Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Rejection Evening

My Submittable account no longer sends me e-mail updates about my submissions.  I can't figure out how to fix it--all the settings seem correct, and Submittable e-mails aren't going to my Spam file.

And let me take a minute to note what a strange collection of e-mails goes to my Spam file.  I'm always intrigued to see what ends up there--and who/what is sending these e-mails?  How do I get on some of these lists?

I feel the same way about all the ads which jump into motion when I'm reading e-mails or online newspapers.  Yesterday was one of those days when I thought about paying for the ad-free platforms, just to avoid ads.  I used to feel the same way about cable, back when I watched much T.V.

Interesting to think that the Internet is the new T.V.--both distracting and enriching.

But that's not what I came here to explore.  I wanted to write about my evening of rejection.

The last time I went to my Submittable account, in early August, I took heart by how my poetry book manuscript seemed to be in consideration in so many places.  I've been submitting it about once a month.  Last night I saw 3 rejections.  Sigh.

But I want to record that my manuscript was a semifinalist in the 2019 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award competition.  There were almost 400 manuscripts, according to the rejection e-mail.

As I was reading the e-mail, I thought about the familiarity of this language of rejection.  The language is so similar to the rejection letters I used to get back when I did my most aggressive job hunting.  It's a version of "it's not you, it's me" that I first heard about in a Seinfeld episode.

In a way, the news is good.  My manuscript does stand out in a field of 400 manuscripts from poets who have yet to publish a first book.  I haven't always gotten that feedback from earlier submission years.

Let me not spend too much time thinking about how many earlier submission years there have been.  Let me keep going with my plan:  to make judicious submissions, to contests where I see a judge who resonates with me or to contests where I'm supporting a press I believe in or to contests which give me a book in exchange for my submission.

Let me keep working on other projects too.  I've put together a new chapbook this year, and that process has made me feel hopeful too.

Next week, I want to put a plan into place that will lead to me work on my apocalyptic novel on a more regular basis.  I need to create that plan.

The weeks are zooming by.  I am astonished at how long I've been at this writing and publishing process.

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