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).
With the Valentine’s rush at work over, I have a minute to share the stories I had published during the great pause of 2020.
My very short story, Waking From the Longest Sleep, was published in the December issue of Dwelling Literary. In it, a depressed Auggie gets a mysterious missive that might save her from a holiday alone on the couch.
Perhaps my most experimental story, Weeding The Experiential Archives lets you take a peek inside the weeding process at an unusual future library. It was shared by Quilliad, a smaller magazine full of big ideas.
I’ve had a few more stories accepted recently, so if you dig my prose garden, there’s more sprouts coming soon! I’ll keep you posted. And you can always read find my short stories gathered here.
CENTRING OUR CREATIVE COMMUNITY
It can be hard to describe a writer’s vibe, especially one as inventive as Jennifer Hudak. The closest I can get is that her work is the spec. fic. equivalent of elevated comfort food. You feel at home as soon as you enter the worlds she builds, but there’s alway an unexpected flavour to surprise the palate. Even her unsettling stories leave you craving another serving. You can find most of her work here, on her website.
It’s been a busy week for releases! My short spec-fic piece, Weeding the Experiential Archives, is in the latest issue of Quilliad. It is available to read or download to your device here. This story is inspired by my childhood spent building my own collection of books bought for a quarter from the library discard bin. I wondered what the future version of this would look like. This was a fun one to write as—something most folks don’t know—I’m a library and information technician. Writing this story helped justify 2 years of cataloguing class. Library people know what I mean.
Centring our Creative Community
If you haven’t checked out Spoonie Authors Network, what are you waiting for? Oh. More spoons? Fair. When you have the spoons, visit them and enjoy interviews, tips, and a kickin’ podcast. And if you don’t know what a Spoonie is, they have you covered there too! The network has a focus on disabled and chronically ill creators, but the tips are broadly applicable and can help any author improve their work.
This poem was written to celebrate Augur Magazine reaching their 200th backer on their Kickstarter. Yay! If you’d like to back them, click here. Even if you can’t, please share the Kickstarter wherever you can. And no matter what, enjoy this promised poem about space cake.
Happy Birthday to Me
by H. E. Casson
(CW: Food, family separation)
From here in space
I think of you
While eating cake
It made me stop
Is that I’ll never lick the blades
You know –
From when you beat the eggs
Flour, butter, cream
And then you’d scream
“Turn that thing off
And get this treat!”
(There always was a thing –
Off it’d go
And you would show me
How to lick
Between the blades
Until we’d made
A mess of us
I’ll tell you
Cake in outer space
Is soft and moist
To keep its shape
It floats and clings
The crew all sings
Happy birthday squeezed
And I am seized
By memories of you
And how I’ll never lick the blades
Created by a cake you’ve made
I traded cake for
And outer space is bigger than
The memories we make
Than the smell of chocolate cake
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License