Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Adventures in Rejection: Sticking with It

Remember back in November when I told you about that poem I submitted 22 times and had rejected 15 times? It was pretty intense. But I've broken my own record: a poem of mine called "Naître" went out 29 times and was rejected outright 19 times. In fact, the first time I sent it anywhere, it went in tandem with "Thursday." Then the day came when I had a beautiful e-mail in my inbox from Hillary-Ann Crosby, editor of a zine called Vagina.

Fun fact: I've never been so proud of myself in my life as I was when I realized I could now put the word vagina in my résumé. That's probably (definitely) the twelve-year-old boy in me rearing his head. Better fact: after awhile, I stopped keeping a mental note of all the places "Naître" had gone. Like "Thursday" before it, I believed in this poem strongly enough to try again and again. But After the lesson I learned from "Thursday"--that you have to persevere--I relaxed about the process. 

I still send out submissions like crazy, at least three sets of work per week. And, of course, I have my trusty Excel file so I don't forget about any of my babies out there in the world. These things are important, because I know I can't give up. While the rejections still sting and sometimes make me very cranky, my experience with "Thursday" and "Naître" has proven that silly old maxim true: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."



  1. Rejection sucks. But it does pay off, eventually (I think). There's a right place for everything. Sounds like you're much better at sending your stuff out than I am.

  2. I try to be good at sending things out, but to tell you the truth, it's never my fiction (whether YA or otherwise). In fact, since I graduated, I've been slacking on the fiction front. Bad Cate! But here's hoping that you're right and submitting/being rejected does pay off!