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Amy Lou Jenkins is the award-winning author of Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting

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Examining The Resilience Of Responding To Rejection

   by Christine Harrell

Resilience: Use this information to help you develop the ability to recover and

 adjust easily to the rejection that is a necessary part of your writing life. With this in mind, developing a thick skin to the submission process and rejections can be difficult. Here are some statistics and information that might help to keep things in perspective.

-Cream City receives 300/month, accepts only 6 for each issue. -Florida Review: 200/month, accepts 4-6 for each issue. -Gettysburg Review: 350/month, accepts 4-6 for each issue. -Georgia Review: 300/month, accepts 3-4 for each issue.| -Hayden's Ferry Review: 250/month, accepts 5 for each issue. -Indiana Review: 5,000/year, accepts 50 for each issue. -Iowa Review: 600/month, accepts 4-6 for each issue. -Midwest Quarterly: 350/month, accepts 5 for each issue. -Missouri Review: 400/month, accepts 5-6 for each issue. -North Dakota: 120/month, accepts 4 for each issue. -Paris Review: 1,000/month, accepts 5 for each issue. -Prairie Schooner: 500/month, accepts 4-5 for each issue.

C.S. Lewis and Ray Bradbury submitted more than 800 manuscripts before they made a sale. Nabakov was told by one editor that Lolita should be "buried under a large stone." F. Scott Fitzgerald was told, "You'd have a decent book if you'd get rid of that Gatsby character." Dr. Seuss's first children's book was rejected by 23 publishers. The 24th sold 6 million copies. In 1902, the poetry editor of Atlantic Monthly rejected poems by a 28 year old who took a road less traveled (Robert Frost) and persevered. You must be thinking, "Yeah, but I'm not C.S. Lewis or Robert Frost." Ahh, but you have the potential to be. Say you've sent your latest group of poems, a book query, or a prose piece to 30 markets, and you've only received rejections or light editorial comments. We know you're frustrated by this, but keep in mind that the acceptance rate is one out of 100.

This means that the piece you are submitting needs to be seen by at least 100 different markets. We know the odds against you seem staggering. Keep in mind that we approach submissions from a marketing perspective. Similar to other sales techniques, you must knock on 100 doors to get one sale. We help you remove the emotion from each rejection.

Considering the response time from editors can range from three to twelve months, you just might be submitting for a year (or sometimes more) before you see an acceptance. This is another reason to make more submissions in a shorter amount of time. We believe (and this is supported by our 11+ years of experience) that each rejection leads you closer to that magic number and acceptance!

The most common mistake writers make is interpreting criticism sent by editors as "never send to us again." Nothing could be further from truth. If an editor takes his or her time to send you a personal comment, get another submission in the mail to this journal TODAY! Don't give up! Very often, you need to make three or more submissions to the same editor before your work is accepted. Above all, you need to make extensive and comprehensive submissions.

However, if you're not sure you can handle it alone or know where to start, consider hiring a partner to help you in your submission process. An Author's Submission Service may help you take the sting out of each rejection because you'll be less personally attached to each submission when you have an extensive number of outstanding submissions waiting to be read by editors and agents.

Poets and Writers


About the Author

Author is a writer for Writer's Relief, a company that helps creative writers find the best markets for their work. Writer's Relief also offers a FREE E-mail Newsflash for Writers. For more information visit