• erinkirsh

The Losing Game: Writing Rejections 75-87/100

Damn are we close to 100 rejections: the very mission that changed the way I started thinking about "doing the work" of writing. Of course it would happen in the year where time has ceased to mean anything; this ongoing groundhog day. When I say time has been tricksy like a fox, here's what I mean: The other day I saw a magazine where I had work out under consideration responded to a fellow writer in 14 days and I thought wow! My work has been out there for like two months, I should be hearing back any day now. I went to check exactly how many months my work had been under consideration at that magazine, and it was seven days. Time. Pfft.

Before I launch into the rejections I want to shift gears here and express my profound gratitude that journals are still reading submissions right now. I'm so appreciative that there are people who, in this toxic nightmare quagmire, are still working to make sure they contribute to culture. I've been enjoying reading for a journal during this time because it reminds me how many bright beacons are out there living their lives, putting good into the world, making efforts. I don't need to tell you that things are real grim. Hearing from lit journals has been all of my nice news lately. A big thank you to the people who do the work to send rejections. It makes a difference.

Ha. What a creepy graphic, I love it.

One more reminder before we get into it: if you are reading this, and you aren't feeling super confident in the submission process yet, get in touch with me. I will help you. I'll send you a cover letter template and a list of relevant journals. I'll cheerlead you like Gary Oak's fan girls. Getting these responses is lovely for me and I'd love for you to have a bit of loveliness too.

Okay. Let's dive in. (Remember swimming? I miss swimming. More specifically I miss sitting on the rim of the pool and resting my feet flat against the surface so it feels like the water is made of jello).

[WRITING REJECTION 75/100] Dear Erin,

Thank you for your interest in Cricket Media, and for your kind patience during our reading process. Our editorial staff has carefully reviewed your charming and funny poems, but unfortunately, they is not quite right for our magazines.

We appreciate this opportunity to see your work, and hope that you will be successful in placing it elsewhere.


The Editors

Cricket Media


Hi Erin{SubmitterLastName}, Thank you for letting us hold your words for a much longer period of time than we anticipated. Unfortunately, at this time we will not be going forward with your submission. We appreciate you thinking of us and would love to see you submit again in the future. Thank you for your voice. Here’s to us all finding or making homes for our words. Onward and upward, The FreezeRay Poetry Editorial Staff

[WRITING REJECTION 77/100] * Work was not accepted *

[WRITING REJECTION 78/100] Dear Erin Kirsh:

Thanks for sending us your submission "Moving Out." We didn't feel it was quite right for us, but we hope you'll try us again.


The Editors of The Cincinnati Review

[WRITING REJECTION 79 & 80/100] *writing was not selected sorry not on shortlist*

[WRITING REJECTION 81/100] Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you for submitting your work to Room magazine. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept it for publication.

Members of Room’s collective read over 4000 submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction each year, of which less than 2% are accepted for publication. As you can imagine, we have to make some very tough choices. Each issue of Room is edited by a different collective member, and each issue editor is responsible for choosing manuscripts that most closely match their issue in theme and feeling. Please feel free to visit from time to time to find out which themes might be under consideration.

Again, thanks for sending your work to us—and best wishes in your literary pursuits.



Dear Erin, Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, after carefully considering the piece, we've concluded it is not quite right for Brick. As a biannual journal, we receive far more work than we can publish and must often pass even on promising work. We wish you all the best with your writing. Thank you again for thinking of us, Brick

[WRITING REJECTION 83/100] Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you for letting us consider your poems for publication in the Missouri Review. We enjoyed reading it, and though it doesn't quite fit our needs at this time, we hope we will have the chance to read more of your writing in the future.


The Editors


Dear Erin Kirsh, Thank you so much for sharing your work with us. That you chose Frontier as one of the places to see it is deeply meaningful to our team. Unfortunately, the poetry has not been selected to move forward with publication. Our readers did, however, mark your work as particularly intriguing and we want to offer our sincere encouragement. All of the Frontier team wishes you the very best with your efforts to find a home for these poems. Please know that you're an important voice in our community and we would all be lesser without you. Sincerely, Frontier Poetry

[WRITING REJECTION 85/100] Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you for sending us "Bodily Bias." While we enjoyed reading your work, unfortunately we cannot offer publication at this time. We receive many submissions each month, but we have a limited budget to work with to pay our writers. Thank you for thinking of us as a home for your writing, and we wish you the best with your future literary endeavours.

All the best,

Plenitude Magazine


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. 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. Sincerely, The Editors Chestnut Review

[WRITING REJECTION 87/100] Dear Erin Kirsh,

Thank you for your recent submission, "Three Poems", to The Suburban Review #19: ECHO. Unfortunately, we will not be able to include your work in this issue. My editorial team and I really enjoyed reading your piece, and I encourage you to submit again. Please keep track of our submissions page and social media for information about when submissions open again! Thank you for your patience while we've read through all the submissions to this issue. 

Keep writing, Anupama Pilbrow, editor-in-chief

-The Suburban Review

This was a fun edition of The Losing Game. I'm pretty sure I've veered into the territory of meme repetition, but I think it's a forgivable offense. 13 more rejections to go. In the words of the world's most inspirational train, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Until next time, - E.B. Kirsh

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