Arsenal of Words

The Writing of Arthur Klepchukov

Category: Rejection

How Loathing Travel, Public Transit, a Tuscan Residency, 24 Rejections, and a Writing Conference Led to My First Published Short Story

What happens when a luggage thief picks the wrong target on the early-morning airport train? Dive into the mind of a snarky antagonist in “A Damn Fine Town,” my first short story publication, available now in Down & Out: The Magazine, Vol. 1, Issue 4.

What amount of effort went into getting “A Damn Fine Town” published?

  • 1,600 words
  • 5 drafts
  • 26 submissions
  • 24 rejections, 4 encouraging rejections
  • 1 withdrawal

These are grueling numbers compared to how lucky I’ve been in earning relatively quick flash fiction publications.

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 journey and you may find what will get you over the next hump.

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Summer 2018 Rejections: One Story, VQR, Glimmer Train, The Georgia Review, The Missouri Review, AGNI, Narrative, ZYZZYVA, and More Literary Journals

The Rejection Quarterly - sad boy

Welcome to The Rejection Quarterly, Spring 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 June 2018 – August 2018.

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How a College Freewriting Prompt and Being Woken by a Downtown Songbird Led to My Shortest Publications

Small bird perched on wire in the city

Small bird perched on wire in the city

A brief conversation with a lone songbird in San Francisco. A vulnerable state before free fall. I explore these ideas in my latest flash fiction publications “Dawnsong” and “lying is the girl” out now in KYSO Flash, Issue 10 (Fall 2018).

What amount of effort went into getting these two stories published?

My statistics for “Dawnsong”:

  • 100 words
  • 1 draft (I know, I know, I’m surprised too)
  • 10 submissions
  • 6 rejections, 1 encouraging rejection
  • 3 withdrawals

My statistics for “lying is the girl”:

  • 100 words
  • 3 drafts
  • 6 submissions
  • 4 rejections, 2 encouraging rejections
  • 1 withdrawal

These are lucky numbers, especially given just one draft of “Dawnsong” and the small number of submissions of “lying is the girl.” Read on about my process.

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“Reading Willow” Published in The Common

Reading-Willow

What expectations transcend distance and life changes? I explore that in under 400 words in my latest flash fiction publication, “Reading Willow” in The Common.

What amount of effort went into getting “Reading Willow” published?

  • 2 drafts
  • 5 submissions
  • 2 rejections
  • 2 withdrawals

These are lucky numbers, especially given that this story didn’t earn any encouraging rejections. Read on about my process.

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Spring 2018 Rejections: One Story, Kenyon Review, Tin House, The Missouri Review, and Other Literary Journals

 

The Rejection Quarterly - sad boy

Welcome to The Rejection Quarterly, Spring 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 March 2018 – May 2018.

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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.

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“bleedin’ peach” Published in KYSO Flash

a red peach

Photo by Charles Deluvio 🇵🇭🇨🇦 on Unsplash

What can a newborn teach his father about shaving? To find out, read my latest flash fiction publication, “bleedin’ peach” in KYSO Flash.

What amount of effort went into getting “bleedin’ peach” published?

  • 3 drafts
  • 2 submissions
  • 1 encouraging rejection

These were exceptionally small, lucky numbers. I have stories that are approaching 30 submissions, so it’s lovely to experience quick publication magic in this case.

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“Rivet Here” Published in Necessary Fiction

Rosie the Riveter - We Can Do It! poster

I’m proud to share my first online publication, the 500-word flash fiction “Rivet Here” in Necessary Fiction. This story is about a new kind of relationship that blossoms in a small town when all the men leave for World War II.

What amount of effort went into getting “Rivet Here” published?

  • 4 drafts
  • 15 submissions
  • 11 rejections, 3 encouraging
  • 3 withdrawals

Keep reading for the details and some reading recommendations.

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128 Submissions, 93 Rejections, 1st Publication

Today, my submissions journey reaches the next step! I started submitting stories to contests and literary journals over two years ago, founded a critique group, curated a submissions calendar, and wrote contest roundups for Writer Unboxed. But this week and with this email, I achieved my next goal:

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Recent Submissions and Rejections

Submissions

I was inspired by and proud of the following:

  1. I submitted “The Price of Chivalry,” which I read at Lit Camp’s Basement Series, to the Kenyon Review’s 2017 Short Fiction Contest. It’s not a simultaneous submission, but it felt right after the response the story got at the reading and an excellent critique and revision of the latest draft.
    How do you know when a piece is ready? Leave me a comment.
  2. The Iowa Review received the last draft of “Nevernight,” after the wonderful metafiction story “Outliving Kafka” by Ariel Dorfman in their Fall 2016 issue. May it find its way to the final judge, Amelia Gray.
  3. Speaking of prestigious judges, Lauren Groff is the final judge for Electric Literature’s 2017 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize. I sent off the latest draft of a new flash story called “Rivet Here” with the poignant stories from Lauren Groff’s earlier collection “Delicate Edible Birds.”
    Which writer-judges do you admire?
  4. Epiphany was incredibly kind to send me a sample of last year’s winners for their Spring Contest in Fiction because I didn’t have time to buy and receive a print issue before the contest deadline. They’ll be reading “WINC-FM,” in the vein of the raw and realistic style of last year’s “The Radiance Of Sharing” by Jack Austin.
    Have a story of literary journal kindness? Leave a comment!

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Rejection from Glimmer Train

Rejection 5 on my journey to 50 submissions in 2017 came from Glimmer Train’s Family Matters Contest. 50 day response time. All four of my rejections from Glimmer Train are in the 50-60 day range so I appreciate their consistency and responsiveness!

Dear Arthur,

We really like reading November/December Family Matters contest submissions because of the many views they offer about the intimacy and challenges and importance of family. “WINC-FM” did not place this time, but it was a good story, and we’re glad to have read it—thank you!

Warm regards,

Susan & Linda
Glimmer Train Press

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Rejection from The Missouri Review

Rejection 1 on my journey to 50 submissions in 2017 came from The Missouri Review’s 2016 Fiction Contest. 100 day response time. 

The lack of personalization doesn’t feel great, but I see that more often with contests than open submissions. I appreciate them including all the winners and finalists in the email rather than making me click through or hunt them down on the web site.

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