A project without a framework is…well, it’s often poetry. But in this case, I think The Rejection Project would benefit from a few rules to keep me moving. They aren’t hard, fast rules because those never work for me. They’re more like guidelines. A series of steps to help me get started when I hit a wall.
Choose a publication to submit to from my rejection pile. I plan to start with the classic, old-school paper rejections, then move on to the digital ones.
Makes sure they still exist. This is publishing and we’re all dust in the winds of change here, so some of these markets may be kaput. RIP old markets. Thank you for sharing words, even if it was only for a while.
Read their submission policies. There are some insta-no policies for me when it comes to submitting. I won’t pay to submit. I may opt not to submit to publishers who don’t allow simultaneous submission and have extremely long response times. I play this one by ear. Since I’m making up the rules, I can break them, too. This step is also a great time to take note of upcoming themes, contests, or special issues that could act as inspiration.
Read a few current issues, if I can. This step will require some flexibility. As much as I’d like to subscribe to everyone—I just can’t. This will be a mix of perusing online content, flexing my library muscles, and grabbing issues when and where I’m able.
Write the damn thing.
Submit the damn thing.
That’s it. The whole shebang. I’ll post after (and probably during) each submission. If you’re playing along, let me know how it works out for you. 2021 quieted so many of our voices. I’d love to see 2022 be a year full of all the words that were stuck in our collective throats (or pens)(or keyboards).