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The Suisun Valley Review was established as a way for the students of Solano Community College to learn the art and craft of editing a literary journal while putting together their own magazine once a year. Since the first issue was published in 1981, student editors have collaborated on over thirty issues of SVR, carefully selecting the contents from new and established writers from across the U.S. and abroad. The students are also directly involved with creating the overall design aesthetic and narrative of each issue. Each spring, all of their hard work and endless creative energy is repaid with a bound collection of prose and poetry, sold and kept as a testament to sleepless nights.
SVR's 2014 Submission Guidelines

Friday, March 9, 2012

The "R" Word

One of our tasks over the last week and a half was to complete the drafting of the 2012 rejection letter. Rejection. That word really sucks. Writing (and sending!) rejection letters is the least pleasurable part of editing the magazine, but it’s also the most necessary.

“Lit mags reject good stuff all the time.” I heard that phrase half a dozen times from the writer’s perspective. It’s stranger to hear its cousin, “You will reject pieces you love.” When we look away from the literature involved and look at the numbers, we have to admit the inevitability. We are a modest magazine, receiving several hundred submissions in a given season, but that’s still several hundred more than you can fit in a magazine of roughly seventy pages.

It’s like trying not to spend your entire living at the bookstore. “Ooh, that one, and that one, and that one, and that one...!” – and then looking at your checkbook, realizing your budget only covers a tenth, or maybe a twentieth of the books you want to buy.

Putting books back on the shelf is disheartening, and so is rejecting stories, poetry or artwork. But in the end, once you’ve painstakingly narrowed your choices down to a number that won’t break the bank, you know you’re left with the best you could buy (or publish).

We greatly esteem the pieces we publish (else, why would we publish them?) but we also greatly appreciate everything we reject, because every writer took a risk and put themselves out there. Great, good, bad, indifferent: none are immune from rejection, but we’re glad they were all sent in. If you submitted a piece, thank you.

If you haven’t, our submission guidelines can be found here, and we hope you’ll consider doing so!