Saturday, January 17, 2009

Strikeout Contest - 2nd place

Rejections hurt, but I am getting better at accepting them. A LOT better.

In 2008, I had 188 rejections. I'm pleased to announce that earned me 2nd Place in the Jack Fryrear/Babe Ruth Strikeout Contest for 2008 - sponsored by Barbara Fryrear, longtime member of the Trinity Writers' Workshop. The "winner", Sheryl Nelms, had 252 rejections.

The idea behind the contest is that while Babe Ruth was a Home Run King, he was also a Strikeout King. If you don't go up to bat at all, you'll never know what could happen - a swing or a miss. Thus, the more writing you submit to journals, etc, the more chances you have of being published. Indeed, I did have 23 acceptances last year, so I hit at a decent 10% success rate.

Quickest rejection - 1 hour. I consider that cold. I emailed a submission and was rejected in one lousy hour. At least let my words simmer for awhile and then fizzle out. There should be a 24 hour rule - don't slap someone down in one hour. Harsh, very harsh.

Longest time to rejection - 1 year. Yep, I received a letter of rejection, didn't remember the journal, looked back in my records, and it had been one year. Now that's a lot of fermentation. I like to think my piece was pushed out of the running by someone like Joyce Carol Oates.

Hard to understand rejections - I receive some nice notes that say the editor "enjoyed the humor and liked the piece" ( my hopes are up) but..............that's the kicker...........the but, "we aren't going to use your submission." (dashed to the ground) Sigh.

Publishing is a wacky business. I need to hit the right piece at the right time to the right person in the right frame of mind. Then it's a home run.

2009 - I've sent out eleven cherished pieces to find a home, and one has been rejected already. I'm coddling it, reworking it a bit, and shall send it on its way again soon.

Wish me luck.


  1. Hey, Joanne, I'm glad you've joined us in the blogging world. Welcome aboard!

    Congrats on the 2nd place win. These days there is hot competition for 2nd.

    Keep on sending them out!

  2. I know rejections are hard but you are a trooper to keep sending them out til you find the right place for it. I'm not too good at the marketing end of stuff. I have some poetry and a few short stories I send out sometimes--mostly to contests. I got a couple of poems accepted last year at Descant (TCU Magazine) but I think it's because I went to grad school with the editor. I try to send out a couple of queries every week on The Crossing and send it to contests and stuff. Still editing my query letter and synopsis and researching agents. It's a hard business and can be harsh. But we're gonna get published. I believe that.

  3. My fastest record for a rejection was less than a minute! The longest is 18 months and counting - of course that could turn out to be an acceptance but I'm thinking it either got lost or is at the bottom of a very large stack of submissions. Congrats on the sheer volume of submissions you have sent in. You're ahead of F. Scott Fitzgerald who had 287 rejections before he ever sold a word.