Rejection Guidelines

Does Joyland Send Rejections or Feedback?

Due to time constraints and the volume of submissions we can only reply to authors we've accepted. If you haven't heard back in 1 month from submitting, assume that an editor has not selected your work.

Should I Be Angry If I Haven’t Heard Back From Joyland?

Of course, it’s natural. The universe is full of capricious forces that seem chaotic at best and vindictive at worst. Rejections from literary journals only confirm humanity’s darkest suspicions about a flawed world. We were angry when we were rejected too, but then we started Joyland.

How Angry Should I Be?

Depends. Have you been working on your craft for years as your friends get rich in lucrative fields, like education and social work, while you just wake up in the middle of the night with a line and idea as your only reward? If so, yes, be angry for a couple of days. But as a writer you should also know the odds: lots of submissions, very little space, the peculiarities of taste etc. You will come down. However, if you’ve just started writing, don’t let anger-lesterol clog your youthful valves. Joyland has a very high rate of publication from our submissions inbox—about 40 percent of our published content comes from submissions—but our editors also work with authors they know and solicit from.

What Should I Do Now?

Keep sending the story out. We accept simultaneous submissions because, as authors, we just never understood that old-school rule. If someone else grabs your story before we do, or after we pass on it, that’s fair, and hey, maybe we’ll learn a thing or two about the fallibility of instinct.

What Should I Avoid Doing?

Operating heavy machinery for 24 hours, and that includes a computer. Don’t write an essay about being rejected from literary journals. Also, don’t review our editors’ books if you had to ask question number two.

Is It All Over?

It’s never over until you decide it’s over. If you truly like reading Joyland, stay with us and send something else in a few months.