Spring 2020 Rejections: One Story, Narrative, Epiphany, Ruminate, Berkeley Fiction Review, Lumina, and More Literary Journals

The Rejection Quarterly - sad boy

Welcome to The Rejection Quarterly, Spring 2020 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 2020 – May 2020.

Rejection from Bethesda Magazine

52-day response time


Thank you for your submission to Bethesda Magazine’s Short Story Contest. The judges have made their selections and your story was not among those chosen this year.

We encourage you to enter the contest again in the future.


Kathleen Neary

Bethesda Magazine

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.


Rejection from The Sea Letter

114-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Our editors have reviewed your short fiction submission. Unfortunately this work doesn’t fit what we are looking for, but we thank you for considering us.

Zac Warren
Senior Editor of The Sea Letter

Encouraging Rejection from The Hunger

96-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for submitting “Imperfect Balconies” to The Hunger. We appreciate the time, creative energy, and vulnerability it takes to create and share your art. 

This was a difficult decision for us, and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to consider your submission, but unfortunately, it’s not quite right for us at this time. However, we very much enjoyed your work and hope you will consider sending us more in the future.

Thank you for thinking of The Hunger, and we wish you the best of luck finding a home for this piece. 


Lena Ziegler & Erin Slaughter

Editors & Co-Founders

The Hunger


Rejection from Berkeley Fiction Review

17-day response time

Dear Arthur,

The editorial staff of Berkeley Fiction Review has read and reviewed your story, “Duskwing.” We gave your submission serious consideration, but regret to inform you that you were not chosen as a Sudden Fiction Contest winner.

We appreciate your support and we are pleased that you chose to submit to Berkeley Fiction Review. Thank you for your submission and your continued interest in our journal.

Berkeley Fiction Review Editorial Staff

Encouraging Rejection from Ruminate

228-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for submitting and giving us a chance to consider “furl & unfurl.” 

After close review, this submission wasn’t selected for publication in Ruminate. However, your work did excite us, and we would be interested in seeing more. 

We hope you will submit again for our next reading period, and we appreciate that you think enough of our magazine to have shared your work with us. We wish you all the best. 

Rachel King
managing editor
Ruminate Magazine

Rejection from Tin House Summer Workshop

25-day response time


First and foremost, we hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during these uncertain and stressful times. Given the state of everything right now, we have been debating whether or not to continue on with the application process for our summer workshop. However, at this time, we have decided to honor the work and push forward in the hopes that in one form or another, the workshop will take place this July. As such, we wish we were reaching out with brighter news today, but we are unfortunately unable to accept your application for admission into the program. With such a high number of applications (over 1,000) and few workshop spots, this year’s application panel (which includes new readers from previous years) has had to make many tough decisions regarding a robust and talented group of potential participants.

As we know how much time, dedication, and vulnerability it takes to apply for these sorts of programs, thank you for sharing your manuscript. We hope that this summer brings good news for you, your work, and the health of our communities. 

Tin House Workshop

PS-Due to the high number of applications we receive, we, unfortunately, can not offer individual feedback on submissions. 

Rejection from Electric Literature

121-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for sending us your work; while it was not a fit for Electric Literature, we appreciate the chance to consider it.


Electric Literature

Encouraging Rejection from One Story

51-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov:

Thank you for sending us “The Blackboard Epilogues”. We really enjoyed this piece, but we didn’t feel it was right for One Story.

We hope that you will continue to send us your work.


The Editors of One Story

Rejection from Sewanee Writers’ Conference

40-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov:

We are writing with difficult news to share. Due to the coronavirus, we have unfortunately had to cancel the 2020 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. While we’re saddened by this turn of events, we feel that it is ultimately in the best interest of our writing community. Please see a message below from the University of the South regarding this decision. 

We would like to thank everyone for applying this year and are pleased to offer what we hope is a silver lining to this situation. We will honor 2020 admissions in 2021. Given recent decisions, we have pushed back our admission decision announcement date from May 1 to May 15 in order to plan for these changes. 

Thank you again. We wish you the best during this time.

All best,
Leah Stewart
Director, Sewanee Writers’ Conference

Encouraging Rejection from Lumina

259-day response time

Dear Arthur,
Thank you for submitting to Lumina. Regrettably, your work wasn’t right for us at this time, but we’re thankful to have had the chance to read it. 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,
The Lumina Team

Rejection from The Centifictionist

65-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you very much for your submission to The Centifictionist. Although we are declining your submission this time, we are sincerely grateful and appreciative of the chance, honor, and privilege of reading your work.

Thanks again. All best wishes.

The Centifictionist

Rejection from Narrative

37-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov: 

Thank you for sending your work to Narrative. We are always grateful for the opportunity to review new work, and we have given “Imperfect Balconies” close attention and careful consideration. We regret, however, that “Imperfect Balconies” does not meet our needs at this time. We hope that you will keep us in mind in the future. 


The Editors 

Rejection from New Ohio Review

45-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for sending us your work for the 2020 New Ohio Review contests. This particular submission wasn’t chosen as the winner and is no longer under consideration for publication, but we are grateful for your interest in our journal. 

During our current challenge, we want to show an “affirming flame,” as Auden wrote, so we hope you don’t take this note as any kind of discouragement. 

Great luck with your writing, among all other things.

The Editors
New Ohio Review


Follow us on twitter @NewOhioReview

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NewOhioReview/

Find out more about Ohio University’s Creative Writing Program at the following link: https://www.ohio.edu/cas/english/grad/creative-writing/index.cfm

Rejection from Epiphany

102-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for submitting your work, “Imperfect Balconies.” Regretfully, we cannot find a place for it in our upcoming issue, but we wish you the best of luck placing it elsewhere.

At Epiphany we are committed to evaluating every submission we receive thoughtfully and respectfully. Many issues factor into every decision we make either to publish a piece or pass on it, from its consonance or dissonance with other work we’ve accepted to the simple issue of personal preference, which cannot be anything but subjective. To familiarize yourself with the work we do (and some of the work we’ve loved best), please consider subscribing to the journal at http://epiphanyzine.com.

We value long relationships with the writers and artists who entrust us with their work, and hope you’ll keep us in mind for other submissions in the future. Until then, do join our communities on 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/epiphanylit
…Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/epiphanylitjournal
…and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/epiphanylitmag

Thanks again and we hope that you are staying safe and sane out there and that all is well for you and yours in these horrific times!

The Editors

Rejection from Unstamatic

72-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to view your work. After careful consideration, we have determined that it is not quite the best fit for our publication, and we are unfortunately going to pass at this time.

We receive a great number of submissions each month, but in this span we can only accept two writing and two art submissions for publication. You have our sincerest thanks for making these choices so difficult.

We are confident you will find another home for your work, and wish you the best of luck in doing so.

The Unstamatic Team

Encouraging Rejection from Washington Square Review

114-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for submitting your story The Blackboard Epilogues to Washington Square. While this piece was not a right fit for us, we were impressed by your writing. 

We hope that you feel encouraged by this note, and will consider sending us more of your work in the future. We very much appreciate your interest in our magazine.

The Editors
Washington Square Review

Rejection from Ruminate

56-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for submitting and giving us a chance to consider “The Blackboard Epilogues.” 

After close review, this submission wasn’t the right fit for Ruminate. We appreciate that you think enough of our magazine to have shared it with us, and we wish you all the best with your work. 

Ruminate Magazine

Encouraging Rejection from PRISM international

59-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for sending “furl & unfurl” to PRISM international. We receive many excellent submissions and, unfortunately, are unable to publish them all. It is worth noting that a rejection may not necessarily be a reflection on the quality of your work, as there are many things that factor into our decisions. These might include themes, topics, or styles that mirror something we’ve published recently or are planning to publish, or just the maddening limitations of physical page space.

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,

Tanvi Bhatia
Prose Editor
PRISM international

Rejection from The Harvard Advocate

82-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for your submission to the Harvard Advocate. Though we appreciated the chance to read your work, I’m sorry to let you know that your story was not selected by the board for publication or as a finalist for the Begley prize. We wish you the best of luck with your writing, and we hope the piece finds a home elsewhere. 


The Fiction Board

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

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