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.

Encouraging Rejection from Creative Nonfiction: Exploring the Boundaries

145-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you again for submitting ‘9/10’ for the Exploring the Boundaries section of Creative Nonfiction magazine. We received over 500 submissions for only one spot per issue, so the decisions we’ve had to make have been very difficult. We’re very sorry to be writing with the news that we will not be able to publish your piece in the magazine.

We appreciate your interest in Creative Nonfiction, as well as your patience during the long review process, and apologize for how long it took to provide a response. We hope you’ll consider trying again next time we open the category or sending more work. Best of luck!

CNF Editors

Creative Nonfiction

Rejection from The Missouri Review: Jeffrey E. Smith Editor’s Prize

103-day response time

Dear Writer,

Thank you for entering the 27th annual Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize contest. We received over 3100 entries and were mightily impressed with the quality of the pieces submitted. We’re grateful to you for trusting us with your work.

On behalf of the Missouri Review’s editorial staff and our contest editor Jennifer McCauley, I’m pleased to announce the winner, three runners-up, and ten finalists in each category:

[  long list of winners omitted ]

The winning entries and select runners-up will appear in the Spring 2018 issue of the Missouri Review, which should be out in April. Other pieces by runners-up will appear in future issues. Thank you so much for sending us your work, and we hope to read more of your new writing in the coming year.

Please consider submitting to our 11th annual Miller Audio Prize, which you can check out here. The deadline is March 15, 2018.

Best regards,

Speer Morgan
Editor, The Missouri Review

Rejection from Zoetrope: All Story: Short Fiction Contest

74-day response time

2017 Short Fiction Competition

Many thanks to all who entered. We received some tremendous work, and we’re grateful for the introduction to your writing.

From more than two thousand submissions, guest judge Maile Meloy has announced the results, which can be found on the magazine’s website.

Encouraging Rejection from SmokeLong Quarterly: Kathy Fish Fellowship

40-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for your interest in the Kathy Fish Fellowship. The pool of applicants was absolutely amazing this year, and while I’m sorry to say you were not the winner of the fellowship, your application did make it to our second round of 62 applicants. Out of more than 200 applications, this is truly a great compliment to your writing and talent.

We appreciate your interest in SmokeLong Quarterly, and we do hope that you will apply again next year or submit to our regular submission queue.

Thank you for being a writer and supporter of flash fiction.


Tara Laskowski

Encouraging Rejection from Indiana Review: 2017 Fiction Prize

39-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov:

We have carefully considered your submission, “within & without,” for the 2017 Fiction Prize and regret to inform you that your piece did not win the prize and was not selected for publication. We received many exceptional submissions and the competition was fierce.

Please join us in congratulating Tom Howard, whose story “Fierce Pretty Things” was selected by Caitlin Horrocks as the winner. “Fierce Pretty Things” will appear in Indiana Review Issue 40.2 next year.

Thank you again for your support of and interest in Indiana Review. Your participation helped to make the 2017 Fiction Prize possible and we are honored to have read your work.

The Editors

Encouraging Rejection from Glimmer Train: Short Story Award for New Writers

55-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Although “within & without” didn’t place this time in the Sept/Oct 2017 Short Story Award for New Writers, it was a good read–thank you!

It’s an honor and a pleasure to read the work of emerging writers, and we look forward to reading more of your stories.

All best,

Susan & Linda
Glimmer Train Press

Encouraging Rejection from PRISM international: open submissions

65-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for sending “A Damn Fine Town” to PRISM international for our themed issue, “BAD.” Unfortunately, after careful consideration and reading all the submissions we received, we will not be accepting your submission. It is worth noting that a rejection is not necessarily a reflection on the quality of your work, as there were many things that factored into our decisions regarding this issue, including the variety of ways writers interpreted this call and how best we could represent that diversity in the issue. We received many excellent submissions and are unable to publish them all.

While we can’t use your work at this time, we’d like to thank you for thinking of us, and we encourage you to submit again in the future.

Warm wishes,


Kyla Jamieson
Prose Editor
PRISM international

Rejection from Black Warrior Review: open submissions, online edition

71-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for your interest in Black Warrior Review, and for taking the time to send us your work. Unfortunately, after careful review, we have decided the submission isn’t a good fit for us at this time.

We wish you the best of luck placing your work elsewhere.


Black Warrior Review

Encouraging Rejection from Lumina: open submissions

33-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for submitting to LUMINA XVII: Resistance. Regrettably, it wasn’t right for us at this time, but we’re thankful to have had the chance to read your work. We wish you the best of luck in finding a home for your writing elsewhere.

We appreciate your time and your interest in LUMINA Journal, and encourage you to submit to LUMINA again in the future.

Warmest Regards,

Rejection from Witness: open submissions

102-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov:

Thank you for allowing us to consider “The Price of Chivalry.” Unfortunately, we have to pass at this time. We wish you the best in placing this piece elsewhere.


The Editors
Witness Magazine

Rejection from Narrative: 30 Below contest

29-day response time

Thank you for entering “Nevernight” in our Narrative 30 Below Contest. We were grateful for the opportunity to read and consider your work, and we regret that your entry was not one of our winners or finalists this time.

We continue to look for engaging new works to publish, and we hope you will keep Narrative in mind for your writing in the future.

Again, thank you for your entry, and please accept our kind wishes.


The Editors

Rejection from The Nottingham Review: open submissions

24-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for providing the opportunity to read ‘The Blackboard Epilogues’.

After careful consideration we have decided not to accept this for publication.

Regretfully, the volume of submissions we receive does not allow us to send a personal response every time. This is one such non-personal response.

Reasons for passing on a submission can vary greatly, and I know that phrases like ‘This didn’t work for us’ or ‘This isn’t a good fit’ are unhelpful. Sometimes, however good the writing is, a story just doesn’t grab the editors enough to want to publish it under the name of their publication.

We consider it a privilege that you thought of submitting your work to us, and we wish you the best of luck placing this elsewhere.


Spencer Chou

Rejection from The Baltimore Review: open submissions

62-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for sending us “The Blackboard Epilogues.” We appreciated the chance to read your work. We will not be including your submission in the upcoming issue, but we wish you well with your writing and hope that your work will be a perfect fit for another publication.

We do accept–and encourage–simultaneous submissions. See long lists of other publication possibilities at ,* , , , and .

Thanks again.


Barbara Westwood Diehl
The Baltimore Review

Rejection from Redivider: Blurred Genre Contest

83-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for submitting to the Redivider Blurred Genre Contest. While your submission, Reading Willow, received careful consideration from Lincoln Michel, it was not chosen for this year’s contest. We hope you’ll give it another shot this spring for our Beacon Street Prize, and when we host the Blurred Genre Contest again in the fall!

Raina & Jaime

http://www.redividerjournal. org/submit/

Rejection from The Oxford American: open submissions

53-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for submitting your work to the Oxford American’s call for debut fiction. We’re afraid that this story isn’t the best fit for us, but we hope that you find a suitable home for it.

All the best,
The Editors

Rejection from SmokeLong Quarterly: open submissions

38-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for your submission of “Reading Willow” to SmokeLong Quarterly. We gave the story careful consideration, and though we are not accepting it for publication, we hope you find a better fit for it elsewhere.

Thanks again for trusting us with your work.

SmokeLong Quarterly

Rejection from Ploughshares: open submissions

34-day response time

Thank you for submitting to Ploughshares.  Although we will not be publishing “Terminus” at this time and are sorry to disappoint you, please be assured that your manuscript was read carefully by editors and trained screeners. Our reasons for not accepting particular submissions are varied and often have more to do with the shape of our recent acquisitions and upcoming issues than with the quality of writing we receive. Thank you again for the opportunity to consider your work, and we regret any delay in our response to you. We hope you’ll continue to read and submit to Ploughshares.


The Ploughshares Editors

Rejection from Bethesda Magazine: Essay contest

44-day response time

Dear Local Writer,

On behalf of the Bethesda Urban Partnership and the 2018 Essay Contest jury, I would like to thank you for entering 2018 Bethesda Essay Contest. Our jurors truly enjoyed the opportunity to read work from a vast selection of area writers.

We received over 200 entries and while we appreciate your writing, your work was not selected. We thank you for your interest and hope you will consider applying to next year’s Essay, Short Story and Poetry competitions when a new panel of judges will select the winners.

If you’d like to join us to hear some of the winning essays and short stories read aloud, the Awards Ceremony & Reception will be held on Friday, April 20th at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda at 7pm.The Hyatt Regency Bethesda is located at 7400 Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda, MD.

Thank you again for sharing your work. We wish you the best of luck in your writing.



Sarah Peterson  |  Marketing & Communications Manager
Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc.
Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District

Encouraging Rejection from Typishly: open submissions

1-day response time

Hello Arthur.

Thank you for sending your story to us. There is much to like: “She told me Clive picked it out because the tuner was a yellow notch that reminded him of a gold tooth. To him, the Walkman was always smiling.”

Regretfully, we won’t be able to publish it. Only a fraction of the short fiction we receive is selected, so even strong writing must sometimes be left out.

We’re grateful you chose to share your creativity with Typishly. Thanks for giving us the privilege of reading your story. All the best in 2018.

Editor | Typishly

Encouraging Rejection from New Flash Fiction Review: 7 Banned Words Microfiction Feature

1-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you so much for submitting your work to New Flash Fiction Review.

Although your story is not right for our upcoming issue, we want to let you know that we are grateful for the opportunity to read your work, and hope you’ll consider submitting to us again during a future open submission period.

New Flash Fiction Review Editors

Not enough rejection? See Rejection Wiki or Literistic’s Great Wall of Literary Rejection.

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3 thoughts on “Winter 2018 Rejections: Ploughshares, Zoetrope, The Missouri Review, Glimmer Train, Narrative, and Other Literary Journals”

  1. I don’t know if anyone has ever thanked you for posting this, but I will. I submitted for the first time ever and I *know* it’s coming, but I’m weak af and seeing this made it seem a little less scary. Thanks.

    1. Thanks for the kind words. Good on you for submitting! If you keep at it, you may hit a stride and power through. Rejections never stop hurting, but the edge certainly disappears from most of them.

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