The Rejection Quilt

Being quiet around here means I’ve been dealing with a lot of rejection and getting angrier than I should:

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rejection2

There is really no reason for this seething because: 1) This is nothing new to me, 2) I know it isn’t personal, 3) there are tons of submissions, and of course, 4) publication is largely a luck of the draw, depending on who is reading, what that person likes, the mood they’re in, the point they are in their life, and all these other variables that are well beyond my control. See? I’m being levelheaded. And yet.

Melissa and I were talking recently about how we should make quilts out of our rejections. To keep us warm at night. I sometimes think about making an Excel spreadsheet of all my rejections and acceptances, but realize that may only exacerbate my problem. This is the literary rabbit hole: We’re all mad here, Alice.

Here are some good things that actually haven’t made me feel crazy:

I’ve missed reading submissions. I like to see what people are trying to write, what kind of vibes are out there in the literary zeitgeist. You can distinguish patterns after a while. I’ve thought again and again about starting my own literary journal, but I always decide against it. It’s a huge commitment and I think I’d just rather spend more time working on my own writing instead.

I’ve been using Ello as more of an unfiltered brain collage. Like Twitter but with less people scrolling through. I told Facebook how I was enjoying it because no one is there. This was something I posted:

I don’t know how I feel about social media anymore. I used to love it (genuinely and unironically) back in the days of MySpace and Livejournal, but I have a much more bittersweet relationship to it all now. I think this is mostly because: 1. There is so much content and noise to filter through that it hardly seems worth the time, and 2. there’s not very much dialogue, despite there being plenty of words. I used to have a much better sense of community too, which is something I thought was not very important to me. How things change.

I guess I don’t really know where to put the words anymore. What goes where? Does it matter? Won’t it achieve the same result if I just scribble to myself in a notebook? I’ve never been the writer who thinks about audience or even thinks about having an audience at all. I just do it to do it. Social media isn’t about promotion for me, it’s about productive discussion and connecting to people who might make good friends someday. Not even readers, necessarily.

It’s October already. The year is disappearing. I made a new mix tape on 8tracks that’s all about witches and witchcraft:

The Smell of Cinders and Rain

I don’t know much about road trips. What little I do know about them comes from memories of anticipation in the backseat on our way to the Magic Kingdom and the dreams of my own city of multicolored monorails. Who ever cared about the rides? Or Mickey Mouse? Only the monorails ever mattered.

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This Fourth of July was the first time I ever took to the road by myself. I drove until I was nearly in Georgia. A new friend let me stay at his place. Friends are now only ever found online, or else, in books. The cicadas were very loud, a full-on orchestra of insect legs. There were Southern accents and Sonic’s to drive up to. I’d assumed that Sonic was just a drive-thru you saw in commercials, a television myth. At night, there were explosions from fireworks and burning barrels the neighbors were using to get rid of old things. Watching movies inside, we inhaled all the smoke from the fires. Heading home, the rain soon returned with a familiar earthy musk. A breath out. I wonder about wanderlust and why that was never a rhythm I could rest my temple on.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the extremely positive response to my list of journals. It somehow caught fire via social media and ended up with a mention in the Review Review newsletter. I received emails from editors asking to be included (which I was more than happy to oblige) and teachers thanking me for taking the time to put it together, that it would be useful for their classes. I hope it will continue to prove useful for some weary internet travelers.

tartaruspersona3

About a week ago, Cartridge Lit published a poem of mine. They’re a newer journal interested in publishing videogame literature and interviewing writers who play games. My poem was partially inspired by my experience playing through the videogame Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. I am very interested in the intersections between these forms of media, especially in how they shape and influence identity. Recently, I read this post by Merritt Kopas about hypertext and the exploration of sexuality, gender, and body issues. Why shouldn’t videogames tackle these subjects? I’m happy to see how the medium is rapidly expanding to include these spaces and provide a new means of personal expression. We can’t have enough of those.

List of Literary Journals for LGBTQ Writers, Women, and Writers of Color

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In a previous post, I mentioned my desire to compile a list of journals and presses that exclusively focus on publishing underrepresented voices, such as women, LGBTQ writers, and writers of color. I’ve finally managed to pull something together that hopefully may prove to be a good starting point and resource for those writers who may wish to find a good home for their writing. Or maybe readers who wish to read more widely or diversely. Or editors who strive to be more inclusive. Quite a few of these are hybrid magazines too (women of color, Latino/a queer writers, etc.).

If you know of any that are not mentioned here, don’t be afraid to send me a message! I’ll try to update it whenever I make a new discovery.

(Note: I tried to focus only on those journals and presses that seem to be still open to submissions and aren’t yet defunct.)

LGBTQ:

Adrienne
Arktoi Books
Assaracus
BLOOM
Chelsea Station
Educe Journal
Gertrude Press
Glitterwolf Magazine
Headmistress Press
Iris Fiction
Jonathan
Lavender Review
Magnus Books
OCHO
Plenitude Magazine
Polari Journal
Provocateur Magazine
qu.ee/r Magazine
Raspa Magazine
Seal Press
Sibling Rivalry Press
Sinister Wisdom
St. Sebastian Review
THEM Lit
Topside Press
Wilde Magazine

Women:

Blackberry
Bone Bouquet
Broad! Magazine
CALYX Journal
Damselfly Press
dancing girl press
Dorothy
Kalyani Magazine
Luna Luna Magazine
Minerva Rising
Quaint Magazine
The Riveter
ROAR Magazine
Room Magazine
So to Speak
Two Serious Ladies
WomenArts Quarterly

Writers of color:

Acentos Review
Asian American Literary Review
CHA: An Asian Literary Journal
Huizache
Jalada
Kartika Review
Manoa Journal
Mascara Literary Review
Palabra Literary Magazine
Redbone Press
The Missing Slate
Yuan Yang

Etc. (diversity, underrepresented voices):

Diverse Voices Quarterly
Muzzle Magazine
Red Umbrella Project’s Prose & Lore
Solstice Literary Magazine
Union Station Magazine