sometimes I take Xanax (a letter to my abuser) by Phoenix Leigh

I’m fucked up, again. Not on Xanax this time, so I consider that a bonus. The last time I texted you I was on Xanax, and a bunch of other stuff, and it was from a Google Voice number you probably didn’t recognize, and I texted you to “square up, bitch.” You didn’t reply. When […]

Brief 3rd Person Bio (Kelle Schillaci Clarke)

Award-winning author, memoirist and cultural critic Amanda Elizabeth Swanson has an MFA from —– and is currently pursuing her Creative Writing PhD from ——-. She was a recipient of the prestigious ——- fellowship, a runner-up in ——- Review’s —— ——-Memorial contest, and has recently been signed by —– Literary Agency. Her work has appeared or […]

Crush (Vera Hadzic)

Fuck you. Fuck you and your fucking poetry. It’s so fucking easy to lie when you do it in verse, isn’t it? How’d you turn lust into love? Some sort of writer’s alchemy, changing each particle of dust you shed into gold? With a thesaurus? Did you replace “spare” with “love of my life”? Does […]

The First Fish Who Walked Out of the Sea (Mary Colussi)

I sat on a rock by the shore and waited for the first fish to walk out of the sea, and when it did I stood on my own two feet, which may have been insensitive to the poor critter, whose own feet were in need of some improvement, and I took off my hat […]


Chapter 1Proof of purchase 28 XXXXXXXX LANEDREAMTOWNDREAMLANDTHIS IS *NOT* A VAT RECEIPT SAVE UP TO 20% OFF YOUR NEXT SHOPSee over for details DUREX THIN FL 6PK       £5.99 BALANCE DUE      £5.99CASH                             £6.00 Total number of items sold = 1CHANGE                                   £0.01 CASHIER NAME: JESTER // DREAMTOWNCASHIER COMMENTS: WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING TO […]


Dear alcohol, I almost died for you. An incomplete list of things I lost through loving you includes many years, feeling in my left arm, a fully functional liver, a burning slew of codependent lovers, the trust and admiration of my parents, my wallet (countless times), a thousand meals unmatched by the stomach-settling powers of […]

Streetlight People (SR Schulz)

I cannot remain silent. I reached my breaking point two weeks ago when you stood up on the table and shouted how you, Won’t stop believin’, to Mom, her face full of tears and sadness. What a spectacle you’ve become. It’s a mistake to put all your trust and love into this girl—this small-town girl […]

Rejection Letter: Semilore Kilaso (Semilore Kilaso)

Dear MG Dawn, Thank you for sharing your work with us. We are grateful for your support of Black Owned Businesses and effort in the Black Lives Matter movement. What you and your team are doing for the Black Indigenous People Of Color is great. Unfortunately, we will be passing on your essay “The Africanisation […]

Curse-Form-Rejection-Template.docx (Renee Agatep)

Subject: Poetry Rejection and Death by Bloody Mary  Hey There [NAME],  Don’t remember your name. Never heard of you.   Saw the poem. Hard pass. Also – THIS EMAIL HAS BEEN CURSED ONCE OPENED YOU MUST SEND IT.  You are now cursed. You must start a lit mag and reject 12 other people by midnight or you will […]

Rejection Letter: Bridget Lillethorup

Dear Catholic Upbringing, Thank you so much for your interest in my morals and values, as well as your commitment to my fast-growing inferiority complex and panic-inducing sense of shame. Unfortunately, at this time, I cannot accept you. And by that I mean, I’m going to try my hardest to forget you. Not to be […]

RE: [This Queer Body] SINGLE CHIN HAIR

Dear My Face, Thank you for submitting SINGLE CHIN HAIR for our consideration. Again. While we admire your perseverance, we still believe that SINGLE CHIN HAIR is not a good fit for us at this time. As per our last three hundred and seventeen responses, we would love to see any new work you’re ready […]

Please, Sir

Sir, While it is of course the prerogative of literary magazines such as yours, esteemed or otherwise, to choose what and indeed who they wish to publish, your recent rejection letter caught me by surprise. By your own account, your slush readers enjoyed my humorous meta-fiction on the difficulties of separating the artist from the […]

Terms and Conditions (“A Story”)

Last updated: June 10, 2010   Please read these Terms and Conditions (“Terms”, “Terms and Conditions”) carefully before enjoying the story (the “Story”) created by Aaron Rath (“Me”, “I”, and for legal reasons that have no aspersions toward royalty but instead indicate aspirations of corporate professionalism, also “We” or “Our”). Further definitions. For purposes of […]

No Reply Required

Dearest Caroline, We are absolutely thrilled with your flash entry “Wave Goodbye”.  You manage to capture the roller coaster ride of a relationship, brief though it may be, in a flurry of well-chosen words all carefully positioned for maximum tension. The brisk, no nonsense way the initial encounters enfolds behind the disco, the grime of […]

Personal Rejection Letter: The Deadname

Dear Ethan Leonard, Thank you for sending your latest impulse decision to sign yourself to another chain pizza restaurant’s points program. I appreciate your previous work of ignoring three brothers insulting you at a young age through rhyme and wordplay. “Wee-Thin Ethan,” for example, wielded a wit that exposed a raw vulnerability in gym class […]

Rejection Letter: Annick Yerem

Dear Endometriosis, I remain extraordinarily bewildered that you have chosen me as a life-partner and feel that I am certainly not a good home for you at this point in my life. It has been a breathtaking ride over the last 25 years and you have certainly changed me as a person, but now our […]

Rejection Letter: Jesse Hilson

Dear Post-Orgasmic Neurasthenia, It was such an interesting feature to have you accompany me through my teenage years, I suppose, but you have overstayed your welcome which leads me to say we really can’t afford you and can’t use you. I’m afraid I’m going to have to give you this rejection because we are sure […]

Rejection Letter: Mike Hickman

Dear _______ Forgive me (you won’t forgive me), but I don’t know the best form of address for you. It was never right and you hated it, I know, when it changed, when it became all formal because we’d grown apart and I’d “changed”. That was after the divorce, I suppose. It’ll be in a […]

Rejection Letter: Jason Schwartzman

Dear Watermelon Pub Trivia Team By the Back Left Table AKA “Kookie Cat Men,” That means you, Gilbert. And yes, you too, Basil, though everyone knows you only come when your girlfriend is out of town. It’s not as if I haven’t heard the rumblings. The bartender you so kindly love to denigrate as “Creepy […]

Rejection Letter: Timothy Tarkelly

Dear Pitchfork contributor, When James decided to soulfully plea for help, with his anger, his ability to understand questions, to punch through glass in the productive way, and when he decided to accompany his plea with drums that sound like boiling mud and a guitar tuned so low it had Hot Topic kids lengthening their […]