My Anti-Resume

The Unwritten Word introduced me to the idea of the anti-resume. Sure, we have a few lines of publishing credits on our resumes, if we’re lucky, but what about all the shit that’s been rejected? Oh, Unwritten Word, where do I begin?

My current submission records date back to 2005 (Was that the year you graduated from middle school, UW?), although I know I’ve submitted and been rejected (and accepted!) before that.

Poetry Journal Submissions

Form rejections: 68

Rejections with a scrap of encouragement included: 28

Acceptances: 11

Shaky poet math: 89.5% rejection rate

Prose Journal Submissions

Form rejections: 25

Rejections with a note: 11

Acceptances: 3

Shaky poet math: 88% rejection rate

Poetry Manuscript Submissions

Form rejections: 40

Nice notes I’ve gotten about the poetry manuscript: 0

100% rejection rate, baby!


Prize acceptance that was never followed by the promised publication and three or four queries to the publication have gone entirely unanswered: 1

Book anthology that I submitted to and never heard back from but I bought the book anyway, the jerks: 1

Number of times DP submitted his short story collection before he became a semi-finalist: 2*

*I still love him anyway.

Top five  journals that I just can’t seem to quit sending to no matter how many times they reject me (or in the case of Prairie Schooner, write encouraging notes and then reject me): Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, Crab Orchard Review, and Agni

What’s on your anti-resume?



22 responses to “My Anti-Resume

  1. Number of Writer’s Digest short story contests I have entered: 10

    Number of short stories I have written for Writer’s Digest short stories contests which I have not sent: stopped counting after 20

    Number of Writer’s Digest short stories my daughter has written and entered in a Writer’s Digest short story contest: 1 (out 750 entries she came in 2nd)

  2. Interesting concept!

    I think I’ll keep the specifics to myself, but my non-fiction rejection rate is lower than my fiction. Then again, I’ve written and submitted more non-fiction.

  3. In the beginning, it hurt like hell to get every single rejection. Then I learned to so my research for the right journals/magazines and send out dozens (I once sent out more than 60) of submissions at once, so every time I got a rejection I cared a lot less …. there were so many others left who could say yes.

    This is, of course, for short pieces. Trying to sell my book is going to be a nightmare.

  4. I am waiting for your fame, because I think I’ll coat tail on you. Can I? Please?

    You know I’ve published a fair few books. They get to be finalists in contests, and they start with a roar. Then, fizzle. Big time. i got a $50 royalty check this year for my last winner. Should I worry? I know how to get published. Too bad my books suck.

      • but you didn’t say if I could coat tail (was it because I should have said ‘coattail’ or ‘coat-tail’ or something other more palatable to a copy-editor?) off of your pending success. Did you know they’ll be selling the movie rights? Translations in 14 languages? YOUR book is going to be a hit!

  5. I finished graduate school in 2005, thankyouverymuch. 😛 Though it was similar to middle school in many ways. The drinking, for one.

    Wow. I’m really impressed 1) that you submitted so much to so many places and 2) that you kept such meticulous track of it all!

    Have you ever thought about teaching? I’d love to but don’t have the credits you do. You could be Educational Clause or maybe Adjunct Clause.

  6. Hey, unwrittenword: I reckon Indy has just invented the numbers. You know, poetic license and all that. Indy, count? Not likely….

  7. Pingback: Indy Clause, Killer of Dreams | Fangs and Clause

  8. Pingback: Anti-Acknowledgments | Fangs and Clause

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