Bitch Bitch Bitch by Devon Miller-Duggan

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch

Dear lit. Mags. of the world, please stop asking me to subscribe, to friend you on Facebook, to tweet you on Twitter (which I don’t do anyway) in the same envelope in which you have rejected my poems.

Really!? What sort of marketing genius told you this was a good idea? Whoever it was has no notion of that admittedly old-fashioned concept: Common Courtesy. Common courtesy would dictate that you do not simultaneously tell someone that she or he is unworthy of your publication and ask for her or his hard-earned bucks.

I can deal with rejection. I don’t like it (because 40 years of collecting rejection slips has not yet driven me over the edge and into masochism—at least that’s what I tell myself), but I can suck it up and go on with my day. But don’t ask me to support you when you’ve just shut the door in my face. It’s rude. I don’t care what your marketing advisor says. I know it’s Tough Times out there in arts-organization-land. I live there, too. But that’s no reason to get crass and corporate.

One of the points of literary magazines is the support and preservation and promulgation of art and culture, isn’t it? So shouldn’t you be aiming for better behavior, not worse?

And while I’m crabbing away, I’d like to add a note to the editors who send rejections suggesting that I should be reading every journal I send to, especially theirs. I read 5-6 journals a month. Oddly enough, I tend to read the ones that have published me at some point. Okay, there are a couple I have had subscriptions to in the past that I’d mug somebody to get into, but even that was temporary. If you want to be a subscribers-only lit mag., then do it. Otherwise, get real. You’re being rude.

Okay. That’s off my chest.

Rejection by Lauren Camp

Rejection: The Bugger
by Lauren Camp
Some days I get big doses of luck. Some weeks are just miraculous.
And some days I get rejections. In the past few weeks, I’ve gotten a boat-full of rejections. In fact, it seems like a cruise ship full of rejections, not a skimpy little skiff’s worth.
Sometimes when editors notify me that my few poems just aren’t right for their journal, I forget all the editors who have been astoundingly encouraging. Whatever good thing happened yesterday or last week is pretty much washed away in the big wave of rejection.
Do you know what I’m talking about? It’s like you’re watching every last vestige of yourself float off.
Recently, I was complaining about rejection to my friend Ann and she congratulated me. She said she hadn’t gotten any rejections that week — or that month. My confused silence followed. She was jealous of my rejections because she hadn’t found the time or been brave enough to send work out.
Samuel Beckett wrote, ““Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
You can’t help but fail sometimes. Send your best work out anyway, and I will too. Every single rejection brings you closer to a “yes.” In fact, let’s make a pact to send some of our finest work out to three journals before the end of the month. If you get a rejection or two, congratulate yourself. You can’t fail better. Holler out at me, and I’ll sympathize.
Rejections don’t in any way determine whether or not you are a writer, or even whether or not you’re a good writer.
I believe this with all my heart.
I have been enjoying Lauren Camp’s poetry blog, and am re-printing from it.