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  • Writer's pictureerinkirsh

The Losing Game: Writing Rejections 9 - 12

Poetry month is here again and I hope you're all out there creating and enjoying poems. Of course, working on poems while a sort of delight, is also laborious and frustrating and intense. Have you ever seen Franz Kafka's journals about writing?

Now you have. If you've ever heard me say "unending torments", please know I have stolen it from Kafka. If you have ever seen me in the morning and I closely resemble a beetle, please know Kafka has chosen to exact revenge. 2019 has been really dry for me personally, but a ton of my friends are slaying the writing world. They're winning awards. They're getting books published. They're getting 3 acceptances in one day. And that makes me feel like I'm winning too. Watching my friends who are amazing get elevated is a huge thrill. To drop some casual Yiddish, it fills me with naches. Community is important, in life and in creativity. I think writing in particular is considered to be a bit of a solitary craft, and in some ways it is. But I rely on my community to help me grow as a better writer, to bounce ideas off of, to broaden my perspective and also to give me more to celebrate. And you know me. I'm not happy if I'm not celebrating. Hence the general malaise. This to say, if you don't feel like you have a strong community yet, reach out to the other writers and creatives in your life. I'm not going to push collaborating on you because honestly it's not my favourite thing either, but it's so enriching. This is my unsolicited advice for poetry month. As always, if the advice doesn't resonate with you, don't take it. I have opinions obviously, but I don't know shit for fact. To illustrate that point, here are some actors shrugging:

0 acceptances personally, but the year is teenaged. (Not quite young, I feel like we're in the second season, so, you know. Math.) But here are some more rejections for you. I promise to keep 'em coming.


[WRITING REJECTION 9/100] Dear Erin, Thank you for sending us "The Exhaustion of Living in a Christian Paradigm." Unfortunately, it is not the right fit for us at this time. Although we have decided not to publish your essay, we are grateful for the opportunity to consider it. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, I am unable to offer editorial feedback. I wish you the best in placing your work elsewhere. Sincerely, The Rumpus


[WRITING REJECTION 10/100] * it's been over a year since the submission, no responses to my follow up e-mails, the issue I submitted for has come and gone* - Magazine Not Listed Because I'm Bitter and Forthcoming but not Vindictive


[WRITING REJECTION 11/100] Dear Erin Kirsh, Thanks again for participating in our 2018 Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest. This was an extremely competitive contest with 3,895 entries, and I regret you did not win a prize. Before the public announcement on April 15, we invite you to preview the judge's remarks and the winning entries at Our next contest will open on April 15 at We are increasing the top prizes to $2,000 each. I hope you'll consider entering again. Best regards, Winning Writers


[WRITING REJECTION 12/100] Hello Erin Kirsh, You are receiving this message because you entered the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize. We unveiled the 2019 longlist this morning and you can view the list of 31 writers who are still in the running here: The shortlist will be announced on April 17 and the winner will be revealed on April 24. If your name isn’t on the list this year, we hope that you will try again. Best regards, The CBC Literary Prizes team NOTE: I was not on the longlist, but one of my bestest people and wildly talented writer Ellie Sawatzky is! Go read this amazing story! I mean it! Do it if you love me!


Okay my lovely writer friends, that's all for now. Keep up the good work out there. Until next time, -E.B. Kirsh

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