Arsenal of Words

The Writing of Arthur Klepchukov

Category: Submitting

Summer 2021 Rejections: Crazyhorse, Epiphany, Ninth Letter, The Normal School, and More Literary Journals

The Rejection Quarterly - sad boy

Welcome to The Rejection Quarterly, Summer 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 June 2021 – August 2021.

Read the rest of this entry »

Worthwhile Fiction Contests for Fall 2021

See my latest roundup of fiction contests for Writer Unboxed:

This contest submissions season covers deadlines from September 1, 2021 through November 30, 2021. Thanks to LiteristicPoets & WritersSubmittable Discover, and New Pages for many of these contests.

Much like editors are looking for reasons to reject work, I want to focus on opportunities worth my time. Thus, my list of writing contests below includes reasons to submit to that particular writing contest. May you find a promising opportunity among this list and spend less time searching for where to send your exceptional work.

I found quality opportunities for emerging and established fiction writers. Each comes with its own handy list of reasons to submit. See my roundup of Fall 2021 writing contests.

Spring 2021 Rejections: The Common, The Cincinnati Review, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, The Rumpus, Upstreet, and More Literary Journals

The Rejection Quarterly - sad boy

Welcome to The Rejection Quarterly, Spring 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 March 2021 – May 2021.

Read the rest of this entry »

Worthwhile Fiction Contests for Summer 2021

See my latest roundup of fiction contests for Writer Unboxed:

This contest submissions season covers deadlines from June 1, 2021 through August 31, 2021. Summer is a slower time for any literary journal or contest associated with a university, but there are still opportunities between beach waves and new drafts. Thanks to LiteristicPoets & WritersSubmittable Discover, and New Pages for many of these contests.

Much like editors are looking for reasons to reject work, I want to focus on opportunities worth my time. Thus, my list of writing contests below includes reasons to submit to that particular writing contest. May you find a promising opportunity among this list and spend less time searching for where to send your exceptional work.

I found quality opportunities for emerging and established fiction writers. Each comes with its own handy list of reasons to submit. See my roundup of Summer 2021 writing contests.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Worthwhile Fiction Contests for Spring 2021

See my latest roundup of fiction contests for Writer Unboxed:

This contest submissions season covers deadlines from March 1, 2021 through May 31, 2021. Spring is a great time to submit to literary journals that read during the academic year or opportunities that take place during the summer. Thanks to LiteristicPoets & WritersSubmittable Discover, and New Pages for many of these contests.

Much like editors are looking for reasons to reject work, I want to focus on opportunities worth my time. Thus, my list of writing contests below includes reasons to submit to that particular writing contest. May you find a promising opportunity among this list and spend less time searching for where to send your exceptional work.

I found 20 quality opportunities for emerging and established fiction writers. Each comes with its own handy list of reasons to submit. See my roundup of Spring 2021 writing contests.

How a Neglected Setting Led to my Quietest Flash Fiction Publication

Photo of three-story, pastel-colored buildings with empty balconies by Tapio Haaja on Unsplash
Photo by Tapio Haaja on Unsplash

Can flash fiction be a pensive cup of slowly sipped tea, among all the espresso shots of flash fiction? Pull up a chair on the balcony and let’s find out. My latest publication, “Imperfect Balconies,” appears in Nevermore Journal. The story is free to read online. Here is the opening:

Imperfect Balconies

When I lived in the hushed city, I spent countless lonely hours seeking company on my balcony. On move-in day, sunlight poured in through the glass wall panorama, golden and warm like a fresh cup my fingers could cuddle. This balcony glowed. A welcoming box that peeked out at hundreds of other balconies, possibilities, lives. 

Read story online in Nevermore Journal

My efforts to get “Imperfect Balconies” published:

  • ~1,000 words
  • 2 drafts
  • 26 submissions
  • 21 rejections, 7 encouraging rejections, 2 never responded
  • 4 withdrawals

I share blog posts like these because every story has a different journey. So if you’re in the doldrums between drafts or facing another rejection, may this encourage you. This process has taught me that publication is always more than one step away. Read on about this story’s prolonged journey and you may find what will get you over the next hump.

Read the rest of this entry »

How Writing a Screenplay with My Best Friend Led to Our First Story Publication

Wooden camping table on fire at night; photo by Claus Grünstäudl on Unsplash

What makes a boy grow up to become an arsonist? My first co-written short story, “sparkbirth,” is now published in Down & Out: The Magazine. Here are the opening lines:

sparkbirth

When I turned eleven, Mom forgot to buy more birthday candles. So instead of eleven little sticks, I got two. She pretended 1 + 1 made 11, but I knew when I was getting the finger. Funny, she never forgot to buy scented candles that littered our apartment. And I never forgot what a lit candle does to a dark room when I should’ve been asleep.

Read more in Down & Out: The Magazine, Vol. 2, Issue 2

My efforts for “sparkbirth”:

  • ~1,800 words
  • 3 drafts
  • 1 co-author
  • 1 submission
  • no rejections or withdrawals before publication

I had an excellent time working with Rick Ollerman on my 2018 story “A Damn Fine Town.” After Rick published my story in Down & Out, it went on to be included in The Best American Mystery Stories 2019. He encouraged me to submit another story for Down & Out. This was the first piece I’ve written that fit the bill—it wasn’t purely literary or science fiction.

Read on about my process.

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“afterglow” and “Dialing Islands” Published in MacQueen’s Quinterly

afterglow photo by Leandra Niederhauser on Unsplash

Happy New Year! My latest flash fiction publications, “afterglow” and “Dialing Islands,” are published this morning in MacQueen’s Quinterly. Both are free to read online. Here are the openings of both stories:

afterglow

She wonders aloud what his orgasms are like. He lacks the clarity to inhabit what just happened, but he wants to try before the sweat dries. He shuts his eyes, and reopens them defiantly. No, darkness makes it easier to fill the void with anything but the present. And he wants to linger.

Read story online in MacQueen’s Quinterly, Issue 6

Dialing Islands

Clyde. I always call you first. Your home number was the second I memorized after my own. You sat atop all favorites on the speed dial of every phone I’ve owned. You’ll call back, even if I leave another empty voicemail. “Heeey, it’s Clyde. Leave a message at the…” Beep. I breathe. I can’t. Someone needs to listen.

Read story online in MacQueen’s Quinterly, Issue 6

How did these stories find a home?

My efforts for “afterglow”:

  • ~300 words
  • 1 draft
  • 8 submissions
  • 5 rejections, 1 encouraging rejection
  • 2 withdrawals

My efforts for “Dialing Islands”:

  • ~700 words
  • 2 drafts
  • 3 submissions
  • 1 rejection
  • 1 withdrawal

These are very lucky numbers; I have some stories at 30+ submissions and 5+ drafts. I chalk these publications to previously working with the talented and thoughtful editor, Clare MacQueen, and having a sense of what she might like. 

Read on about my process.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fall 2020 Rejections: AGNI, The Baltimore Review, CRAFT, Epiphany, Nimrod, Ruminate, Witness, and More Literary Journals

The Rejection Quarterly - sad boy

Welcome to The Rejection Quarterly, Fall 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 September 2020 – November 2020.

Read the rest of this entry »

Winter 2020 Writing Contests & Reasons to Submit to Each

See my latest roundup of fiction contests for Writer Unboxed:

This contest submissions season covers deadlines from December 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021. Thanks to LiteristicPoets & WritersSubmittable Discover, and New Pages for many of these contests. This season includes less opportunities than usual as 2020 has slowed, rescheduled, or cancelled numerous publishing efforts that I’m aware of.

Much like editors are looking for reasons to reject work, I want to focus on opportunities worth my time. Thus, my list of writing contests below includes reasons to submit to that particular writing contest. May you find a promising opportunity among this list and spend less time searching for where to send your exceptional work.

I found 14 quality opportunities for emerging and established fiction writers. Each comes with its own handy list of reasons to submit. See my roundup of Winter 2020 writing contests.

Awarded 3rd Place in Library Film Festival

aisles of ideas is a 2-minute short film that answers “what does the library mean to you?” Watch aisles of ideas below or on Vimeo:

The film premiered at the KCLS Reel Fest on Monday, September 28, 2020 and earned 3rd Place!

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Attend my Short Film Premiere Monday, Sept 28

What does the library mean to you?

That was the question posed by King County Library System (KCLS) Reel Fest in January. I had 2 minutes to answer on film. I got my family to help.

Together, we made “aisles of ideas.”

We shared my experiences reading inspiring words, writing, submitting, and seeing it go quite far (no spoilers).

Our film is a Reel Fest finalist.

We’d love for you to watch it. Join us for its free online premiere on Monday, September 28 at 7pm Pacific.

Summer 2020 Rejections: The Missouri Review, Boulevard, Crazyhorse, Granta, Catapult, Ninth Letter, and More Literary Journals

The Rejection Quarterly - sad boy

Welcome to The Rejection Quarterly, Summer 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 June 2020 – August 2020.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fall 2020 Writing Contests & Reasons to Submit to Each

See my latest roundup of fiction contests for Writer Unboxed:

This contest submissions season covers deadlines from September 1, 2020 through November 30, 2020. Thanks to LiteristicPoets & WritersSubmittable Discover, and New Pages for many of these contests.

Much like editors are looking for reasons to reject work, I want to focus on opportunities worth my time. Thus, my list of writing contests below includes reasons to submit to that particular writing contest. May you find a promising opportunity among this list and spend less time searching for where to send your exceptional work.

I found 18 quality opportunities for emerging and established fiction writers. Each comes with its own handy list of reasons to submit. See my roundup of Fall 2020 writing contests.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Watch My “How to Submit Your Writing for Publication” Workshop from the 2020 Gaithersburg Book Festival

This year’s Gaithersburg Book Festival is entirely online. You can watch my free writing workshop below or on YouTube:

I cover the following submission topics in my workshop:

  • how submitting shorter writing benefits longer writing
  • why you should submit
  • what writing to submit
  • where to submit
  • how to submit
  • what to do while you wait for a response
  • handling rejections
  • when to revise & resubmit
  • giving up
  • how to get accepted and published

All of the mentioned resources are on Learn to Submit.

Happy submitting!

Summer 2020 Writing Contests & Reasons to Submit to Each

See my latest roundup of fiction contests for Writer Unboxed:

This contest submissions season covers deadlines from June 1, 2020 through August 31, 2020. Summer is a slower time for any literary journal or contest associated with a university, but there are still opportunities between beach waves and new drafts. Thanks to LiteristicPoets & WritersSubmittable Discover, and New Pages for many of these contests.

I found 17 quality opportunities for emerging and established fiction writers. Each comes with its own handy list of reasons to submit. See my roundup of Summer 2020 writing contests.

How Leaving San Francisco Got Me Published… in a San Francisco Zine

How do you say goodbye to a brief universe inside you? Find out in my latest flash fiction, “Glimmering Sidewalks,” published in the first zine from The Racket: Quarantine Journal.

What amount of effort went into getting “Glimmering Sidewalks” published?

  • 300 words
  • 2 drafts
  • 15 submissions
  • 14 rejections, 6 encouraging rejections

These numbers are on par with my other flash fiction publications.

I share blog posts like these because every story has a different journey to readers. So if you’re in the doldrums between drafts or facing another rejection, may this encourage you. This process has taught me that publication is always more than one step away. Read on about this story’s journey and you may find what will get you over the next hump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Winter 2020 Rejections: Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, Bellevue Literary Review, The Sun, The Oxford American, Epiphany, and More Literary Journals

The Rejection Quarterly - sad boy

Welcome to The Rejection Quarterly, Winter 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 December 2019 – February 2020.

Read the rest of this entry »