July was pretty much a bust that has me wondering whether I should be writing at all. A friend says the summer’s lack of structure is not helping and that I’ll feel more like myself once the semester starts. We’ll see.
Here are my July statistics:
Poetry: Sent to six journals (Jewish Literary Journal, Rose Red Review, Rust + Moth, Whale Road Review, Springhouse, Foundry), no acceptances, seven rejections (Rust + Moth, Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, Arroyo Literary Review, Ploughshares, Foundry, Jewish Literary Journal, Hunger Mountain).
Short fiction: Entered an unpublished story into a contest.
Creative nonfiction: I queried a publisher about my genealogical memoir, We Are Rock Candy: Crystallization of a Jewish Family. The piece published in May by Jewish Literary Journal, “The Hands That Bind Us,” is a chapter from the manuscript. The publisher asked for my proposal and sample chapter.
Academic journal articles: Based on my presentation at June’s Children’s Literature Association, the Journal of Literature & Art Studies has asked me to submit my paper, “Recovering Marginalized Voices of the Holocaust through Children’s Picture Books and Graphic Novels.” Because my paper, “No Stone Unturned: Newark’s Grove Street Cemetery,” has been accepted for a panel on Newark at November’s New Jersey Historical Commission Forum, I’m finessing that for submission to New Jersey Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. My proposals to the Mid-Atlantic Pop Culture Association and the Northeast Pop Culture Association have been accepted, and I’ll be presenting on dance marathons of the 1920s and 1930s.
Other July activities: I wrote three picture book manuscripts, all of which are out in the market. One publisher suggested a topic and I hope to work on that in August.
Acceptances vs. Rejections
Poetry: 29 journals, 118 individual poems
Short stories: 8
Creative nonfiction: 4
Hooray! I’ve beat the goal of 100 rejections and the year’s not over yet! My acceptance rate for prose is much, much higher than it is for poetry. I think I have to take my poetry to a different level. I just signed up for a one-on-one, 10-week poetry class with poet Matthew Lippman, author of Salami Jew. I have a chapbook in mind.