Arsenal of Words

The Writing of Arthur Klepchukov

Fall 2018 Rejections: Tin House, Ecotone, Crazyhorse, F&SF, Strange Horizons, and More Literary Journals

The Rejection Quarterly - sad boy

Welcome to The Rejection Quarterly, Fall 2018 edition.

Sharing rejections shares the effort behind submissions and makes celebrating acceptances even sweeter. What kind of literary journal rejections are you seeing? On the road to publication, why not “publish” the rejections themselves?

Here are the various rejections I collected from September 2018 – November 2018.

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Winter 2018 Writing Contest Roundup

See my latest contest roundup for Writer Unboxed:

This submissions season covers deadlines from December 1, 2018 through February 28, 2019. Don’t let your words wither on your hard drive! Finish the year strong by sending out your best work and start the new year with an invigorating round of submissions. Thanks to LiteristicPoets & WritersSubmittable Discover, and New Pages for many of these contests.

I found 20+ opportunities for emerging and established fiction writers. Each comes with its own handy list of reasons to submit. See my roundup of Winter 2018 writing contests.

How Loathing Travel, Public Transit, a Tuscan Residency, 24 Rejections, and a Writing Conference Led to My First Published Short Story

What happens when a luggage thief picks the wrong target on the early-morning airport train? Dive into the mind of a snarky antagonist in “A Damn Fine Town,” my first short story publication, available now in Down & Out: The Magazine, Vol. 1, Issue 4.

What amount of effort went into getting “A Damn Fine Town” published?

  • 1,600 words
  • 5 drafts
  • 26 submissions
  • 24 rejections, 4 encouraging rejections
  • 1 withdrawal

These are grueling numbers compared to how lucky I’ve been in earning relatively quick flash fiction publications.

I share blog posts like these because every story has a different journey. So if you’re in the doldrums between drafts or facing another rejection, may this encourage you. This process has taught me that publication is always more than one step away. Read on about this story’s journey and you may find what will get you over the next hump.

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Summer 2018 Rejections: One Story, VQR, Glimmer Train, The Georgia Review, The Missouri Review, AGNI, Narrative, ZYZZYVA, and More Literary Journals

The Rejection Quarterly - sad boy

Welcome to The Rejection Quarterly, Summer 2018 edition.

Sharing rejections shares the effort behind submissions and makes celebrating acceptances even sweeter. What kind of literary journal rejections are you seeing? On the road to publication, why not “publish” the rejections themselves?

Here are the various rejections I collected from June 2018 – August 2018.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fall 2018 Writing Contest Roundup

See my latest contest roundup for Writer Unboxed:

This submissions season covers deadlines from September 1, 2018 through November 30, 2018. Fall is a great time to be submitting. As another academic year begins, many university-affiliated literary journals reopen their reading periods. Thanks to Literistic, Poets & Writers, and Submittable Discover for many of these contests.

I found 20+ opportunities for emerging and established fiction writers. Each comes with its own handy list of reasons to submit. See my roundup of Fall 2018 writing contests.

How a College Freewriting Prompt and Being Woken by a Downtown Songbird Led to My Shortest Publications

Small bird perched on wire in the city

Small bird perched on wire in the city

A brief conversation with a lone songbird in San Francisco. A vulnerable state before free fall. I explore these ideas in my latest flash fiction publications “Dawnsong” and “lying is the girl” out now in KYSO Flash, Issue 10 (Fall 2018).

What amount of effort went into getting these two stories published?

My statistics for “Dawnsong”:

  • 100 words
  • 1 draft (I know, I know, I’m surprised too)
  • 10 submissions
  • 6 rejections, 1 encouraging rejection
  • 3 withdrawals

My statistics for “lying is the girl”:

  • 100 words
  • 3 drafts
  • 6 submissions
  • 4 rejections, 2 encouraging rejections
  • 1 withdrawal

These are lucky numbers, especially given just one draft of “Dawnsong” and the small number of submissions of “lying is the girl.” Read on about my process.

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How Writing and Submitting Short Stories Improved My Novel

Why should a novel writer devote precious writing time to short stories? After five novel drafts, two years of submitting shorter fiction, and seven publications, here are my reasons.

  • Do Something With All Those Ideas
  • Understand the Impact of Every Edit
  • Feel A Sense of Completion More Often
  • Practice Finding Comps
  • Strengthen Your Query Letters
  • Give More Than One Story A Chance

Read my guest post over at The Spun Yarn for how and why I juggle multiple projects, even when one is something as ambitious as a novel draft.

Read: how writing stories helps my novel.

“Reading Willow” Published in The Common

Reading-Willow

What expectations transcend distance and life changes? I explore that in under 400 words in my latest flash fiction publication, “Reading Willow” in The Common.

What amount of effort went into getting “Reading Willow” published?

  • 2 drafts
  • 5 submissions
  • 2 rejections
  • 2 withdrawals

These are lucky numbers, especially given that this story didn’t earn any encouraging rejections. Read on about my process.

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“Why I Write” Published in Fiction Southeast

“Why I Write” is a brief reflection that earned me the Kevin Smokler Scholarship to the 2016 San Francisco Writers Conference. Today it takes on a second life over at Fiction Southeast, as part of their Why I Write series.

Why do you write? Read my answer in just 250 words over at Fiction Southeast.

Chris Tusa, the Editor, was quick and easy to work with! Though this piece was accepted almost eight months ago, I appreciated the follow-up email announcing it’s publication—on a holiday no less!

Fiction Southeast is also open to submissions in numerous categories.

Spring 2018 Rejections: One Story, Kenyon Review, Tin House, The Missouri Review, and Other Literary Journals

 

The Rejection Quarterly - sad boy

Welcome to The Rejection Quarterly, Spring 2018 edition.

Sharing rejections shares the effort behind submissions and makes celebrating acceptances even sweeter. What kind of literary journal rejections are you seeing? On the road to publication, why not “publish” the rejections themselves?

Here are the various rejections I collected from March 2018 – May 2018.

Read the rest of this entry »

Summer 2018 Writing Contest Roundup

See my latest contest roundup for Writer Unboxed:

This submissions season covers fiction contests with deadlines between June 1, 2018 and August 31, 2018. Thanks to Literistic, Poets & Writers, and Submittable Discover for many of these contests.

I found 15 opportunities for emerging and established fiction writers. Each comes with its own handy list of reasons to submit. See my roundup of Summer 2018 writing contests.

Maryland Writing Events, Spring 2018

Baltimore harbor at night. Photo by Bob Burkhard on Unsplash.

The following are ways I’m staying engaged with my local literary community this Spring. Events range from casual and free to more professional and paid. But you never know where inspiration will strike. I’m happy to meet local creative folks at any of the following events:

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Winter 2018 Rejections: Ploughshares, Zoetrope, The Missouri Review, Glimmer Train, Narrative, and Other Literary Journals

 

The Rejection Quarterly - sad boy

Welcome to The Rejection Quarterly, Winter 2018 edition.

Sharing rejections shares the effort behind submissions and makes celebrating acceptances even sweeter. What kind of literary journal rejections are you seeing? On the road to publication, why not “publish” the rejections themselves?

Here are the various rejections I collected from Dec 2017-Feb 2018.

Read the rest of this entry »

“bleedin’ peach” Published in KYSO Flash

a red peach

Photo by Charles Deluvio 🇵🇭🇨🇦 on Unsplash

What can a newborn teach his father about shaving? To find out, read my latest flash fiction publication, “bleedin’ peach” in KYSO Flash.

What amount of effort went into getting “bleedin’ peach” published?

  • 3 drafts
  • 2 submissions
  • 1 encouraging rejection

These were exceptionally small, lucky numbers. I have stories that are approaching 30 submissions, so it’s lovely to experience quick publication magic in this case.

Read the rest of this entry »

Spring 2018 Writing Contest Roundup

See my latest contest roundup for Writer Unboxed:

This submissions season covers fiction contests with deadlines between March 1, 2018 and May 31, 2018. March is absolutely stacked with deadlines; so no excuses about not submitting! Thanks to Literistic, Poets & Writers, Submittable Discover, and New Pages for many of these contests.

I found 26 opportunities ranging from flash fiction all the way to novellas with some excellent regional (i.e. lower competition) writing contests. See my list of Spring 2018 writing contests.

Starting Shut Up & Write! D.C. Meetup

I’ve attended and hosted Shut Up & Write(!) meetups in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2013. Shut Up & Write(!) is a powerful concept. Whereas most casual writing events are focused on socializing, we get together and write. Our meetups are free and open to everyone. There’s no obligation to share or network; just do the work.

Shut Up & Write at Mo Joes

A few writing friends in Berkeley.

I’ve missed the writing community I left in San Francisco. But the Maryland suburbs by D.C. have their own creative charms. I’m reaching out to a local arts center, attending nearby writing meetups, and exploring what The Writer’s Center in Bethesda has to offer.

But there’s no Shut Up & Write(!) here. So I’m starting one.

I reached back out to my Bay Area friends, Cat and Rennie, the masterminds behind the concept. They were happy to help set up a new meetup group. As of this post, there are already 39 members. We have the first location happy to host us—the lovely Barking Mad Cafe in Gaithersburg (right next to a Little Free Library, no less). I’m eager to grow our writing community here.

barking-mad-pano

A glimpse of where I’ll be shutting up & writing for the first D.C. area meetup.

Are you in the D.C. area or know someone who is? I’ll be hosting the inaugural meetup near me in two days (Feb. 22) and then every foreseeable Thursday. Let’s make words together.

“Rivet Here” Published in Necessary Fiction

Rosie the Riveter - We Can Do It! poster

I’m proud to share my first online publication, the 500-word flash fiction “Rivet Here” in Necessary Fiction. This story is about a new kind of relationship that blossoms in a small town when all the men leave for World War II.

What amount of effort went into getting “Rivet Here” published?

  • 4 drafts
  • 15 submissions
  • 11 rejections, 3 encouraging
  • 3 withdrawals

Keep reading for the details and some reading recommendations.

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The Cost of Accomplishment

What do you focus on when you make New Year’s resolutions or broader goals? I tend to fixate on what I’ll gain. It’s less motivating to acknowledge what you’ll have to give up to make those gains, but it’s just as crucial. Consider all your goals. If they are to become accomplishments, they have to happen in some order. Order implies priority. Priority implies a few things first. What won’t make it over the finish line?

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How Writing Byproducts Became My First Nonfiction Publications

I didn’t expect to get another acceptance for publication so soon after my very first acceptance, but now I have two to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!

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Winter 2017 Writing Contest Roundup

Where will you submit your fiction this winter? I’ve curated another batch of worthwhile contests from December through February with fees, deadlines, and reasons to submit. All the late December and early January deadlines are a chance to get started on your New Year’s Resolutions early.

See my latest contest roundup for Writer Unboxed.

I look forward to continuing these roundups in 2018.