By Lucy Wilde
There are two main reasons I wanted to see my work in Atticus Review, the quality of the writing and the fact that they are interested in publishing hybrid, unconventional work that pushes boundaries.
I submitted to them twice and was accepted the second time. When I was looking for places to submit “The Taming of Things,” I made a list of magazines I had previously submitted to that had invited me to submit more of my work. I added Atticus to the list and, after submitting, realized that I had received a form rejection from them initially. A case of wishful thinking that worked in my favour.
I submitted the piece to Atticus at the end of March and received the acceptance in mid-May. They let me know that it would be published at the end of September.
I often find it difficult to match my writing to what a magazine describes as its aesthetic. I learn so much more by reading pieces that the magazine has recently published. I felt that my piece fit their description of writing that is “…unashamed, unadorned, and unafraid. The stories we love are often lonely and sometimes ugly, but we’re also deeply attracted to the bright, bold, and hope-infused.”
For most of my life, I have written in isolation. I did not feel like I had “earned” the right to call myself a writer, so I did not have many writer friends. I was not part of a writing community. I think connecting with other writers has been the most important thing for me, to be able to share the elation and rejection with people who deeply understand.
I learned from my mentor, accountability partners, and community that we all experience the same struggles and that rejection is part of the whole process of being a writer. I am learning not to take any of it personally. I would become paralyzed by criticism and rejection in the past, and I am amazed that now I can accept it and keep on writing and submitting.
My mentor teaches a course called “Foundations of Feedback,” which helps to identify reactions to feedback and rejection and provides lots of strategies to help deal with these reactions. It is so important for writers to understand their process and support and be supported by a trusted community of writers.
Below are a few other magazines where I have had writing published, or where the editors have helped me in other ways:
- Barren Magazine – I love the evocative and heartfelt writing in this magazine. I admit to having a soft spot for them because they were the first to publish my writing. They were so lovely and supportive.
- Room – The very first submission I sent out was a piece of flash fiction to Room. I received a rejection that said my piece had made it all the way to the issue editor but that they couldn’t use it. They invited me to submit again. This was before I knew anything about submitting, and had no idea what this meant. I just saw it as REJECTION. Now I know how wonderful it is to receive these personal rejections and that when magazines ask to see more of your work, they mean it. I print these out and post them above my computer for inspiration.
- The Forge – I enjoy the writing and overall aesthetic at The Forge. I submitted “The Taming of Things” to them but, when Atticus Review accepted it, I had to withdraw it. They sent me a warm congratulatory note, saying that my piece had made it all the way to the editorial table. They included a response from one of the editors after reading it. This was so unexpected and greatly appreciated by me. I cried.
- The Waterwheel Review – is a fairly new literary magazine that publishes “Literature without Labels.” About six months ago, I submitted a piece to them that had been rejected three times elsewhere. They sent a very detailed personal rejection, saying that it was one draft away from being ready. They provided excellent suggestions for revision (making sure that I understood this was just their opinion) and invited me to submit more writing. I sent a new piece, and they accepted it for publication. They are so pleasant to work with, and they invite the writer to make suggestions for two companion pieces, which can be visual art or a song or film, that they publish alongside your piece.
Lucy Wilde is an emerging writer, living in an old farmhouse in Tsawwassen, B.C., Canada. She divides her time between writing and communing with her erudite horse Magic, who lives on a nearby farm. Her writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in a number of publications, including Barren Magazine, The Citron Review and Atticus Review.