Much like my love life, my poetry journey is fraught with rejections. This year, I kept a record of my poetry submissions and have some statistics to share.
- This year, I submitted to 𝟓𝟖 journals in total, and was rejected by 𝟒𝟖 of them.
- 𝟔 journals accepted my poems, while 𝟒 are still actively in progress.
- If we omit the 𝟒 in-progresses, my poetry saw an 𝟖𝟕.𝟓% rejection rate. I’ll take it.
- Most rejections in a row: 𝟐𝟑 journals rejected me between Feb to July.
- Out of the 𝟒𝟖 rejections, 𝟔 were personalised rejections, which was very encouraging and heartening.
𝐌𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐩𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧:
- The Boys in the Lineup (𝟏𝟖 times)
- Brittle Nut (𝟏𝟔 times)
- Blackbird Gallery (𝟏𝟑 times)
*The Boys and Brittle Nut have just been accepted for publication, which I am immensely grateful for. Coming in early 2021.
𝐒𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐫𝐞𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐲𝐞𝐭 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐩𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬
- Pedigree (rejected 𝟏𝟕 times)
- Sun Chasing (𝟏𝟕 times)
- Dear Long Night (𝟏𝟑 times)
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐈 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥
I feel pretty okay! I have been actively submitting for over two years now, and recognise that literary journals reject a vast majority of work. So the rejections felt okay. (Although I must say, getting rejected by 23 journals in a row was a tad demoralising)
I am also glad that I received more personalised rejections this year. Personalised rejections are a special kind of hell but it also meant that the editors felt bad enough to drop a special rejection; which I will always hold dear.
For my writery friends who are actively submitting and who may feel discouraged, please understand that journal rejections must never be conflated with the quality of your writing. Keep putting yourself out there, and keep getting rejected!
I had a strong compulsion to return to Coney Island for a while– to see the rides at Luna Park at dusk, to walk along the boardwalk during sunset. There was something about the neon lights and bright rides that invoked in me a certain kind of longing, as if I had a fond childhood memory there I am trying to bring back to life. Except that I’ve only been to Coney Island as a tourist, in my adulthood, so I found this strong nostalgia out of place.
If I were to analyse it, maybe this is one of the reasons: a day out in a wonderland like Coney Island signifies a celluloid-screen childhood outing, and maybe deep down inside I crave a picture-perfect wonderland experience with someone. Maybe that is what that longing actually is, and Coney Island just happened to fit into the spot between cultural influence and expectation.
It’s funny, because I am someone who is used to my own company; and dare I say, assured in it, preferred it, that I hardly ever feel lonely. When I am with people, I feel that I have to be ‘on’, that I must engage, that I am constantly thinking and thinking. When I am alone, I do not leave impressions, there’s no observer, I’m in that quantum state of anonymity, and it is liberating.
Yet there are days I do get lonely. And as I grow older, I find that those days occur more frequently. Sometimes I want to be amongst people, share experiences, share a joke, communicate. Yet even as I recognise these wants, there’s a part of me that thinks: this is a vulnerability. It is a Flaw to not be self reliant.
I guess the sum of it is that I am still very much an island, but I feel, I want, more visitors now.
Please enjoy these photos of Coney Island. I am very much an amateur photographer, so the light flares are horrid, do forgive any technical and artistic flaws.