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The Losing Game: Writing Rejection 14/100


It may be a month since there's been a post here at The Losing Game, but believe you me, it hasn't been a month since I've heard back from journals. Once again, a wave of rejections has come in and decimated my head crops and I can't wait to tell you about them! I'm not even sure where to start! There have been encouraging rejections and impersonal rejections, expected rejections, contest rejections and regular submission rejections, fiction rejections, poetry rejections, long silence after follow up letters presumed to be rejections, the magazine is on hiatus rejections, recent rejections and archived rejections, rejections wearing top hats, rejections who dance flamenco, alarm clock rejections that creep into your dreams about Oreo eating contests and are like haha yeah you're winning this weird cookie contest but remember how your favourite story has been rejected more than thirty times now?. I have so many rejections I could open a rejection store replete with nouveau-hot staff with bad posture, worse attitudes, expensive glasses, and year-round toques.

It makes it hard to pick which to share now! On the one hand, there's been a long absence of posts, so I want to return with a bang. On the other hand, there's order to think about. I left off on an acceptance, so maybe a bleaker rejection is the proper thing to put in sequence because we can all weather it due to a recent victory. On the third hand (the invisible hand, the Adam Smith one that everyone is wondering about,) there's chronology to consider, and making sure none of the older rejections get forgotten. If I had a giant Wheel of Fortune wheel, I'd use that. The rickety click click is satisfying and with a wheel, I wouldn't really have to make a choice and could always point to the chaotic nature of reality if it isn't the right choice, hence avoiding any agency or accountability or learning.

But I don't have a wheel and I'm not sure how to construct one, and while I know where to steal one, all of the options on the wheel segments are just different shots and the bartender there would have no problem kicking my ass. So, not helpful. I also will not reinvent the wheel because there's a saying about it and again, I wouldn't know how. Do you just start with a round piece of wood? Are there cookie cutters for wood and then you zap around it with like, a fire laser? Could one hypothetically use lightsabers to construct a wheel?

(Meanwhile, there are people in the world making this extravagant shit.)

Though I've lost several competitions lately, I wrote about one of those recently, in Rejection 12. So I think I'll skip that. I think the only responsible thing to do from a decision-making-model standpoint is to approach the barista in this coffee shop and ask her to randomly pick a number between 1-9, the number of rejections I have stockpiled that I haven't written about yet. Wish me luck. Good news! She picked 4! I think it's a solid pick, close to the middle, kind of a safe, non-extreme bet. Super into it. I would trust this barista to be Prime Minister. She also makes really good lattes and is good at interacting with people she doesn't know, which I think are important skills. So without further ado, rejection 14, which is also chronologically the 4th in the series of rejection I haven't written about.

[WRITING REJECTION 14/100] Dear Erin, Thank you for sending us "Years Pas(t)sed." While we enjoyed reading your work, we're sorry to say it isn't a good fit for us at this time. Our submissions queue continues to grow, and we often have to reject many excellent pieces. Thanks again for trusting us with your work. Best of luck with this and all of your writing. Sincerely, Split Lip Magazine

So a perfectly lovely rejection to kick us off after our little hiatus. The moral of the story here, is, as always, keep submitting, and also, tip your baristas.

Glad to be back with you! I missed you guys. I'll be back with more rejections shortly. Until next time, - E.B. Kirsh


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