Winter 2021 Rejections: The Missouri Review, Crazyhorse, Witness, Epiphany, Ruminate, SmokeLong Quarterly, 100 Word Story, and More Literary Journals

The Rejection Quarterly - sad boy

Welcome to The Rejection Quarterly, Winter 2021 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 December 2020 – February 2021.

Rejection from SmokeLong Quarterly

1-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for your submission of ‘Dialing Islands’ to SmokeLong Quarterly. We gave your work careful consideration. 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, and thank you for reading SmokeLong Quarterly. Our story archive is available free to read online.

All the best,

Christopher Allen

SmokeLong Quarterly

Encouraging Rejection from MacQueen’s Quinterly

1-day response time

Dear Art,

Heartfelt thanks for brightening my morning with a trio of lyrical stories. Just my cuppa tea! :-) I enjoyed reading them all, and I would be so pleased to publish this pair:

Though this was an acceptance for two of my pieces, it was still a rejection of the third.

Encouraging Rejection from The San Franciscan

3-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for coming to the reading and for your support for The San Franciscan! It’s really wonderful to hear.

I enjoyed reading your submission, you write with such beautiful descriptive language. Our fiction section for our next issue is currently full (I’ve just updated the website to reflect this). We typically publish personal essays and fiction with a very strong sense of place–pieces that really evoke San Francisco and the Bay Area. We also only have room for about one of each in every issue. 

I’d love to read more of your work for future issues (we publish twice a year), especially if you have pieces that evoke that strong sense of place and are focused on the Bay Area. 

In the meantime, I’d encourage you to continue to familiarize yourself with our magazine and definitely check out the print issue if you can. If you’re up in [ redacted ], we’re selling at [ redacted ] and [ redacted ], among a few others (I grew up in [ redacted ]). 


Rejection from The Arkansas International

37-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for submitting “Terminus” to The Arkansas International. Regrettably, we are unable to find a place for it in our next issue, and we’re going to have to pass at this time. Thank you for your patience and for allowing us to consider your piece. We wish you the best of luck placing this elsewhere. 


The Editors
The Arkansas International

Rejection from Washington Square Review

103-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for submitting your work to Washington Square. We appreciate the efforts that have gone into this piece. Unfortunately, it is not a fit for our upcoming issue. Please be assured that your story was read thoroughly and given careful consideration by our editorial staff. We wish you the best of luck finding a home for it elsewhere.

The Editors
Washington Square Review

Encouraging Rejection from Breakwater Review

23-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for sending us “within & without” for 2021 Breakwater Review Fiction Contest. We appreciate the opportunity to read your work. However, after careful consideration, we have decided to pass. We apologize for the delay in notifying you of our decision, but we’ve received a great number of work over the past months that have taken us more time than we expected to get through with equal and fair consideration. We appreciate your patience!

Although this piece was not right for us at this time, we encourage you to try us again in the future.

Thanks again.


Suchita Nayar

Logan Buckley

Fiction co-editors

Breakwater Review

Rejection from Calvino Prize

72-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for sending us ‘Terminus’. We truly appreciated the chance to read it. Unfortunately, the piece has not been chosen by our judge for the Calvino Prize this year. 

Winners and finalists will be posted on social media and our website ( in early January.

Best of luck in all of your literary endeavors, and please do look out for next year’s Calvino Prize.

Ian Stansel
Director of Creative Writing
University of Louisville

Encouraging Rejection from Epiphany

89-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for submitting your work, “Evergreen Promises.” 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

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 
…and Facebook:

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 Thimble Literary Magazine

7-day response time

Thank you for entrusting your work to us at Thimble Lit Mag. Unfortunately, your work is not the right fit for us at this time.

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

Nadia Arioli

Encouraging Rejection from Crazyhorse

76-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for sending us ‘Still Watching.’ While we aren’t able to accept your work for publication, we hope that you will consider submitting to us in the future. 

Thank you for the opportunity to read your work during this difficult time. We hope you are safe and well.

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:

Wishing you the best of luck with your writing,

The Eds.

Rejection from Ruminate

52-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for submitting and giving us a chance to consider ‘Counting.’ 

After close review, this submission wasn’t the right fit for The Waking. 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. 



Rejection from Split Lip Magazine

20-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for sending us ‘WINC-FM.’ While we are grateful to have had the opportunity to read your work, we’re sorry to say it isn’t a good fit for us at this time. Our submissions queue continues to grow, and we often have to decline many excellent pieces. 

We hope that you are taking good care of yourself and staying healthy during this difficult time.

Thanks again for trusting us with your work. Best of luck with this piece and all of your writing.


The Editors

Split Lip Magazine

Encouraging Rejection from Fantasy Magazine

112-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thanks for submitting “duskwing.” There were things we enjoyed about it, but overall it didn’t quite work for us. Best of luck to you placing this one elsewhere. We look forward to seeing more work from you soon. 


Arley Sorg & Christie Yant
Fantasy Magazine

Encouraging Rejection from The Missouri Review

102-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for letting us consider “Still Watching” for publication in the Missouri Review. We enjoyed reading it, and though it doesn’t quite fit our needs at this time, we hope we will have the chance to read more of your writing in the future.


The Editors

Announcing the 2021 PERKOFF PRIZE from TMR: The re-vamped Perkoff Prize will award $1000 and publication each to writers of the best story, set of poems, and essay that engage in evocative ways with health and medicine as judged by the editors. Learn more here:

Subscribe to TMR, and discover the best new fiction, poetry, and nonfiction being written today:

Encouraging Rejection from Slice

86-day response time

Dear Arthur:

Thanks so much for giving us the opportunity to consider “Still Watching” for Slice. Due to the high volume of submissions we receive, we regret that we aren’t able to respond to each submission personally. Unfortunately, your piece isn’t the best fit for our upcoming issue and so we’re passing. We wish you success placing it in the right home and hope you’ll consider submitting to Slice again in the future.

Best wishes,

The Editors

Rejection from Redivider

148-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for trusting us with your work. We appreciated the opportunity to consider ‘The Blackboard Epilogues,’ but have decided not to accept it for publication.

We wish you the best of luck in placing it elsewhere!


Abby Provenzano

Fiction Editor 


Rejection from The Racket

10-day response time


I wanted to write and say thank you again for your submission.

We are going to pass on it at this time.

I know how much it takes to send your work out into the universe. Please know how much we appreciate you giving us the chance to read it.

Keep at it. 

– The Racket

Encouraging Rejection from The Lit Mug

117-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for your submission to The Lit Mug. We enjoyed the opportunity to read Anagrams for Our Yesterdays. Unfortunately, we regret to inform you that, despite its obvious merits, your piece was not selected for our publication. We thank you for your patience during this whole process; The Lit Mug opened submissions believing we would only receive 30 or 40 total. We received over 120, an unprecedented amount of support for our mission. We promised feedback for anyone who submitted, so we took a significant amount of time to finish that. We would also like to note that, while your piece was not selected for publication, please know that it was a difficult decision, and that your piece was in the top twenty. We greatly appreciate you submitting to us, and we would be honored if you would submit again for future volumes.

Our feedback was as follows:

The format of this piece is clever! The anagrams work within this piece, and the message comes across clearly. With very little words, we see a timeline of a relationship and can feel those emotions from each section. It is a very poetic fiction piece. However, the relationship ends up a little vague. Consider expanding on the relationship with specific details and moments. For example, who is the ‘him’ mentioned during the paragraph that begins with ‘Goal At Sin’? There is movement in this piece, but we want to experience the journey with the characters.

Finally, as a thank-you for submitting, and for your patience, we would love to offer you a coupon code for our store once that opens. We expect to launch a Logo Mug around February 14, and our first issue is scheduled to drop on March 1. If you go to our store on our website ( and plug in the coupon code “[ redacted ],” you will receive 5% off your order.

Your support and your art have been greatly appreciated, and we hope to hear from you again!


Carling, Steven, and Jena

The Lit Mug Team

Rejection from The Sea Letter

212-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

[ email address redacted ]

Encouraging Rejection from 100 Word Story

39-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for sending us ‘Parting Pages’. We appreciate the chance to read it because we believe that making art is such a daring, wonderful act. 

It’s difficult for us because despite the number of great pieces we receive, many of them don’t quite fit into our editorial needs. We’re glad you thought of us, though, and hope that you’ll submit again. We receive too many manuscripts to make individual comment possible, but we do wish you luck in placing this with another magazine. 

Thanks again. Best of luck with this.

100 Word Story

P.S. Please follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter ( 

Encouraging Rejection from Witness

21-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov,

Thank you for trusting us with within & without during our 2021 Fiction call for submissions. Unfortunately, we decided it was not the right fit for this upcoming issue. We appreciate having had the chance to consider your story and hope you will keep us in mind for the future. 

Arthur, once again, I’d like to encourage you to submit more work. I find your prose magnetic, but for this story, I sometimes struggled to understand which details were significant, particularly as I tried to understand the relationship between the narrator and the “you.” 

Thanks again, and best of luck with your writing. 


Robert Ren

Fiction Editor

Witness Magazine

Twitter: @witnessmag

Rejection from Gigantic Sequins

57-day response time

Dear Arthur Klepchukov:

Thank you for sending us ‘1 Short Story: “The Blackboard Epilogues”‘. We appreciate the chance to read your writing. Unfortunately, we have not chosen this work for our upcoming issue. Best of luck in placing it elsewhere.

We discourage replies to this notice about your submission’s final status as we may not have time to read through or reply to any. You may contact us through the email link on our website if you have a specific inquiry or comment with a fresh subject line that indicates your topic, please.

We appreciate you looking to Gigantic Sequins as a journal where you’d like to see your work in print.

the Gigantic Sequins editors

Rejection from PRISM international

120-day response time

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for sending ‘The Blackboard Epilogues’ to PRISM international. Our editorial board read your work for PRISM’s upcoming issues. Unfortunately, after careful consideration, we will not be accepting your submission.

We receive many excellent submissions, and are unable to publish them all. It is worth noting that a rejection is not necessarily a reflection on the quality of your work, as there are many things that factor into our decisions, including the composition of each issue as a whole. We are grateful to you for sharing your work with us.

Warm wishes,

Tanvi Bhatia
Prose Editor
PRISM international

Encouraging Rejection from jmmw

44-day response time

Dear Arthur, 

Thank you for sending us ‘Anagrams for Our Yesterdays.’ We appreciated the chance to read it. Although there was a lot to like here, it didn’t quite come together for us in the end, and we regret to pass. Although we’re sorry we don’t have better news at this time, consider submitting to us again in the future!

Thanks again for thinking of us. Best of luck with this!
The editors at jmww

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