Time for the latest tally of rejection!
Overland finally got around to knocking back the other two poems that I hadn’t heard from them about, so I sent them two more (“Again!” and “Forty Dollars”) for consideration and they knocked them back too – quite quickly this time, only taking four days to pass on them. Which is efficient, if not especially encouraging.
Southerly also knocked back four poems (“Again!”, “Forty Dollars”, “The Big Four Zero”, “This Morning as you Lay on Your Back I Saw”), but the email they sent me was all about how they’d recieved so much short fiction lately, which makes me think they sent me the wrong form rejection letter, which further makes me wonder if I should get all pedantic and confirm that their poetry editor also didn’t want the poems. Probably not.
Finally, Island replied to my query about my August submission (“Thursday Morning”, “The Faint Red Impression”) by telling me that they no longer reply to rejected submissions, only accepted ones, so if I hadn’t heard in three months then I should just assume I’d been rejected. They didn’t reply to my follow-up email asking how strict they were with their 3-months-and-you’re-out rule (e.g. if I submit on 16 August do I have until 16 November, or should I allow until the end of November before assuming it’s a no-go?). Which is probably for the best.
This slightly confounding approach to rejection was clarified a little when I submitted three short stories to them this morning and got a letter of receipt explaining that it’s only POETRY that doesn’t get a reply if it’s rejected. Probably because of the higher volume of poetry that they receive, but still, it seems kinda rude to poets (quiet, you).
So, for those keeping score at home here’s the current state of play for the poems mentioned above:
- Again! – 4 rejections – I think this is a nice, light-hearted, sweet little poem but it’s hard to find poetry journals who are interested in publishing light verse these days, so I’m not sure what I’m gonna do with it right now.
- Forty Dollars – 4 rejections – ditto.
- Commensurate with Skill – 4 rejections – I reckon this one is due for a revision. I noticed an ambiguity in it the last time I read it in front of an audience, and I think I know how to fix that.
- The Big Four Zero – 3 rejections (4 if you count a poetry comp I didn’t win with it last year) – Happy with this at the moment, so it’s gone back out into the world of submissions and is currently sitting with Westerly.
- Accidental Earthlings – 3 rejections – This one needs a revision too, I think. I suspect it’s not making its point very strongly. I’ve got some ideas about how to make the conceit a little clearer, though.
- The Faint Red Impression – 3 rejections – I think this one’s fine too, just a matter of finding a home that suits its temperament. I’m thinking of sending it out to Southerly.
- Thursday Morning – 2 rejections – Happy with this one too – also thinking of sending out to Southerly.
- This Morning as You Lay on Your Back I Saw – 2 rejections – I think this one needs some work too. Not sure what at the moment, but I’ll have a play and see what comes of it.
That works out to a total of 25 (or 26 if you count the poetry comp) rejections for 8 poems, an average of 3.125 (or 3.25) rejections per poem.
I have other poems and stories out there in the wild at the moment, searching for homes in many and varied places, so I’ll keep you posted on how they fare. You know, just in case you’re interested.