Tiered Rejections

For most of the 4th quarter of 2020, I received no acceptances. Discouraging. My number of active submissions fell below my goal of 10. However, 3 of the rejection e-mails used language like, “Didn’t find space” or “Didn’t fit in this issue” with a request to submit again and naming a specific poem they liked. I thought of these as personalized. Turns out there’s a name for these, tiered rejections. A journal often has several tiers of rejections with generic No at the bottom and varying amounts of encouragement and feedback. There’s even a Wiki with rejection letters from literary journals to help you figure out how you are doing.

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