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Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Journal of Universal Rejection

ShirtAs law review submission season approaches, if you are tired of hearing that your groundbreaking article is one of thousands received by the XYZ Law Review, that the XYZ Law Review can only publish a handful of the excellent submissions it receives, but that the XYZ Law Review thanks you and hopes you will think of it when submitting future work, I suggest you consider an initial and exclusive submission of your piece to the Journal of Universal Rejection.  Unlike, say, the Yale Law Journal, which for me but not everyone is the Journal of Certain Rejection, at the JUR I am (or would be if I had the courage to submit) on equal standing with every other scholar in the world - there is no letterhead bias whatsoever.

There the piece may be ignored, but there is the possibility that it will be "peer-skimmed," and you could be lucky enough to get a rejection letter from Caleb Simmons, the manager editor himself.  But as the journal's motto goes, reprobatio certa, hora incerta ("rejection is certain, but the hour is not").  The journal does, however, guarantee to accept your money for cool swag like the pictured t-shirt (note the incorporation of the motto in the classy logo).

Here is a quote from the submission guidelines:

After submitting your work, the decision process varies. Often the Editor-in-Chief will reject your work out-of-hand, without even reading it! However, he might read it. Probably he'll skim. At other times your manuscript may be sent to anonymous referees. Unless they are the Editor-in-Chief's wife or graduate school buddies, it is unlikely that the referees will even understand what is going on. Rejection will follow as swiftly as a bird dropping from a great height after being struck by a stone. At other times, rejection may languish like your email buried in the Editor-in-Chief's inbox. But it will come, swift or slow, as surely as death. Rejection.

The journal also maintains a blog highlighting particularly interesting rejections (achieving that honor would be as cool as making it through as a caller on Car Talk or Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!, two of my other longstanding unfulfilled ambitions), and it has a featured place on my RSS feed.

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw on June 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM | Permalink


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From the instructions: "The JofUR solicits any and all types of manuscript: poetry, prose, visual art, and research articles. You name it, we take it, and reject it. Your manuscript may be formatted however you wish. Frankly, we don't care."

Posted by: Jeff Lipshaw | Jun 24, 2012 4:26:30 PM

Jeff: Do you know whether I can submit my manuscript to The Journal of Universal Rejection in Corel Word Perfect format? That would be a big selling point for me.

Posted by: Tim Zinnecker | Jun 24, 2012 4:02:09 PM

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