128 Submissions, 93 Rejections, 1st Publication

by Arthur Klepchukov

Today, my submissions journey reaches the next step! I started submitting stories to contests and literary journals over two years ago, founded a critique group, curated a submissions calendar, and wrote contest roundups for Writer Unboxed. But this week and with this email, I achieved my next goal:

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for sending us “fresh scar”. We love “Fresh Scar” and would like to publish it in our Winter issue.

Look for your small payment along with a free copy of the issue in the mail.

Thanks again.
Sincerely,
David Jibson, Co-Editor
Third Wednesday – A Literary & Arts Journal

This will be my first ever fiction publication.

Third Wednesday is a lovely journal out of Ann Arbor, Michigan that I found through The Writer magazine, as part of my work for Writer Unboxed. They publish thoughtful flash fiction like “Knife Incident” by Laurence W. Thomas and poetry such as “Screenplay” by Ronnie Sirmans and “The Moon” by Lucie Putnam, all in Vol. X, No. 2 (Spring 2017). I submitted to their first flash fiction contest this summer. Though the judge passed on “fresh scar” he found “considerable merit in your story and [wanted] to ask permission to submit your work to our regular fiction editor for possible consideration for our winter issue.”

And look where that encouraging rejection got me.
It only took 128 submissions and 93 rejections.

I’ve been submitting 4 different flash and 7 short stories during this time. I submitted “fresh scar” only 8 times. So consider what happens when you’re submitting many different pieces. The story that could get accepted sooner may get lost in the shuffle. Should I be weary of having so many different pieces in play? Or did the sheer volume of drafts, critiques, and attempts push me to my goal of publication?

Thank you David Jibson and Third Wednesday! I’m profoundly grateful to have my work accepted by readers I don’t know. What’s next? Update my cover letters and query letters with this accomplishment. I can’t wait to hold the next issue of Third Wednesday in my hands!

Whatever you take away from this, remember to keep trying for whatever you want creatively. It can happen.