Sunday, August 10, 2008


I received this email in June and am only just starting to get over the disappointment

Dear Rob,

I’m finalising my selections for Cordite 28: Secret Cities, and would like to publish your poems Flood and South From Belconnen, if they are still available …

Can you let me know as soon as you can? I’ll also need a bio (50 words) and a weblink (if you’ve got one) …

Thanks to the funding of the Australia Council, we offer payments to our Australian contributors.

We’re expecting the issue to go online at the beginning of July. I’ll be in touch with more details soon.

Warm regards,


You might say, 'What are you whinning about Rob? They want to publish Flood and South From Belconnen. They want a bio and they're going to pay you. You'll be rich and famous like all those other poets.'

And I would reply that would be true...for the author of Flood and South From Belconnen. Who isn't me. It's someone else.

I fired a rather hopeful email off to David advising that there seemed to be a bit of a mix up, but my poems were still very much available if they were what he wanted and he'd just gotten the names of the accepted pile mixed up. He replied fairly promptly and confirmed that there had indeed been a bit of a mix up and no, he didn't want my poems.

I know you have to have a thick skin and it's only my second rejection letter (from two submissions) and there's no need to go all Bernard Black on his arse blah blah blah. It's just that the raising of my hopes - nay, the befriending of them with an arm draped chumlike across their shoulders with an air of camararderie - before the inevitable brutal betrayal and beating from behind with a whiskey bottle and the stomp on the neck finale, was particularly cruel.

And then he advised it was due to ' a mix-up in numbers/ anonymous submission meltdown.' Right

a mixy-up meltdown, not a fuck-up on his part. Psshht, whatever girlfriend.

Incidentally, I read Flood and South. They're alright, if you're into that whole poetic poetry with no swearing, cruelty to animals or references to masterbation kind of thing.

I actually started the bio.



At August 12, 2008 at 12:22 AM , Blogger franzy said...

Buck up, chum. Rejection letters are like chin-ups, the more you get, the tougher you are.
Up to a point.

Anyway, everyone knows that poetry is the unmarriageable cousin to prose.
And your prose is the millionaire bachelor with a law degrade, a house in Aspen, a passion for charity work and simply oodles of spare time during the lonely nights spent perfecting its Thai cookery.
Seriously, my friend, keep writing poetry. It makes you happy and you know where you want it to appear. But, trust me on this, you have a talent for prose. Your writing is witty, concise and well-formed. I wasn't kidding when I said that I went back to the beginning of your ENTIRE blog to read every post.

Your mission, should you chose to accept it: go and write a short novel about an awkward teenage boy with a quirky family who joins a mixed netball team in order to woo an unlikely girl. Throw in a dash of mystery and write it in YOUR VOICE. That's how you get published.
Let Knickers take care of the kiddies for the next six weeks. It's not like she had any other plans.
Go write.

At August 12, 2008 at 12:47 PM , Blogger Kath Lockett said...

I agree with Franzy. Every single word...

...and no, we're not married, by the way, or even met in person (come close a couple of times tho). We just both found you at the same time and think that you're a brilliantly funny writer.

Write something that'll appeal to the kids that you're going to teach.

At August 14, 2008 at 9:43 AM , Blogger squib said...

Please do help yourself to my rejection letter craft ideas Rob. A lovely kite perhaps?

I've tagged you for a meme btw


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