If you ask the majority of writers why we write, the answer will be for pleasure. Why? Probably because for the majority of us, there isn’t much money to be had!

That’s not to put off any aspiring writers out there. Of course, if you’re in it for the money, it’s probably best you start thinking of a different career. There might be one or two out there who will write the next as-of-yet undiscovered bestseller, which will be translated into X-amount of languages and win a few debut writing awards at that. But the odds of that are like winning the lottery. Off to buy a ticket, anyone?

It can take years for writers to see their work in print or online. Writers tend to get more rejections than they do acceptances. Since I was in the process of updating my submission tracker anyway (it gets a bit sloppy, as I tend to submit more than I record at times!) I have counted up my acceptances vs rejections for fiction and poetry. Here’s the ratio:

Short stories – 1 acceptance for every 6 rejections (submitting since 2007)

Poetry – 1 acceptance for every 3 rejections (submitting since 2009)

And since my first short story was published online in 2009, and my first poem was published in print in 2011, this meant 2 years of non-stop rejections for both my fiction and my poetry. But it didn’t put me off! I have a book of rejection letters at home which I keep in a name-and-shame folder, for future laughing-at purposes. What is the key to success? Perseverance!

Leilanie Stewart 

Joseph Robert


About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is a writer, poet and literary blogger. Her debut poetry pamphlet, A Model Archaeologist, was launched in 2015 with Eyewear Publishing and her second collection, Chemotherapy for the Soul, was published by Fowlpox Press in 2017. She is a prize nominated poet, having been longlisted for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize 2014, and her poetry and fiction was selected for the 'Best of the Web' Storm Cycle Anthology 2014, published by Kind of a Hurricane Press. Leilanie is also Editor in Chief of Bindweed Magazine, a poetry and fiction online magazine that also publishes a quarterly print anthology. She currently lives in Belfast with her writer and poet husband, Joseph Robert. Literary blog: Meandi Books: Bindweed Magazine:

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