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.

Rejection from The Baltimore Review

112-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for sending us “Duskwing.” 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 http://newpages.com/ , http://www.pw.org/literary_magazines?&perpage=* , http://www.everywritersresource.com/literarymagazines/ , https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/crwropps-b/info , and http://www.thereviewreview.net/ .

Thanks again.


Barbara Westwood Diehl
The Baltimore Review

Friendly list of submissions resources! This is like a door closing but showing directions to other doors :)

Rejection from The Masters Review

60-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for sending us “The Blackboard Epilogues” for consideration in New Voices. While our editors enjoyed reading your work, I’m afraid it isn’t quite right for us at this time. We wish you the best of luck placing it elsewhere.

The Masters Review Team

Rejection from Free State Review – Heavenly Creatures Contest

13-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

The sky is just so big! Thank you so much for entering our Heavenly Creatures contest. Each year, Free State Review and its publisher Galileo Books plug in another amp with our free entry / themed contest and we are so happy you could be a part of it. Although your writing was not considered one of the ten finalists we hope you pursue the prompt by continuing to write love letters to all–to people and place and nature.

The magazine is always open for regular submissions, but please note that full manuscripts are only accepted in January and June.


Anniebelle Quattlebaum.
Author Liaison, Free State Review

Encouraging Rejection from Crazyhorse

102-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for sending us “within & without.” While we weren’t able to accept your work for publication at this time, we hope that you will consider submitting your work to us in the future.

Crazyhorse welcomes general submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from September 1st through May 31st, with the exception of the month of January, during which we only accept entries for the Crazyhorse Prizes, and the month of July, during which we only accept entries for Crazyshorts!, our annual short-short fiction contest. We ask that submissions of fiction and nonfiction be between 2,500 and 8,500 words in length. In the past, we have accepted work outside of this range, but it is an uncommon occurrence. For poetry, please submit a set of 3-5 poems.

We are happy to consider simultaneous submissions, but please notify us if your work has been accepted elsewhere. For prose, withdraw your submission in its entirety. Should any of your poems be accepted elsewhere, please add a note to your submission to alert us that they are no longer available. We will be happy to consider the remaining pieces.

Our response time is typically 16 weeks. If your work is under serious consideration, it may take longer.

As mentioned above, the Crazyhorse Prizes in Fiction, Nonfiction, & Poetry accepts entries from January 1st to January 31st. Submit short stories and nonfiction of up to 25 pages or a set of 1-3 poems. Winners in each genre receive $2,000 and publication. The entry fee includes a one-year subscription.

The Crazyshorts! Contest accepts entries from July 1st to July 31st. Submit 1-3 shorts of up to 500 words each. Each entry is considered for publication, and the entry fee includes a one-year subscription. The winner receives $1,000 and publication. Three runners up will be announced.

For more information, please visit our website: http://crazyhorse.cofc.edu

Wishing you the best of luck with your writing,

The Eds.

Interesting. Haven’t seen the submission guidelines included in a rejection response like this before.

Rejection from James Jones First Novel Fellowship

80-day response time

James Jones First Novel Fellowship 2018

A prize of $10,000 is given annually for a novel-in-progress by a U.S. writer who has not published a novel. Runners-up will receive $1000. A selection from the winning work is published in Provincetown Arts.

This year, the James Jones Fellowship had a total of 678 submissions.
Below are the top four novels as decided by the judges.

Winner ($10,000):

 Alicia Upano, Wahiawa, Hawaii, is the winner of the James Jones First Novel Fellowship with her manuscript titled Big Music.

Runners-Up ($1,000):

 Nancy Johnson, Flossmoor, Illinois, is the first runner-up winner with her manuscript titled, The Kindest Lie.

Honorable Mentions:

• Megan Roberts, Sewanee, Tennessee for her manuscript, Life on a Planet that Follows the Sun

• Deborah Good, Brookline, MA for her manuscript, Viktor Schmitz

2018 Judges: Louise Wareham Leonard, novelist and past winner of the James Jones First Novel Fellowship with her novel Since You Ask; Taylor Polites, novelist and author of The Rebel Wife and Nina Solomon novelist and author of Single Wife and The Love Book.

Thank you to everyone who participated.

My immediate response? Please reconsider beginning a winner announcement email to everyone that hasn’t won with “Congratulations!”

Encouraging Rejection from Petrichor Audio Magazine

104-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for sending us “Rivet Here”. Although we couldn’t produce it at this time, we are glad to have read it. I would like to note that we gave this particular piece careful consideration and discussed it collectively in our second round of review. We enjoyed your writing. The decision was independent of the quality of your piece. I would like to both wish you luck with it and encourage you to submit another piece to us in the future.

Thanks again.

The Editors of Petrichor


Encouraging Rejection from CRAFT

37-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for sending us “Duskwing” for consideration in CRAFT. While we enjoyed reading your work, I’m sorry to say it isn’t a good fit for us at this time.

As writers ourselves, we know that the process of sending out work can be a long one. We are grateful that you chose to share your writing with us. Your piece was read with great admiration and care. We wish you the best of luck with it, and we hope that you will keep us in mind for future submissions.

Editors, CRAFT

Rejection from Ecotone

361-day response time (yes, 4 days shy of a year!)

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for sending work to Ecotone. Our sincere thanks for your patience as we’ve reviewed your work, and apologies for the delay. We have recently tightened our submissions windows in order to improve response times.

We have given this submission careful consideration, and we regret that it is not a fit for our upcoming issues. We wish you the best of luck in placing it elsewhere, if you haven’t done so already, and send our best wishes for a good writing season.

The Editors

Encouraging Rejection from Redivider

272-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

We appreciate the opportunity to read “Terminus.” It doesn’t work for us at this time, but we enjoyed it and hope you’ll consider submitting to us again in the future.

Rukhsar Palla
Fiction Editor

Rejection from Vestal Review – Tombstone contest

35-day response time

Dear Tombstone contest participant,

Please vote to select our Tombstone 2018  contest winner. Deadline: October 30.


I guess I didn’t kill it.

Rejection from Literary Orphans

72-day response time

Hello Arthur Klepchukov,
Thank you for considering Literary Orphans as a place for your work. Having read and discussed your piece “The Blackboard Epilogues,” our readers regrettably do not feel this submission is right for LO at this time.
I want to wish you the best of luck on placing this elsewhere. Please submit your work to us in the future, we’d like to see more from you. We never consider past submissions in our judgement.

I would also like to state the immense amount of submissions we receive. To get to the number of pieces we ultimately publish, we must read hundreds of submissions. Of these, we often find 100 or so are very, very well done. We would be proud to take any of these and publish them, yet even here, we must whittle this number to less than 40%. Please, never take rejection personally, at this level it becomes very subjective.

If you are unaware, the website “Duotrope” is a great place to find additional marketplaces:
They are, however, charging for their services now. Poets & Writers operates a smaller, free service:

Please subscribe to the magazine to be notified of news:

Thank you for your time and readership.
In solidarity,
Scott Waldyn
Literary Orphans

I’m sure those new to submitting appreciate the tips to Duotrope and Poets & Writers.

Rejection from Jan Michalski Foundation

70-day response time

Dear Mr. Arthur Klepchukov,

We appreciate that you took the time to apply for the Jan Michalski Foundation’s 2019 writing residency.

We received more than 1600 applications, twice as many as in previous years, from authors all around the world and the jury had to make some difficult choices. After carefully reviewing all the applications, we regret to inform you that your project was not selected.

The Jan Michalski Foundation, its writing residency jury and we appreciate the time that you invested in your application. We encourage you to apply again in the future should you see a residency opportunity for which you qualify. The details about and applications for our 2020 residencies will be made available on our website in late Spring.

Wishing you all the best in your literary endeavors!

Kind regards,

Jessica Villat and Guillaume Dollmann

Encouraging Rejection from Palooka

5-day response time

Hi Art,

I’m happy to see another submission from you. There’s good writing here and an excellent end line/moment, though the piece didn’t strike me as I’m sure it will elsewhere. Congrats on your piece in The Common! A very nice publication. I hope to see more writing from you. I’m sure one will land in the future.

All best,
Jonathan Starke, Editor

I’ve exchanged emails with Jonathan before. He’s a deep fellow, talented nonfiction writer, and runs a solid journal.

Encouraging Rejection from Nanoism

8-day response time

Thanks for submitting. I’m going to pass on this one, but please do try me again.


Short and sweet, like their publications :)

Encouraging Rejection from Sustainable Arts Foundation

75-day response time

Dear Art,

Thank you so much for your application to the Sustainable Arts Foundation.

This program continues to be intensely competitive; in our 8th year, nearly 2,500 writers and artists submitted their portfolios. We are so impressed and inspired by the creativity of our applicants, and humbled by the stories you share; we wish we could fund everybody.

Previous award winners and finalists served as our jurors, and each application was reviewed by at least two jurors who focused on the quality of the submitted portfolios. From a pool of applicants whose work was judged as excellent, we then narrowed the field, considering the many facets presented so thoughtfully in your applications.

Unfortunately, we are not able to fund your application, but we want you to know that we are moved both by your commitment to your craft and by the sacrifices you’re making to pursue it.

Our jurors are invited to provide feedback about the applications they review; we want to share their comments:

I particularly enjoyed “Bleedin’ Peach.”

There are great flashes of originality and surprise here. I liked especially the imagery and ending of your first piece. An experiment for you to push yourself might be to try a longer work of fiction, and see how the narrative can be continued and the stakes raised.

We know that it is hard enough to create time for art while parenting, let alone to work on grant applications, and we do recognize and appreciate the effort you put into your submission.

Moving forward, we are changing the schedule for this program; our individual award application will be due in the late winter, with a deadline of February 28, 2019. We plan to run the individual award program annually in the winter from now on.

All applicants are eligible to re-apply. We are revising the application requirements, so please make sure to review them carefully before submitting an application in February.

Thank you again for your application, and we wish you all the best, both with your work and with your family.


Tony and Caroline Grant
The Sustainable Arts Foundation

Rejection from Black Warrior Review

75-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 Fantasy & Science Fiction (F&SF)

2-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for giving me a chance to read “Nevernight.” I liked the quality of the prose, but the narrative didn’t quite grab me and I’m going to pass on this story for Fantasy & Science Fiction. But I wish you best of luck finding the right market for it and hope that you’ll keep us in mind in the future.

Thanks also for mentioning some recent stories you liked — as an editor, I’m always looking for more feedback on which stories connect the most with readers and your comment is very helpful.

Best regards,


C.C. Finlay, Editor
Fantasy & Science Fiction
fandsf.com | @fandsf

This is the second editor that’s directly told me that they appreciate seeing references to past stories they’ve published.

Rejection from The Normal School

228-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Many thanks for submitting “within & without” to the The Normal School. Unfortunately, it doesn’t serve our needs at this time.

Best Wishes,
The Editors

Encouraging Rejection from Tin House

185-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for sending us “furl & unfurl.” Unfortunately, we have decided to pass on this submission.

Thank you, also, for your patience in waiting to hear back from us. We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future—and responding to it in a more reasonable amount of time. Submissions are open until October 15!


Thomas Ross
& Tin House

Rejection from Barrelhouse

158-day response time

Hi, Arthur:

Thanks so much for sending us Duskwing for our Something Issue. Unfortunately, we’re going to decline this time around.

But, here are things we need you to know:

1. We received more than 430 submissions in three days for an issue that will publish ten writers, and we didn’t solicit from anyone.

2. More than 430 submissions is about three times what we expected to receive for an issue with a very short submission window and little publicity. We were overwhelmed by the response, and were grateful for your patience while we read so many Somethings.

3. We didn’t predict that we’d get so many cover letters that were truly enjoyable to read. You were candid, funny, heartbreaking, tenacious, and inspiring.

4. We’re turning down a lot of Somethings that we know can find good homes, and it’s exciting and frustrating at the same time.

5. All of this means that we really hope other literary magazines decide to publish their own Something issues, and we’d love to help promote them.

Here’s what we think you should do next:

1. If it’s time to revise your Something? Go weirder, or go simpler. Go deeper, or step back. Change its form, or dig in harder on it. Try another point of view. Put an explosion or a dragon or a quiet moment in it. Show it to someone new. Sleep with it under your pillow. Make a diorama of it (if you do this, please send us a picture). Do NOT hide it away in a folder.

2. Send your Something out again. Who publishes your favorite writers? Who publishes the writers whose favorite writers are also your favorite writers? If you read a call for submissions and say to yourself “My Something seems to maybe fit what they’re looking for, but I’m not sure if they’ll like it,” send it.

3. While your Something is making the rounds, start work on a new Something. It’s not disloyal to your first Something. You can love them equally, but in different ways. Hopefully by the time your next Something is ready, the world will be ready too.

Something sincerely,
Team Barrelhouse Online

The stats don’t really make me feel better, but it’s fun to see them when a journal is willing to share. Love the submission advice. Real sympathy for the process here!

Rejection from Strange Horizons

31-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for submitting “Nevernight” to Strange Horizons, but we’ve decided not to accept it for publication.

We appreciate your interest in our magazine.


— Vajra

An Owomoyela, Catherine Krahe, Lila Garrott and Vajra Chandrasekera
Fiction Editors, Strange Horizons
Submission guidelines: http://strangehorizons.com/submit/fiction-submission-guidelines/

Rejection from Santa Monica Review

91-day response time

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

Understand your rejections

Copy & paste your rejection; get a concise interpretation.

1 thought on “Fall 2018 Rejections: Tin House, Ecotone, Crazyhorse, F&SF, Strange Horizons, and More Literary Journals”

  1. Last year I wrote a few parodies (roughly 60 of them, exploring approaches to the absurd problem of telling a writer a submission won’t be published while never admitting underlying reasons such as preferring a particular aesthetics, familiarity (of generation, subject matter, defined personal socioeconomic background, etc), and more. anyway, for better or worse:

    Fifteen Letters of Rejection

    Our editorial college of cardinals convened this past Thursday in conditions of sworn secrecy to select the highest expressions of humanity from among the thousands under consideration. Given the needs of people whose well-being remains our concern, if not the source of our funding, your work was declared exemplary, but when the air cleared, its absence from the table of contents became apparent. Best of luck publishing it elsewhere.

    When we read your poems, castratos were yodeling. Airliners crashed into oceans. Birds cried, and glaciers melted. Wafts of rancid horse meat entered through the back door. People in ballgowns walked cats on leashes. Locomotives flew through an eye of the needle that sews the underworld tight. Conveyor belts brought out new lines of babies, and police blessed the bronzed statues of war. Editors met with their words, and the man in shoes walked on. Best of luck publishing your poems elsewhere.

    When arbiters of public consumption choose products for release, they walk a fine line between allegiances and appeals of approbation from advisors. Understanding this, our editors do their best to ignore all influences, from talks to classically required reading. They concentrate only on what’s before them: objects in rooms, what people say, and poems that move in around them, that unpack their luggage and put a toothbrush in the holder. Unfortunately, your work failed to unpack. Best of luck finding a room for your poems elsewhere.

    Please know this journal only accepts poems that seem to be written by our friends. We believe this is a fair measure of publication readiness. Perhaps once we know you better, we’ll find your work more acceptable. For now, we must remain acquaintances. And yet we’re no longer strangers. Feel free to visit us in our upstate New York cabin offices. You can always find a place to sleep on someone’s floor. Best of luck being accepted elsewhere.

    Our algorithmic editorial system analyzed your poems for sentence length, variety in introductory elements, ratio of simple to compound-complex clauses, diction, rhythmic control, noun precision, transitive-to-intransitive verb ratio, extraordinary modification, adherence to present tense, and image viability, among other characteristics. Unfortunately, your scores in the above categories were abnormal. Best of luck publishing your work elsewhere.

    No one hopes for notification of the abject failure of his or her writing, or for an expression of distaste for anything made at home. Few are capable of withdrawing the personal investment a human-made thing represents without losing an amount of interest in it. No one fashions daily life around receipt of ambiguous words informing them of their exclusion from a recognized group. And yet no one expects to become as sick as our editorial assistants are now. While we cannot verify your submission directly caused their conditions, we have our suspicions. Best of luck locating another periodical to try next time.

    No one enjoys rejection letters, unless they believe that being rejected by a specific journal is evidence they’re ahead of their time, in the avant garde, or displaying genius beyond the pale of the sleepy-headed more traditional. Go ahead, if you’d like: think what you will. We’re sorry your work doesn’t fit with our 21st century aesthetics. Best of luck elsewhere, possibly in another time.

    With this letter we return your writing. Our position of trust in the community has far-reaching effects which force us to study the future in terms of its probable poetic needs. If you submit to us, you should be familiar with our voluminous writings on this. As noted in our guidelines, only poems which take place at specific GPS coordinates will express meaning to future readers. So only they speak with an authenticity and depth able to interest us now. The rest is dross. Best of luck retrofitting your mind based on the guidelines.

    Even if we were motivated to call you to explain our selection process, you’d need to talk with four editors at once, and could end up more frustrated than I am, even forlorn. As one delegated the task of corresponding with the rejected, I should explain my heart’s not in it. Why do writers seem to be competing, when we could be collaborating? And yet with tens of thousands all hoping to publish with us, what can we do? I think I’ll jump over to a discipline in which people work together. Whatever the future holds, good luck.

    We’re pleased to report that in the course of increasingly protracted meetings of the editorial board the final selections for our fall issue have been made, and the weight and measure of every phrase to appear under our charge exceeds expectation. This may in part result from our practice of common parlance for the sake of adventure or political stability in the face of economic constraints. From our vantage point, it’s clear we control the game and its outcome, while you are asked to submit to the way it works out. This is merely the nature of belief in a selected few. Make no mistake: the selected few stand on strength of the many. Without the many, selection of the few would lose its meaning. But thanks to many like you, this has not come to pass. Best wishes.

    We return the writing you submitted in the category of poetry. With this, our editors send a query: Are you so engaged by activities unrelated to this journal that you entirely misdiagnosed our needs? Have you not read our widely circulated issues? Do you believe your own needs outweigh needs of the many? Perhaps less influential venues will respond more to your liking.

    Fellow cultural worker, thank you for sharing your artistic renderings with us. We greatly enjoyed reading them, which is the reason we return them unpublished. The kind of poetry we’re looking to include is not enjoyable. At a minimum it must put readers off. We accept only poems that haunt the mind. In our view, poetry should pose real problems for assumptions rampant in this culture however many times they’ve been proven wrong. Yours truly.

    It is our duty to inform you that our fall issue has been put to bed without your work. We must do this with politeness, refrain from embedding insults, and offer you an amount of language that seems commensurate to the effort you made. No editor responded to your poems, but that’s usual. Rest assured no untoward feelings remain as an unintended consequence of your submission. We must end this letter as a business transaction, nothing more.

    No writer who wants to speak for an animal is dying to be called one. No poem kept alive by machines feels at home. No monocultural fields in the bread which is aesthetics are irrigated by firehouse gasoline pumpers. Even the brain prepared for a rejection letter can be hurt by ham-hock words of exclusion. But as harsh as this is, it is the nature of the literary publication business. We’re sorry. All we do is work here for this journal that won’t be including your work.

    No thunder exceeds the concentration of light in the bones of privates fighting for generals. No general chooses his war or beholds the raining sky from a position of divine favor. The weight of a handheld pen can impoverish its own forecast. Thunder employed for rank echolocation can produce false negatives. The danger of expression is that any blank slate can easily mock it. When a foundation has been swallowed into the underground, it’s no longer sound. Therefore, in light of maneuvers capable of sanctioning benefaction, in the arresting guarantee issued by primitive actors dispossessed of an eagle eye, we collide on concrete radiographic maps to note the end of competitions that jerry-rig aesthetic diplomacy only to divide creatives into camps. Out of private passages we eye our way ahead, trusting the same goes for the lot of us. Best wishes to you and for the aims of your artistic practices.

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