I've worked as Prairie Schooner's Nonfiction Assistant Editor since 2011, during which time we've published a range of authors whose essays have gone on to be nationally recognized. Read more about my aesthetic and the submissions that excite me. Check out the archives, online Fusions, interviews, and blog content, and stay updated via social media.
Every writer experiences rejection. Yet we tend to suffer in silence, nursing our egos and refreshing our inboxes for news of the next editorial decision. Is there a better way to approach this inevitability of literary life? The answer is yes! Here are some tips for preventing, and getting over, the rejection blues.
"They were those pieces that did not rely on the extremes of circumstance or emotion, those that resisted the easy narrative, the simple resolution. Often, essays that were memorable were those that swam in the gray area between being and feeling, remembering and knowing.
While humans share many of the same situations—we receive many submissions about dying grandparents or the loss of a lover, finding solace in addictive behavior or the same meandering rivers—we each have different stories, different insights we find in these shared experiences, and here lies the heart of the genre. This is also where the many subgenres derive from—travel and food writing, the memoir and the more distant historical account, literary and immersion journalism, the linear biography and the delightful disorientation of the lyric essay—for while our same experiences can be told in the same ways, our wisdoms cannot."