Daymaker - a person who performs acts of kindness with the intention of making the world a better place.
~ David Wagner
, author of Life as a Daymaker; how to change the world by making someone's day ~

DayMaker - any thought, word, or deed that spreads happiness, compassion, or fruitful ideas.
~ Annis Cassells ~

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Putting it Out There

“Rejection letters are badges of honor.” That’s a favorite slogan at Writers of Kern. We celebrate rejections because when writers receive rejections, it means they are writing -- and submitting to publications.

Recently, some of those responses have been "Yes."

Over the years, I’ve amassed a body of work -- short memoir pieces, poems, personal essays, and snippets of possible stories. And lately I’ve been trying my hand at fiction. I’d had pieces published before I became “serious” about writing, but submitting my work for consideration didn’t happen much until 2015. That’s when I gathered the courage to dust some of these pieces off, polish them up, and send them out into the world.

The result has been affirming , gratifying, and exciting. Published in print and online journals, my work is being read by an even wider audience.

It took some prodding and encouragement. The taste of acceptance came when the online journal, Yellow Chair  Review , picked up my first poem, “Talk,” for its Inaugural Issue in May 2015. That sent me scurrying to my computer and practice notebooks to look for more poems. At the beginning of this year, Scarlet Leaf Review published my first fiction piece, “The Blessing,” and a few months later, several poems.

Sure, I’ve received rejections -- and wear them with pride. But, remembering those decisions are subjective, I may rework the piece, ask for help from my critique group, or just send it out to the next publication I think might accept it. It’s a matter of persistence and luck. Writers must connect with the journal whose style and subject matter fit with theirs.

Since I’ve been putting my work out there, this spring a number of Acceptance letters flew into my Inbox. Most recently, a flash fiction piece called “King of the Playground” was published on a local online zine site, The Kit Fox. My poem, “Porcelain Smile,” went up on Bitchin’ Kitsch. And, arriving in my US Mail box, was my contributor’s copy of the 6th In the Words of Womyn (ITWOW) InternationalAnthology with my poem, “When Did I Get Old?”

In April, I was honored to write two poems and read them at the California State University, Bakersfield library along with a dozen or more other local poets. This event was one held to celebrate National Poetry Month. Students, faculty, community members, and Don E. Thompson, Kern County’s first ever poet laureate,  read their poems on the subject of Drought. Organizer, professor Matt Woodman designed a beautiful keepsake chapbook containing all the poems. 

Because these poems and stories got out, rather than remain stashed in their file folders on my computer, my life has become even more rich. Not with money, of course, as most of these journals do not pay, or pay very little. But rich with the knowledge that my words are being read and folks are enjoying or relating to them.  That’s a great feeling, a good reason to continue to write and submit my work. 
~ xoA ~

YCR's first anthology included "Talk"


  1. Good for you, Annis! I'm still wrestling with whether or not to submit my travel stories or simply share them on a blog, but there is something special about seeing your creation in print!

    1. You will figure it out, Joan. Your excellent writing about your adventures will inform and delight people, no matter how you share them with the world. xoA

  2. A friend and I (and a few others) have a "Failure Club" on Facebook. We count up rejections over the course of the year and whoever gets the most "wins". I've already gotten 22 rejections this year. He's doing film this year so has a LOT more.

    We also both have successes and now and then compare our success rates. It usually takes a lot of failing to get some successes.

    1. Good for you, Mark! It does usually take a lot of failing to get to success. But, as you know, persistence is the key. It helps to have a buddy to compare successes and failures with and cheer each other on. Thanks for writing. xoa

  3. What wonderful thoughts. Thanks for sharing these ideas.

    MJO Sent from Outlook Mobile

    1. Well, thank you, Marty, for reading and commenting. Cheers. xoA

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