Towards the end of my fall semester, I started submitting to journals. I hadn’t submitted anything since last spring and it felt like the right time to start putting my new work out there once more.
It’s hard; anything that involves possible rejection is hard. Some places have told me flat out no, others have said no thank you but please consider submitting more in the future, and a few have sent me acceptances. Rejection is strange. You receive enough and you start wondering if you’ll ever publish anything again. And then someone says yes and you feel silly for ever entertaining the thought.
I used to love when my Duotrope list was long. Now the more submission responses I tick off, the better I feel. Getting rejections means getting the opportunity to send my poetry out to more places and to discover some new lit. magazines along the way.
A couple of weeks ago I had a submissions party with a few friends. It was fun distracting each other, offering up journals where we thought each other’s work might fit, and giving each other support. I highly recommend them—especially if you want to submit to places but are hesitant to.
I feel like I’ve come to the part of my post where I should talk about the MFA application process. I’ll be doing that very, very soon in a future blog. All I’ll say right now is it’s not over until it’s over. If you get a rejection you’ll never know why. It sucks, I know, but it also reminds you to not measure your writing by them. Maybe your aesthetic didn’t fit with the faculty’s, or you were this close to being wait listed, or they simply didn’t like your work. Not everyone is going to, and, believe me, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. And it’s never a reason to give up on writing, revising, and putting yourself out there again.
Image: Caro Wallis