May, June, July 2012 – Rejections

In February this year I shared a round of rejections with you, and as per many of subsequent blog posts, my submissions have slowed since May so not surprisingly my rejections are more spaced out as a result.

With that in mind, I’m sharing my May, June, and July 2012 rejections so you can see how it’s been going. The list is newest rejection to oldest, but I don’t think it matters.

  • Coriumpersonal rejection

My note on Corium: Prior to this rejection, I had 3 pieces I had to withdraw (Jan, April,  July) because stories were picked up by other journals. This time, even though I didn’t mention it, I subbed the piece exclusively, no sim-subs elsewhere. It wasn’t quite a fit, but I admire Lauren Becker, the editor, so I need to find a piece she likes. My quest continues.

  • The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts
  • – personal rejection
  • Juked
  • Matchbook
  • Gargoyle – personal rejection

My note on Gargoyle: This was my first experience submitting to Gargoyle. Mad, mad props to Richard Peabody, the editor, who has been doing his thing on Gargoyle for decades. How he has time to send personal rejection notes is a mystery to me given that he’s getting hundreds of submissions in the brief window he opens once a year in preparation for the following year’s edition of the magazine.

  • Sycamore Review
  • Right Hand Pointing – personal rejection
  • Flywheel Magazine – personal rejection
  • Quarterly West
  • A Public Space

My note on A Public Space: Sent inquiry after 6 months on status. No reply. Re-sent inquiry one month later (at 7 month wait period.) Personal reply received that they were backlogged on reading and my piece was still under consideration. Standard rejection form sent two months later. Total wait time: 9 months.

  • Booth: A Journal
  • Camroc Press – personal rejection
  • AGNI
  • Fringe
  • The Collagist
  • Hobart (print)
  • Diagram – personal rejection
  • The Prose Poem Project
  • Dark Sky Magazine – personal rejection
  • Salamander
  • Gigantic – personal rejection
  • This Great Society
  • Bellvue Literary Review
  • Kenyon Review
  • Juked

There you have it, make of it what you will. As for me, I continue to be very pleased with the level of personal engagement I have with many editors and I just keep on doing what I can to get the work out there.

What else is there for a writer to do anyway? You just have to keep at it, day by day.

If you have a favorite journal you’ve been hitting up, an editor you admire, a journal that maybe didn’t treat you as you would have liked, or a ridiculous wait period followed by a standard form rejection, feel free to share any and all in the comments (you know the drill, people!)


February 2012 Rejection

Okay, I’ve been resisting sharing my rejections. I’ve seen Court do it, I’ve seen Hannah do it, and there I was looking from the sidelines…but no more. I’m boldly going where…well, where Court and Hannah have lured me to go.

Here is the list of rejections from February 2012. I’ll note where the rejection had a personal note, vs. a standard form rejection. Make of it what you will…

I’d really appreciate any comments on this long list of shame. Do you guys find this interesting? Helpful? Amusing?


Wigleaf – personal

Carte Blanche


Elimae – personal


Passages North


Gigantic – personal

Fractured West

Neon – personal

Blood Orange Review

Mud Luscious Online

Black Warrior


Word Riot – personal

A-Minor – personal

Used Furniture Review

Third Coast

Beloit Poetry Journal – personal

Smokelong Quarterly

Camroc Press – personal

Flashquake – personal


The Collagist

Corium – personal

Grey Sparrow Press – personal

Kill author

Necessary Fiction – personal


The Northville Review

Revolution House – personal

Slushpile – personal




CDeminski’s Blog Fiction Collection

My blog is only a few days away from it’s birthday, which is hard for me to believe. In the twelve months since I began blogging, I’ve posted over 165 items.

I’ve been thinking about how new readers can more easily navigate the blog.

With so many posts, it’s challenging to go through them. Even if you use the tag cloud, the archive pull down menu, or the calendar none of these tools puts lists of things together in an easy to use way.

As a result, I’ve created a new page called the Blog Fiction Collection.

The purpose of this page is to conveniently pull together all flash fiction, prose poems and humor items that I have self-published on the blog.

I hope you’ll go and check out some and breathe new life and comments into some of these postings that are still good reads, if I do say so myself.

A few of these pieces also have audio files attached if you’d like to listen to me read them.


Top 10 movies I’ve never seen

In doing all these lists, I realized there are still movies out there I haven’t seen from beginning to end that I probably should.  Some of these are big, famous films that I’ve somehow never gotten around to…and others I’ll have to admit I’ve avoided.

  • Gone with the Wind (I’ve just never been all that interested. I saw Dr. Zhivago and I thought “eh.” Zhivago seems 60’s and dated now, in my opinion.)
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s (I’ve seen parts, but not the whole thing from beginning to end. I’ve also never seen Charade or Roman Holiday either, oops)
  • The Maltese Falcon (Seen parts, but not the whole thing)
  • Last Tango in Paris (this was controversial at the time it came out, I remember that much)
  • Dial M for Murder and Strangers on a Train (which Throw Momma from the Train was based on, and I loved that comedy with Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito)
  • The Birth of a Nation (yeah, I know I “should” see it for historical reference purposes, I just never have…)
  • The Seventh Seal (the only reason I want to see this Ingmar Bergman flick is because Marty Scorsese and Woody Allen say it’s like the best movie of all time, but it seems like an acquired taste)
  • The 400 Blows (same as #7, Truffaut is one of those film makers I know I should watch)
  • Nashville (I love all things Altman, I’m embarassed to say I haven’t seen this one)
  • Dr. Strangelove (I’ve seen parts, of course everyone has seen the shot of that guy riding the bomb, but I’ve never seen the whole thing beginning to end.)

What movies should you see that you haven’t (yet)?

More Top Movies – Devastating Performances

I woke up this morning with my head swimming with movies I forgot to mention…fantastic movies that are crying out to be here, and again, I’m sure I could keep going and going… these dozen represent high water marks of talent and performance in my mind.

  1. Amadeus (Tom Hulce and of course F. Murray Abraham are amazing)
  2. Breaking the Waves (what an amazing performance by Emily Watson!)
  3. Marathon Man (Dustin Hoffman and Sir Lawrence Olivier, could you ask for more?)
  4. The Boys from Brazil (Gregory Peck is haunting)
  5. The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 (the ORIGINAL with Walter Matthau thank you very much)
  6. Ocean’s 11 (not the original with Frank Sinatra, the new one with George, Brad, Matt and co. Okay, okay – lots of hunky guys who are easy on the eyes)
  7. Little Big Man (another incredible performance by Dustin Hoffman)
  8. Bound (Gina Gershon knocks it out of the park)
  9. The Big Chill (what a cast!)
  10. The Apartment (Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine are delish)
  11. Gandhi (Ben Kingsley won the Oscar for this one, as he should have)
  12. Less Than Zero (Robert Downey Jr. is devastating in this, and it foreshadows aspects of his struggles with drugs in his own life…)

Top 50 Movies, Directors, Actors List

Here is my Top 50 “movie industry” list. These 50+ items represent a broad cross-section of talented actors, screen writers and directors I love and/or admire tremendously.

I’m sure I could have kept going, and I know the second I post this I’ll remember 25 more that could have made this list…

This is NOT in priority order because that wouldn’t be possible….I tried to mix it up to keep it interesting. That said, if an individual movie is listed, it means I’ve seen it more than once – and in some cases – many more than that.

  1. The Piano
  2. Groundhog Day
  3. The Ten Commandments
  4. Good Will Hunting
  5. His Girl Friday
  6. The Shining
  7. The Harry Potter series
  8. Fried Green Tomatoes
  9. Blue Sky
  10. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
  11. Some Like It Hot
  12. Tombstone
  13. Blade Runner
  14. Glory
  15. American Beauty
  16. Rounders
  17. Misery
  18. Rain Man
  19. Addicted to Love
  20. The Red Violin
  21. An American in Paris
  22. Raise the Red Lantern (Chinese)
  23. Only the Lonely
  24. Sling Blade
  25. The Crying Game
  26. The Wizard of Oz
  27. Platoon
  28. Sea of Love
  29. Out of Sight
  30. 12 Monkeys
  31. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  32. The Hunt for Red October
  33. Star Wars (the first 3 movies released)
  34. Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (but I saw every single ST movie ever released and loved them)
  35. Steven Spielberg, including but not limited to: uh, a LOT. Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List, ET, Empire of the Sun, Jurrasic Park, Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, Munich, etc.
  36. Charlie Kaufman, including but not limited to: Adaptation; Synecdoche, New York; Being John Malkovich, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  37. The Coen Brothers, including but not limited to: Fargo, No Country for Old Men, O Brother Where Art Thou, Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona, etc.
  38. Mel Brooks, including but not limited to: Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, The 2000 year old man (not a movie, so sue me), Spaceballs, The Producers, History of the World Pt I, etc.
  39. David Mamet, including but not limited to: Heist, The Spanish Prisoner, Ronin, The Edge, Glengarry Glen Ross, etc.
  40. Woody Allen, including but not limited to: Bananas, Hannah and Her Sisters, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Match Point, etc.
  41. Albert Brooks, including but not limited to: Defending Your Life, Lost in America, Mother, Broadcast News, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, etc.
  42. Martin Scorsese, including but not limited to: Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The Age of Innocence, Casino, The Departed, Kundun, etc.
  43. Quentin Tarantino, including but not limited to: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, and Inglorious Basterds
  44. Wes Anderson, including but not limited to: The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Fantastic Mr. Fox
  45. Jim Jarmusch, including but not limited to: Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Broken Flowers, Down By Law, Dead Man
  46. John Hughes, including but not limited to: Uncle Buck; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; Home Alone; The Breakfast Club;
  47. Meryl Streep, including but not limited to: The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Sophie’s Choice, The Bridges of Madison County, Silkwood, Out of Africa, Defending Your Life, Death Becomes Her, Adaptation, The Devil Wears Prada, A Prarie Home Companion, Julie and Julia, Fantastic Mr. Fox, It’s Complicated, etc.
  48. Tom Hanks, including but not limited to: Big, The Money Pit, A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle, Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Catch Me If You Can, The Green Mile, Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story, etc.
  49. Robert Redford, including but not limited to: (Directing) The Milagro Beanfield War, A River Runs Through It, The Horse Whisperer, The Legend of Bagger Vance, etc. AND (Acting) Out of Africa, Indecent Proposal, The Horse Whisperer, The Sting
  50. Gene Hackman, including but not limited to: The French Connection, Hoosiers, Mississippi Burning, Unforgiven, The Firm, Get Shorty, The Birdcage, Enemy of the State, Heist, The Royal Tennenbaums
  51. Robert Duval, including but not limited to: Get Low, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Colors, A Family Thing, etc.
  52. Edward Norton, including but not limited to: Primal Fear, Rounders, American History X, Fight Club, The Illusionist, 25th Hour, Keeping the Faith (directed & acted), etc.
  53. Michael Keaton, including but not limited to: The Dream Team, Clean and Sober, Multiplicity, Jackie Brown, Batman Returns, etc.

Reasons Why Your Short Story Was Rejected


Dear Writer,

Here are the reasons why your short story was rejected from our fine, upstanding and highly reputable literary magazine.  We have won no awards, and until we listed ourselves on Duotrope no one knew who we were, but our standards are extremely rigorous. 


We expect nothing but the best, we don’t accept haiku or limericks, and please stop sending us submissions in Russian, Polish and Slovakian. We called ourselves the Red Army Journal but we expect you to understand it has nothing to do with the actual Red Army.

Read all of the fiction in our archives before submitting, or permanently subscribe to our mailing list so we can send you five emails a week despite the fact that we will never accept your stories. Slavish devotion to our journal does not equate to reciprocal love.

Please send us documents only in kju, or opp formats.  If you have never heard of them, that is your problem, those are the only formats we accept.  We accept submissions on Thursdays from 2:35pm PST until 5:40pm EST except in months with 30 days, then we don’t.

As you know, we are only staffed by part-time volunteers whose mothers have nagged them relentlessly about why they got an MFA when a Computer Science degree would have allowed them to move out of the basement.  Regardless, we have entrusted your work to our lovable grunts, and here are their highly esteemed opinions which we have carefully crafted into a form letter rejection for you:

  1. I read the first line of your story and I kind of liked it, then my cat barfed on the floor and I had to go clean it up.  Have you ever smelled cat barf, writer? It stinks.  When I sat back down I was in a bad mood.  I re-read your first sentence and determined it to be the work of a hack. (FORM REJECTION)
  2. I liked your submission and sent it on to the second volunteer reader. She didn’t like it.  The third volunteer reader was not available (she is with her boyfriend and not doing her slushpile reading!)  I argued with volunteer #2, but she convinced me to go drinking instead.  On our third glass of Chardonnay we decide you are better off being rejected in the hopes you will take up Computer Science. You can’t get a good night’s sleep in a basement. One sentence personal rejection inside the (FORM REJECTION.)
  3. I hated your story.  I especially hated the fact that I had written a story that was similar to this one, and it had been my first rejection.  That magazine has never accepted one of my stories and I really liked that story.  That was my favorite story and it still hasn’t found a home. (FORM REJECTION)
  4. Your story was really funny and witty.  We don’t like funny or witty. (FORM REJECTION)
  5. Your story was 2001 words and if you read our submission guidelines, which you are now blatently violating, you would know that we only accept fiction pieces from 1-2000 words.  Why couldn’t you just edit out one word for us? Just pick a word, any word, at random and take it out.  Then you would have had a fantastic story and we would have accepted it.  (FORM REJECTION)
  6. Your story is perfectly attuned to our submissions guidelines.  I love this kind of writing and value it highly.  Unfortunately, I’ve run out of funding and I just can’t run this magazine by myself anymore.  I’m closing shop and getting a job as a waiter, but I’m sure you’ll find a home for this story elsewhere, writer.
  7. Your story was the best story ever submitted to us.  This story is so good, we wouldn’t be able to compare it to any other story we’ve ever published.  In fact, we can’t compare it to anything because your story has been lost in our electronic submissions management system. Bill left the magazine a year ago and the submissions management system has been a mess since then.  Maybe you’ll query us after you haven’t heard back in nine months, but it won’t matter, we’re never going to find it.

Reasons Why Your Story Was Accepted:

We only needed one more piece to complete this issue, and yours was small enough to fit perfectly.

Reasons Why Fran Lebowitz Has Writer’s Block


 Reasons Why Fran Lebowitz Has Writer’s Block

  1. $10-a-pack cigarettes can’t be smoked in restaurants, taxis, bookstores, or the 92nd Street Y.

  2. The only tea parties held in Manhattan require cucumber sandwiches.

  3. The words celebutante, reality TV, and molecular gastronomy do not appear in dictionaries from the 1970’s. Neither does laptop.

  4. She’s setting the VCR to record Rachel Maddow.

  5. One does not go to a disco to do cocaine; one goes to a club to do X.

  6. Kids don’t know about Erica Jong, Gloria Steinem, Stonewall or mood rings.

  7. Times Square is not riddled with drugs, prostitutes, or graffiti, it’s got something worse: tourists.

  8. Everyone thinks she’s that woman who took photos for Vanity Fair.