE REJECTS

"No matter how many times my work got rejected, I'd just keep writing, keep sending things out."

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My name is Nick Olson, and I'm Editor-in-Chief of (mac)ro(mic). Before launching that, I served as Associate Editor at Cease, Cows, Assistant Editor at The Citron Review, and Managing Editor at The Arrival Magazine. My work can be found in SmokeLong Quarterly, Hobart, decomP, and other fine places. My debut novel, Here’s Waldo, is available now; you can learn more at nickolsonbooks.com.

 

Nick on Rejection

 

I had been submitting my work for years before I got my first acceptance. My debut novel got rejected dozens of times over the years before landing at the press that published it. My experience with rejection has been one of those stereotypical, stubborn, maddening things of just never giving up. No matter how many times my work got rejected, I'd just keep writing, keep sending things out. For a while, my standard practice was that for every rejection I got, I'd send a piece out to three new mags. I guess the persistence and the practice paid off, but it's still something I stick to today. Also understanding that a "no" isn't a reflection of the quality of your work or your worth as a writer. Oftentimes a "no" just means it isn't a good fit at that venue at that time. As an editor now, my perception of that has come full circle.

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

I'm willing to work with writers on narrative and emotional core in micro and flash, working within the story as written to get it to its most resonant and impactful form. I'll also provide feedback on specific venues to target with pieces as well as ways to clarify tone and theme, with an overall emphasis on expressing--not impressing.

 

Response Time

 

2 weeks

 

Fee

 

$5 base pay + Personal Tip Jar/Versification Tip Jar

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STEPHANIE PARENT

editor, THE REJECTS

"I still struggle with motivation and believing in myself, but now I try to use rejection and the resulting frustration to propel me forward and create something even better."

 

Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Southern California

Professional freelance proofreader and copy editor

Published in HuffPost, Pithead Chapel, X-RAY, Mookychick and more

Rhysling Award and Best of the Net Nominee

 

Stephanie on Rejection

 

I signed with my first literary agent almost eight years ago, sure my words would soon be in bookstores across America, and the disappointment of having my young adult novels rejected by publishers was so great that I stopped writing for four years. The experience of putting so much heart and effort into something, only to have it turned down, can be debilitating. It can stifle creativity and leave us mired in self-doubt, and the proliferation of social media where we constantly see others' successes--and not their failures, because giving out too much info about rejections is still a faux pas in the literary world--can have us feeling hopeless. I've definitely had moments (okay, years) where the rejection of something I'd spent countless hours working on left me believing any further effort was futile. I still struggle with motivation and believing in myself, but now I try to use rejection and the resulting frustration to propel me forward and create something even better.

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

I'm happy to offer all types of feedback, from big-picture thematic and plot questions, to sentence-level issues of imagery, rhythm and flow, to practical matters like grammar and clarity. I am open-minded and eager to engage with difficult or controversial subject matter, but please no homophobia, racism, misogyny or intolerance of any kind.

 

Response Time

 

7 days

 

Fee

 

Tip Only

3,000 word max

MARIAH RIGG

editor, THE REJECTS

"I went to therapy; I went on long walks; I baked: I talked to his family. None of it worked. Then I wrote a poem about how his death made me feel and suddenly I was back at it, in the world of poetry, or at least my world, screw whatever that man in undergrad told me."

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I'm currently pursuing an MFA in Fiction from the University of Oregon, and have stories, poems, and nonfiction published or forthcoming in a number of places, including trampset, Hawaii Pacific Review, Bending Genres, Pidgeonholes, Rough Cut Press, Stone of Madness Press, and Yes Poetry. I was also a semifinalist for the 2020 Gulf Coast Prize, a finalist for the Seventh Wave Editorial Residency, a Notable Entry for the 2020 Disquiet Literary Prize, and a nominee for the 2019 PEN/Robert J Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. Additionally, I'll be an incoming Poetry Scholar for the Sewanee Writers' Conference in 2021. 

 

Mariah on Rejection

 

I definitely am not over rejection. I think I'm just numb to it now. What I've learned, in spite of being afraid of rejection, is that I'd rather have been rejected from every single thing than not have ever tried for anything, sort of that 'you miss 100% of the shots you don't take thing,' but more 'you'll live in regret of 100% of the things you don't apply to' for me. But a personal story...let's see. Well, in high school I wrote a lot of poetry. Like, too much. I wrote poetry about the tear in my skirt and the smell of my boyfriend's breath and the feeling of eating sourdough after it had been toasted too long. I wrote so much I thought I was good at it. And then I went to undergrad. There, I took a poetry class with a world-renowned poet, a dude that has nearly a dozen books out in the universe and is pretty hot shit when it comes to academic poetry. I walked into his class all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and he told me that I didn't have an ear for music. So I gave up writing poetry. Or I thought I did. I started writing fiction and loved it, but then a little over a year ago a dear friend of mine died and no matter what I did I couldn't seem to get past it. I went to therapy; I went on long walks; I baked; I talked to his family. None of it worked. Then I wrote a poem about how his death made me feel, and suddenly I was back at it, in the world of poetry, or at least my world, screw whatever that man in undergrad told me.

Types of Feedback Offered

 

I can provide line edits and a short blurb.

 

Response Time

 

2 weeks

 

Fee

 

$10/piece

1000 word max

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L SCULLY

editor, THE REJECTS

"Since the start of my journey with getting help for mental illness, I've been rejected for a lot of things. "

 

L Scully is co-founder and prose editor at Stone of Madness Press, an international digital publication specializing in writing by queer, trans, and neurodiverse authors. Scully's work has appeared in magazines such as Jellyfish Review, Hobart Pulp, Heavy Feather Review, and VERSIFICATION. Forthcoming chapbook from ELJ Editions.

 

L on Rejection

 

My experience with rejection is a funny story. Growing up, I was a perfectionist, especially as I live with severe OCD. I was captain of the rowing team, had a similarly high-achieving boyfriend, won numerous academic awards and received a large scholarship to a fancy private college. None of this mattered when I had a mental breakdown my freshman year as my mental illness symptoms manifested, as they tend to, around age 18-19. I had never taken "no" for an answer, had pretty much never been rejected by anything in my life, and was suddenly fighting for my life and ability to attend school and keep up the appearance of being "normal." Long story short, I didn't get the help I needed, but I did learn a lot about myself. I came out. Fast forward to spring 2019, I'm working at a prestigious art gallery, have a punk girlfriend, am on the brink of moving to Spain, and I get institutionalized. I quit my job, break up with my girlfriend, and move to Spain anyway. It sucks, because I'm struggling to be alive. I finally accept that I need help and head back to my parents' house to attend outpatient at a local hospital. I don't take things too seriously anymore. Since the start of my journey with getting help for mental illness, I've been rejected for a lot of things. Jobs, journals, programs. But I know how to deal with it a little more these days. Thanks for reading. 

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

I am willing to provide feedback on prose or poetry. Prose is my specialty and passion, although I've recently had quite a few private poetry jobs which I have been enjoying and received positive feedback on. I also have a background in Art History, so am always willing to provide feedback on visual art / photography. 

 

Response Time

 

Two weeks

 

Fee

 

Sliding scale, Tips

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MEGHAN SUTHERLAND

editor, THE REJECTS

"Rejection of a piece we've written is often perceived as a rejection of our absolute selves, and it hurts."

 

Meghan Sutherland is a Canadian writer and poet. Her recent poetry publications live at Rejection Letters and Versification. Meghan has a blog brimming with essays at https://meghanfsutherland.wordpress.com/. She is currently creating her first novel and second human being. Meghan tweets @MegsDregs.

 

Meghan on Rejection

 

Some will be tempted to compare writing to having children, but a child is more or less accepted within the fabric of society, whereas a finished fledgling work undergoes major scrutiny and oftentimes, rejection. Rejection of a piece we've written is often perceived as a rejection of our absolute selves, and it hurts. In 2019 I tried to find a home for my first poetry chapbook, a 30-poem, 35-page treatise on life, living and loving in my 20s, but no one wanted to bind this snapshot. I've since looked back on that manuscript and for sure, I can agree it was a green compendium. Rejection is an opportunity to grow and hone our craft, our works; we just have to get beyond the surface hurt, and of course, keep writing.

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

I am able to provide both positive feedback, as well as suggestions on how to make the piece stronger. It is important to me that your work remains your own and isn’t highjacked or repurposed, however I will provide detailed notes on opportunities, should you choose to pursue them.
In the end, it’s your vision.

 

Response Time

 

1 week

 

Fee

 

$10 per piece

5,000 word max

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ABIGAIL SWIRE

editor, THE REJECTS

"Rejection does not reflect your worth as a person; it is part of the path of being better as a human being and a creator."

 

Degreed.


Fiction, poetry, nonfiction, essays, reports, articles.


Experience as staff writer for print news articles, feature stories, personal column. Pre- and post-edited stories under general editor. Further experience includes assigning topics for exploration through reports, essays, and journal entries to high school students, making suggestions, editing. Five-year owner of online content writing and editing business for web and print: marketing, B2B, B2C, feature pieces, client blogs, press releases, articles, ghostwriting books, bios, blurbs.

Abigail on Rejection

 

Rejection does not reflect on your worth; it is part of the path of being better as a human being
and a creator. Even with a strong foundation of mastery in a craft, it is easy to tune out or miss
things that need work. This is why feedback and direction is helpful.

 

Types of Feedback Offered

 

I give each piece at least 2 reads. The first is a big picture read, followed by closer scrutiny of the
components. Then I will tell you what I see.

 

Response Time

 

1 week

 

Fee

 

$15/piece for poetry

More for longer works

Package deals and negotiations happily encouraged.