Reneé Bibby

Rejection Competition 

Wings of Triumph, the Rejection Competition Trophy

Wings of Triumph, the Rejection Competition Trophy


Every year, Reneé runs a friendly competition to see who can acquire the most literary rejections in a calendar year. Inspired by Kim Liao’s Lit Hub article “Why you Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year,” the competition reframes rejections as “wins”—towards the epic Rejection Competition trophy and, ultimately, publication. 

Writers join at the start of each year and celebrate the winner at the end of the year. Read more about Rejection Competition in Michelle Ross' article on Atticus Review.

Writers of all levels, all genres, all ages, and all over the world are able to participate in Rejection Competition. Currently, the competition is for poetry/essay/cnf/story rejections, not novels, residencies, or writing positions. (We may do other categories in coming years if we end up with enough interest.) The competition runs January 1 - December 31st.

Sign up by January 31, 2019 to enter the 2019 Competition.

Join Rejection Competition 2019


Choose your name

We’ll be entering our counts into a spreadsheet that all participants will have access to. No emails will be revealed in the spreadsheet, but if you’d prefer more anonymity, choose a pen name/avatar for the spreadsheet. Only Reneé will have access to your real name.

Choose your division

People are at all different levels of publishing. Okay, you may not be getting 100+ rejections a year (yet) but you could still win your division!

Choose your division when you sign up, but be warned you can’t switch divisions half way through the year—sure, while you may have more rejections than the top person in the division below you, the idea is to find a division that fits your experience and use friendly competition to motivate you to do more than you would normally and win the division you’re in.

Division 1

Writers in this group …

  • Have multiple pieces completed

  • Send their work to more than one journal at a time

  • Are familiar with literary journals and generally know where to send their work, or how to find places to send work

  • Get many acceptances as well as rejections

  • Average 50-200 rejections a year

Divsion 2

Writers in this group …

  • Have a few pieces completed

  • Send their work to one or two journals at a time

  • Are familiar with literary journals but may have to spend some time doing research to find new places to send pieces to

  • May get a few acceptances

  • Average 15-50 rejections a year

Division 3

Writers in this group …

  • May only have one or two pieces completed

  • Send their work to a few journals

  • Spend some time researching where to send work

  • May still be working on their first or second acceptances

  • Average 0-15 rejections a year

Sign up

Ready for the challenge? Let Reneé know you’re interested in participating and she will provide you with the super awesome link to the tracking spreadsheet.