How rejection led me to start my own literary and art magazine

Koru literary magazine

Here’s how ejection from agents and publishers inspired Anjulie to channel her energy in a whole new direction with Koru Magazine.

As a writer, I know how much rejection sucks. The first manuscript I wrote was rejected by literary agents numerous times (and rightly so). After letting that manuscript go, I picked myself up, wrote another one, edited it with the help of a critique partner and tried again. This manuscript was rejected by many agents and in my heart, I knew why – I wasn’t good enough to start submitting work, at least, not yet. So I wrote two more manuscripts and pushed myself to get into university where I’m now studying a double major.

Meanwhile, I had articles and two short stories published at Mookychick – Small Steps, a piece of flash fiction about depression, and A New Life, a short story about big life changes. I decided to try my hand at submitting to other places where my short fiction might be accepted. And yet again, I was rejected. One place even wrote a lovely email urging me to try again. But I wasn’t sure if I could handle any more rejections. I’d already had so many of them.

I put publishing more short fiction on the backburner and tried to focus on getting through university. But out of this rejection I had an idea: why not start a literary website? Why not be on the publishing side of things for a change?

I’d always been interested in publishing, but I wasn’t sure how or if I could do something like this, though I could try. So I picked a name that was rooted in my culture and decided that I’d create an online literary magazine. Next, I assembled a team and together we figured out the details and how we’d approach this. Months later Koru Mag is finally accepting submissions, and I couldn’t be happier.

When you’re rejected, it hurts. You’ve worked on something for so long, and then you’re told it’s not good enough or you should try submitting it somewhere else. But I think as writers we need to learn to pick ourselves up again and keep working away. When I started writing, I never would have thought that I’d be at this place in my life where I could have written an entire manuscript, let alone four. But here I am. It took a lot of work to get Koru Mag off the ground, and I know there will be challenges ahead, but I think I’ll manage.

Koru Mag is an online literary and art magazine. We accept fiction, non-fiction, poetry and art-work. We are currently open for submissions until July 31st. Issues are themed so please check out the submission guidelines before sending your work. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected]. You can find us on facebook, twitter and tumblr.