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U.S. Department of Prose and Poetry Announces FY2012 Rapid-Rejection Program Grant Awards

By J.T. Robertson

WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Prose and Poetry (DPP) Secretary Harper Ballencourt today renewed support for 17,400 local and regional publishers across the nation. Provided through DPP’s Rapid-Rejection Program, the funding announced today will ensure an adequate number of writers continue to be unpublished and unacknowledged in the coming year. This year, DPP challenged publishers to re-examine their response to the overwhelming number of authors being published, and give greater weight to proven strategies, from providing no response whatsoever to well-edited pieces of fiction, to destroying the hopes of well-versed poets through auto-replies (see attached chart).

The $1.7 billion in grants announced today support a wide range of publisher-driven initiatives, including the Simultaneous Submission Reduction Initiative (SSRI), Web-Publishing Negatement Program (WPNP), and the Self-Addressed Stamps Against Submittable Directive (SASASD). Later this year, the DPP will award additional funding to support hundreds of newly-formed, independent publishers in becoming both non-responsive and rejection focused.

“The evidence is clear that every dollar we spend helps these publishers to maintain the unpublished author population in the U.S, uphold tradition, and keep publication numbers under control,” said Ballencourt. “We know these programs work. These grants can mean the difference between an author getting their fantastic work published, and publishers overflowing local bookstore shelves with fiction and poetry that would be, let’s be honest, immensely valuable to the public.”

Rapid-Rejection grants fund a wide variety of programs that provide technical assistance in crafting overly complex submission guidelines, creating barriers to identifying and contacting editors, and ensuring the continued rejection of thousands of unpublished poets and writers across the nation. In addition, the program will raise awareness through discouraging Twitter and Facebook posts by prominent figures in the publishing industry, increased postage and online submission costs, intentionally predatory contracts, and ridiculous contest themes (e.g. “Stories involving horses made of butter,” “Poems which find inherent emotion in Hemingway’s chest hair”).

In 2008, 22 federal agencies and offices came together create “Destroying Dreams: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Publication Over-Population,” which puts the country on a path to eradicate the publishing of new writers by 2018 through prevention, targeted rejection, and an increased focus on exclusion.