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  • Writer's pictureerinkirsh

The Losing Game: Writing Rejections 54-74/100

Happy Solstice folks. The wild times have continued to get wilder. In honour of this, I'm going to get straight to the schaudenfreude. I got 20 Nos for you. I hope they bring you some joy, solace, solidarity, whatever. [WRITING REJECTION 54/100] Hello again, Erin,

We know you have been waiting for an update regarding the results you received for the _______ Contest. We have completed our investigation and identified that some submitters received two different declines, while others received the same decline twice. We sincerely apologize for this error. After looking into the issue, I am reaching out to confirm that you received the correct response in Submittable both times. Unfortunately, your manuscript was not selected as a finalist or winner for this year’s contest.

I understand this may be disappointing or even frustrating news. We hope that you continue in your creative endeavors and that we will receive another submission from you in any of our upcoming contests.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact ______

Thank you,



[WRITING REJECTION 55/100] Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you so much for allowing us to read your poetry. We read it closely, but unfortunately, will will not be able to publish it. We receive hundreds of submissions each year and can only publish a small portion of those. Many factors go into this decision-making, so please do not think this is a commentary on your work.




[WRITING REJECTION 56/100] Dear Erin,

Thank you for submitting your work. Though it was not chosen for publication, we read it with interest and hope that you'll send more work in the future.

Yours Sincerely,


Electric Literature



Dear Erin, I hope this email finds you well in this strange time. Thank you for submitting your poetry to SAND Issue 21. I'm sorry to say that we will not be able to publish your work this time around, but we are honored that you chose to submit to SAND. With over 800 poetry submissions this time, it was a tough decision, and we very much appreciate the time and energy you've put into your writing. Submissions for SAND Issue 22 will open later in May, and I hope you'll consider submitting again. Best of luck in placing your work elsewhere! All the best, SAND


[WRITING REJECTION 58/100] Dear Erin,

Thank you for sending your short fiction to The Rumpus. We understand how much hard work you put into your story and, while it isn't right for us, we wish you luck in finding a home for it elsewhere.


The Rumpus


[WRITING REJECTION 59/100] Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you for sending us your work and for your patience in awaiting our reply. Unfortunately, this particular submission wasn't quite what we were looking for. Don't be too discouraged, as editorial decisions are ultimately subjective. Keep writing and submitting.

We sincerely wish you the very best of luck,

Funicular Magazine


[WRITING REJECTION 60/100] Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you for submitting "Six Poems." We regret that we are unable to publish it, but we appreciate your interest in The Paris Review.

We hope you and your loved ones are safe and well during this difficult time.

Yours sincerely,

The Editors



Dear Erin Kirsh, Thanks for submitting your work to Ninth Letter. We're sorry this submission wasn't right for us. We appreciate your interest in our magazine, and wish you the best of luck placing your work elsewhere. Sincerely, Ninth Letter



Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you for trusting us with your work " during our Poetry (Fall/Winter 2020) call for submissions, and for your other publication acceptance of "Disparity", we send our congratulations.

Although we are passing on these poems at this time, we wanted you to know that we especially enjoyed the sentiment in "Who Could Say...", so please do not hesitate to send us your work again in the future.

We know it's never fun to hear that a publication won't be publishing your work, and while we sit here working from our social-distanced pandemic locations, it feels especially awful to send this note. We're a very small group of readers and editors who are working on each particular issue, so the 2% of submissions we accept is often subject to the personal likes, whims, and timing of only a number of us. In addition, we find ourselves limited not only by the space in the issue, but also by our budget to pay writers, and we have a deep commitment to paying all our contributors and staying healthy enough as an organization to continue to do so for a long time. We hope you'll forgive us this time around.

And if you are feeling like you're alone and lost in the wake of social isolation, we promise you that you're not alone. Literature and art has always been both our connection and our escape. We couldn't do this without the work of authors like you. I encourage you to support the publications you love by subscribing; even if it isn't to us today, we all rise together when you subscribe to the lit mags you love. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. While social media is definitely a mixed bag, having a robust number of followers and "likes" helps to show the powers that be that there IS an audience and an appetite for the work we do. (Plus, to be honest, we're all kind of bummed, and it would help us see that we are many!)

Be well always. Keep writing (and self-caring, and engaging in great distractions that are unproductive, too). We open again for our yet-to-be-announced theme issue in August.

We're all in this together and we're going to make it out okay.


Poetry Editor, Witness Magazine


[WRITING REJECTION 63/100] Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you for sending us your poems. We appreciated the chance to read your work, but unfortunately we did not select this piece for publication in the upcoming issue.

We wish you the best of luck in placing this piece, and with your writing.


The Sonora Review Editors


[WRITING REJECTION 64/100] Dear Erin,

Thanks for sending us your work. We're sorry to say that this submission isn't right for The Sun.

This isn't a reflection on your writing. The selection process is highly subjective, something of a mystery even to us. There's no telling what we'll fall in love with, what we'll let get away.

Writing is hard work, and writers merit some acknowledgment. This note doesn't speak to that need. Please know, however, that we've read your work and appreciate your interest in the magazine.

We wish you the best in placing your writing elsewhere.

The Editors

The Sun


[WRITING REJECTION 65/100] Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you for your submission to Longleaf Review. Although your work was not selected for publication this time around, we truly appreciated the opportunity to read it.

Warm regards,



[WRITING REJECTION 66/100] Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you for your submission to Chestnut Review. Although we must decline your submission this time, we appreciated the chance to consider it. Please do not interpret this as a judgment of your art as a whole. Individual tastes matter a great deal in decisions like these, and though we have to decline this round, we encourage you to keep writing and creating. The world needs it, and you.

Though we couldn't reach agreement, these poems evoke strong reactions in several of us. "Years Pas(t)ed" was our favorite.

We'd also appreciate your reporting stats on Duotrope for this submission, if you use that site.

Thanks again. Best of luck with all your work.


The Editors


[WRITING REJECTION 67/100] Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you for sending us "Six Poems." We appreciate the opportunity to read your work and regret that it does not fit the needs of TriQuarterly. We wish you success in placing it for publication.


The Editors of TriQuarterly



Kia ora Erin,

Thank you so much for submitting your poetry to Scum, we really appreciate it. Unfortunately your submission is not quite right for us, however, we encourage you to submit again in the future :)

We here at Scum hope you are staying safe and well x


Stacey + SCUM



Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you for sending us "Four Poems". We have received an overwhelming number of submissions this year and are only able to feature a select number; unfortunately yours was not selected. Thank you for the opportunity to read your work. We wish you the best finding a home for it elsewhere. Thank you again for thinking of us.


Minola Review



Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you for submitting "Poetry Submission" to The Malahat Review.

We are unable to accept your work for publication this time around, and regret to have to inform you with a generic message, but the rate of submissions has been increasing steadily since mid-March 2020 and it is impossible, unfortunately, to respond individually to every submitter.

We are sorry that we are not contacting you with better news, but thank you for thinking of the magazine as a good home for your writing. We wish you success in placing your work elsewhere.

The Editors


[WRITING REJECTION 71/100] Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to read and consider your submission, but unfortunately we decided we won't be able to include it in Bennington Review. We appreciate the time you took to send it to us, and wish you luck in placing this work elsewhere.

With best wishes,

The Editorial Staff of Bennington Review



Dear Erin Kirsh:

Thank you for sending us your story. We really enjoyed this piece, but we didn't feel it was right for One Story.

We hope that you will continue to send us your work.


The Editors of One Story


[WRITING REJECTION 73/100] I’m sorry, but we have decided against taking any of these poems for publication. Queen's Quarterly


[WRITING REJECTION 74/100] Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you for sending us your work. I apologize for this less than personal notification.

Here's the deal - If you haven't received a contract for ______ Volume 4.2 you haven't been selected to be featured in this issue. Please continue to consider ______ when searching for a home for your work.




So that's been a huge push of rejections. 100 never seemed so possible! Hope you're keeping safe, - E.B. Kirsh

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