Things that keep me from submitting

Journals that want long pieces.

Guidelines that say, “Send us something we’ve never seen before.”

Lack of nerve

Inability to stare at the computer for another second

Too many steps in the submission process


Irritating cover art

Journals I love (ahem Isotope) that are no longer in print (Damn you, Utah State!)

Best American Essays contributor notes

The dog

The fact that my submission notebook keeps being put in a different place (by elves, of course, not by me)

Compulsive reading


The preference to be compulsively reading while drinking beer

Ill-timed faltering of ambition

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Internet poisoning



Lack of inspiration


A vague sense of dread

The staggeringly large number of times Prairie Schooner has rejected me

What’s holding you back?


10 responses to “Things that keep me from submitting

  1. I am submitting; therefore, I’m at the stage where I scream at my email box everyday, “It’s been MONTHS you %&#$@!ers — whyyyyyyyyyyy?!?!”

    So you see I’m all c’est la vie about it all.

  2. What is it about submission which feels so final to you? I look forward to submission! Even when it results in rejection (which it often does), each rejection brings with it feedback, and I can get a better sense of how people are reading my work. Sure, my writing buddies can give me that feedback too, but they like me, and know more of the backstory than would a reviewer.

    Call, me crazy, but I look forward to submission and often have to slow myself down. There is even a brief pst-submission phase where one can dream of grandeur.

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