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Rejections

Rejections 335, 336, 337, & 338

Jac Jemc

Whoo! It's September and school is in session and journal readers are hard at work reading those summer submissions. 

I've received four in the last week! Three were encouraging: A Public Space, The Laurel Review and Tupelo Quarterly. One seems like more a flat-out rejection from Mid-American Review. 

Do I like kind encouragement more than acceptance? Possibly. 

Poetry Book Rejection

Jac Jemc

Goodnight, sweetheart, goodnight. 

Goodnight, sweetheart, goodnight. 

Noemi declined my poetry collection, and, with that, I believe I am hanging up my poetry hat for a while. I read through the collection again when the rejection came and had to admit the work seems weaker the longer I hold it in my hands. Maybe at some point I'll go back through a revise, but, for now, I have prose interests that feel more pressing. Goodbye, sweet poetry hopes. I never quite figured you out. 

Residency Rejection and Waitlist

Jac Jemc

Today I found my name engraved in plastic on my office door at Lake Forest and it made me very happy. 

Today I found my name engraved in plastic on my office door at Lake Forest and it made me very happy. 

In the last of my residency applications, I was rejected by Djerassi and waitlisted for a return trip to Ragdale. I'm a little disappointed, but then I remind myself of all of the great luck I've had, and I think the one residency I have lined up for June of next year, at the Rensing Center, is more than enough what with book tour for travel and whatnot. 

Thankful.

Rejection 334

Jac Jemc

Nothin in between.

Nothin in between.

n+1 had sent an encouraging note last time around, and this time it seems more form. Admittedly, the story I sent them was a bit long for any journal, so I understand. I don't know where these long stories are coming from. I used to struggle to break a thousand words and now they're passing the 10k mark. So strange, but trying to stay open and learn even if it means the work doesn't find a home easily.

Rejection 333

Jac Jemc

Silver tuna. 

Silver tuna. 

Black Warrior Review rejected another story of mine. Someday! I've been really trying to match what I think they want, but still no luck. Good to have a goal!

 

 

Rejection 331, Residency Rejection & Essay Published

Jac Jemc

The essay equivalent of Banksy's Dismaland.

The essay equivalent of Banksy's Dismaland.

Slice Magazine let me know the story I sent them wasn't the perfect fit for their upcoming "Corporeal" issue. I thought the story was a good fit. It's about an orthopedic surgeon's ego, but oh well. 

Amtrak rejected me for their train residency this year. I am ok with that. I am still skeptical of their terms, if I'm being honest. 

BUT! An essay I started working on a year and a half ago, about a trip I took to Disney World 2 years ago is live at the Fanzine. I'd be honored if you read Doing Too Much: Death and the American Vacation.

Rejections 329 and 330

Jac Jemc

I hate endings, but I love coming to the end. 

I hate endings, but I love coming to the end. 

Granta didn't want the story I sent them and n+1 sent what I believe to be an encouraging rejection?

No matter. I'm here in Denmark with amazing writers from around the world and I've made it through two passes through my next novel, so that's terrific. And I'm working on a new story as well. 

And this afternoon I'll be in conversation with Amanda Michalopoulou, a Greek writer whom I greatly admire and who has proven an excellent companion for the past few weeks, at the King's Chamber in Viborg. 

Tak.

Bread Load Rejection

Jac Jemc

Slices falling like dominos. 

Slices falling like dominos. 

If I'm being honest, I'd always been curious about applying to a conference like Bread Loaf, but never took steps to actually apply until I received a note saying a former fellow had recommended me. I took this vote of confidence and applied to be a fellow (fully funded, not like a general contributor who pays their own way). I found out this morning that I wasn't admitted, but this means I can attend a friend's wedding that fell in the middle of the conference, so it's all meant to be, it seems. Maybe some other year!

Residency Rejection

Jac Jemc

I was not chosen as one of four writers-in-residence for the Jack Kerouac Project in Orlando. This seems acceptable. Their response was kind and complimentary, if not specific, so I don't know if it's just a generous form rejection, but either way, I liked reading it. 

Recently, a slew of people have expressed supportive jealousy for the residencies I've been going on. I agree I am in a privileged position to be able to take this time and actually attend the residencies these past few months and to economically secure enough to pay the application fees that accompany many of them (I've spent close to $700 by my estimates and this has forced some thriftiness in other areas of my life, but the residencies I've gone on have been almost entirely fully funded), but the way I've come by these residencies has not been without quite a bit of effort. I applied to A LOT of residencies this year. To paint a really realistic picture of how many I've applied for and how those results break down, here are the numbers:

Accepted: 5 (14%)

Accepted, but not given enough funding to attend: 3 (9%)

Waitlisted: 7 (20%)

Declined: 16 (46%)

Still waiting to hear back: 4 (11%)

Total Applied: 35

As always, I'm embarrassed by how high the percentage is for how many have declined my applications, but it's reality. I'm not interested in convincing you I'm fancier than I am. I'm not sure what can be gathered from these numbers--if my results are a lot higher or lower than average, what the results would be if I made my application stronger--but I do feel ultimately satisfied with the results. Because of some other life events, I'm only attending 3 of the 5 I was accepted to this year, but one organization allowed me to delay my acceptance until next summer, so I've got one lined up for next year, which might actually be a lovelier result than attending all 4 this year? All sorts of anecdotal evidence points to the idea that applying more than once to a particular residency improves your chances of being accepted, and I'm happy there are lots of other residencies to explore in the future. If those rejections were good for nothing else, it was lovely to research all of these places and dream about attending. For now, 91% of the applications are a dream deferred.

P.S. I just want to add a note that this is NOT a typical representation of my residency application habits. Some years I've applied for none and sometimes I apply for 2-3 and am rejected from all of them and feel heartbroken. These numbers are representative of an application cycle for which I had saved up for years to take time off and focus on writing for a few months, and I wanted residencies to be a significant part of that experience. Just FYI, so you don't think I'm applying for 35 every year. But these numbers is helpful in thinking about how many I should apply for if I want to get ONE residency in a future year, assuming my percentages stay about the same.

P.P.S. Monster shout-out to the three wonderful people who wrote me recommendation letters and sent those puppies off whenever an application wouldn't allow an interfolio upload.