Need help submitting your writing to literary journals or book publishers/literary agents? Click here! →

How To Withdraw A Piece From A Literary Journal

Withdraw A Piece From A Literary Journal

There comes a time in every writer’s life when for one reason or another, you’ll want to withdraw (or take back) a submission you sent to a literary journal that’s still under consideration for publication.

Reasons you might want to withdraw your writing submission include:

  • You’ve revised and want to resubmit a better version of the same piece.
  • You’ve decided you don’t want to see that highly intimate confessional poem published after all.
  • You’ve accepted an offer from another literary journal, so the piece is no longer available.

How To Withdraw A Poem, Story, or Essay…

Using a Submission Manager

We love online submission managers! They give a writer more control over the submission process and make everyone’s life easier.

Withdrawing your writing using an online submission manager is easy: Simply log on, click to the piece in question, and make your withdrawal.

NOTE: If you have submitted a group of poems, you may need to withdraw the ENTIRE group, then resubmit that group minus the one or two poems you are withdrawing.

Making Your Withdrawal Request By Email

If a journal doesn’t use a submission manager, you’ll have to find the editor’s email address and send an email requesting that your piece be removed from consideration.

You may want to note in your subject line: Withdrawal request for Name of Piece, by Writer Name.

You don’t need to give an explanation of your reasons for the withdrawal. Keep your note short:

Dear Editor:

If you have not already read my essay, “Over the Moon!”  I would like to request that it be withdrawn from consideration. If possible, please reply and let me know you received this note. Thank you so much. I appreciate your time.

You may or may not receive a response. We don’t recommend multiple follow-ups: Sometimes, busy editors do get emails but simply don’t reply.

Requesting A Withdrawal By Mail

Generally, we don’t recommend using mail to make a request to withdraw your work. Snail mail takes too long—email ensures that your note will arrive in the editor’s hands quickly.

If you must make your request by mail, you can use the same text as an email withdrawal: polite, brief, and professional.

What If Your Withdrawal Request Is Accidentally Ignored?

Literary journals get a lot of email, mail, faxes, etc. Things get lost or shuffled. Frankly, it happens with some regularity that a writer’s request for withdrawal is lost. Suddenly, a writer who asked for his/her piece to be removed from consideration receives an offer of publication.

If this happens to you, and the piece is not available for any reason, don’t panic. You did your part. Sometimes, email requests for withdrawal do get misplaced—but if you’ve got a copy of your sent request, any misunderstandings that arise due to disorganization at a given literary journal won’t be your fault.

In a best-case scenario, the editor will be so head over heels in love with your work that he or she won’t mind considering an alternate manuscript. Try offering a substitute for the withdrawn piece. Or, if the piece has already been published, try offering reprint rights to publish it (you can’t offer “first rights” if it has already appeared or is slated to appear somewhere else).

Writer QuestionsQUESTION: Have you ever had to withdraw a piece from a literary journal?

 

Like our insider info and writing advice?

Then you’ll love the many other ways Writer’s Relief can help!

From effectively targeting markets, writing dynamic query letters, building authors’ online platforms, and much more—find out how Writer’s Relief can boost your exposure and maximize your acceptance rate.

Leave a reply





Learn More
Live Chat Software

WAIT! BEFORE YOU LEAVE

wrlogo
This page was chock-full of great info...
and there's so much more here to help you meet your publishing goals!

Be sure to sign up for our FREE guides as you enter each site.

CHECK OUT
SELF-PUBLISHING RELIEF
For advice, marketing ideas, and step-by-step guidance through the self-publishing process!

CHECK OUT
WEB DESIGN RELIEF
Featuring smart ways to boost your online presence, build your author website, or improve your existing website.

CHECK OUT
WRITER'S RELIEF
For everything you need to know about writing, preparing, and targeting submissions to literary agents and editors!


Free Publishing Leads and Tips

Our e-publication, Submit Write Now!, will be delivered weekly to your inbox.

Join the 50,000+ writers who receive:

  • FREE submission tips
  • Hot publishing leads
  • Calls to submit
  • And much more!

Close this popup

Sign up Today!

BONUS: Receive a free copy of formatting guidelines—our gift to you!

We promise not to share your information.