Rejection – SmokeLong Quarterly

Dear Trace,

Thank you for your submission of “Smoke and Ash” to SmokeLong Quarterly. We gave the story careful consideration, and though we are not accepting it for publication, we hope you find a better fit for it elsewhere.

Thanks again for trusting us with your work.

SmokeLong Quarterly

Read the latest SmokeLong Quarterly here.

Acceptance from Vermont Studio Center

I was accepted into a four week writing residency at the Vermont Studio Center.

Dear Trace,

Thank you for applying to the Vermont Studio Center! It is our pleasure to inform you that you have been reserved a space for 4-weeks in our session beginning 5/13/2018 through 6/8/2018.


Again, thank you for your application, and congratulations on your acceptance. We look forward to seeing you here at the Vermont Studio Center. If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.


Kathy Black
Program Director

Rejection from concīs

A personal rejection from concīs –

Greetings Trace,

[These ones didn’t escape the editorial gauntlet but we would definitely like to see more. You’ve made it through once before, you can certainly do so again! -c]

Thank you for your generosity in allowing us to consider “Smoke and Ash” for publication in concīs. The editorial process of a publication like ours is necessarily subjective—even apparently irrational.

Unfortunately, your work isn’t quite what we are looking for right now. BUT, we did feel it was important to note that your submission bounced back and forth between the editors quite a few times before landing in the “near miss” category. That doesn’t happen very often (though it can happen many times for the same author, so do not despair).

Do keep in mind that in addition to the inherent subjectivity of our reading (we’re happy to see work that doesn’t fit here get snapped up by editors elsewhere!), we will receive many thousands of submissions for the approximately 35 openings available in the Winter Season of concīs.

We hope you’ll keep an eye on what we publish in the future and not be dissuaded from trying again if you feel you have something suitable.


concīs <>

Check out the summer issue of concīs.

Rejection from Lunch Ticket (Diana Woods Memorial Award)

Dear Trace,

Thank you for submitting your essay for consideration for the Diana Woods Memorial Award. Diana Woods was an extraordinary woman who lived her life with honesty and a spirit of inquiry, and it’s that spirit we wish to honor with this award. We give each essay serious consideration, and it is with regret that your essay was not chosen for the DWM Award.

Rejections are never easy—for you the writer, or for us, the editors. But as we both know, they are part of being a writer. We are sorry that we weren’t the right market for Maltby Road, but we know that there is another market waiting for you, and to them, this piece is exactly perfect. We hope you know that this letter doesn’t mean “no forever”, and we hope you will submit to Lunch Ticket again.

Once again, thank you for trusting us with your work.

Best of luck, and take good care,

The Editors of Lunch Ticket

Read the latest issue of Lunch Ticket here.

Rejection from Narrative Magazine (Spring Contest)

Dear trace ramsey,

Thank you for entering “Maltby Road” in our Spring Story Contest. We were grateful for the opportunity to read and consider your work, and we regret that your entry was not one of our winners or finalists this time.

We continue to look for engaging new works to publish, and we hope you will keep Narrative in mind for your writing in the future.

Again, thank you for your entry, and please accept our kind wishes.


The Editors

Check out the latest from Narrative Magazine.

Rejection from The Collagist

Received a form rejection letter from The Collagist:

Dear Trace,

Thank you for the opportunity to read “Maltby Road.” Unfortunately, we will not be publishing the piece you submitted, but we wish you the best of luck in placing it elsewhere.

Gabriel Blackwell
The Collagist

Read the latest from The Collagist.

Review of All I Want to Do is Live by BookLife

Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.50 out of 10


Plot: Ramsey captivates with this sensitive, soul-searching account of his life’s journey. The memoir’s thoughtful structure is marred only by some repeated stories that work to take readers out of the narrative.

Prose: In language that shifts from reflective to meditative to achingly tender, Ramsey aptly conveys a profound gratitude for life even in the midst of depression or emotional suffering. He has a particular talent for connecting the natural world with his inner life, offering descriptive prose that holds both dreamlike wonder and a dread of mortality.

Originality: Ramsey’s highly original approach to memoir, and his willingness to take narrative risks and discard a linear approach to time, draws in readers and leaves a haunting impression.

Character Development: Ramsey lays bare his vulnerabilities and chronicles his compelling quest for wisdom and meaning. Deftly shifting from his childhood to adult years and back again, and interspersing the narrative with art and poetry, Ramsey creates a delicate and beautiful web of emotion connections.

Blurb: Meditative and haunting, Ramsey’s memoir navigates hard emotional terrain with wonder and hard-won wisdom.

Click here for the full write up.

Review of All I Want to Do is Live by Rich Baiocco

A new review of my new book All I Want to Do is Live

“Something I always liked about Trace Ramsey’s zines (Quitter and Lasterday are the ones I’ve read) is how satisfying they are as objects. Whether it’s the transparency cover of Q9 illustrating a broken arm beside one on the mend wrapping the pages of a story in part about breaking & healing, or the literal unfolding of a 4-part mini-enveloped story in Lasterday, they have a certain thoughtful Pop quality about them that might get lost in translation from medium to medium. Like, the writing would transfer whether it was in a homemade photocopied pamphlet or online or in a bound anthology because Trace is a very good writer, but something else might get lost or left behind. I don’t know what that ‘something else’ is exactly (an expression of personality? a part of love? residue from the toil of making things on your own?), and it’s different for everyone, but I like finding it in various strangers’ zines. You don’t know that person, necessarily (you might FEEL like you know them though, right?), but you get a sense of that person. And I love that. It’s almost a texture. It’s why I hold on and add to a box of relatively cheaply made zines from over the years even though I’ve moved so many times it’d be easier to ditch ((and I’ve not found a good way to display them – they don’t have spines; clipped to wires gets cumbersome if they’re heavy; my tiny apartment cant really hold a good front facing shelf, and even if it could most of the cover gets obscured. It’s like they’re these little secrets, half hidden, deeply impactful non serious/life verifying trinkets I keep in a box for now). Definitely it’s the biggest reason why I like zines as an art form.

ALL I WANT TO DO IS LIVE is a bound book, no doubt, from a Press (Pioneers Press), but it isn’t a memoir, even though it consists of recollected stories from the author’s childhood and adulthood. It isn’t a bible. It isn’t a zine, or a collection of zine greatest hits, though it is in part put together from some of Trace’s zines. There are interviews, photographs, poems, flashes, comix, essays in various & repeating versions of draft (which was kind of cool to see how a story’s impact changes if it’s told differently). By the end I felt connected to the author’s experiences, through this sort of collage of expressions***, maybe in a way that was better than simply a collection of essays. Is that what creative nonfiction is? I’m okay with being thought of as dumb, I have no idea to be honest, but I like how this book pushes the boundaries out on what autobiography, memoir and perzine can accomplish. I hope to see more of this kind of re-imagining of accepted forms. New kinds of fictions too, new communications. And I look forward to reading more from Trace, in any form.

***How the poem Baby #2 enhances rather than dilutes the excellent essay Farthing Street; How the insight in some of the interview answers allow a perspective that a narrator cannot formally reveal; etc.”

Rejection – Bread Loaf Katharine Bakeless Nason Scholarship in Nonfiction

I applied for the Katherine Bakeless Nason Scholarship in Nonfiction for this year’s Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. From the Bread Loaf website –

New for 2017 – Bread Loaf Katharine Bakeless Nason Scholarships

Bread Loaf Katharine Bakeless Nason Scholarships support the conference’s goal of fostering a writing community that gives voice to writers of all backgrounds, ages, and experience. While literary merit is the main consideration for these scholarships, writers who meet one or more of the following criteria are encouraged to apply: a member of a historically underrepresented group; an individual who is in particular need of financial and creative support; a first-time Bread Loaf participant; or an applicant with a nontraditional literary or educational background.

I received my rejection over the weekend:

Dear Trace Ramsey:

I am sorry to let you know that we are unable to offer you a Bread Loaf Katharine Bakeless Nason Scholarship in Nonfiction for the 2017 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

Each year we receive applications from many more writers than we can invite. To give you an idea of the competitiveness of this year’s applicant pool, we were able to offer an award to 4 percent of those who applied for financial aid, and we were able to invite 29 percent of those who applied as general contributors.

We greatly appreciate your interest in the conference and truly wish we could host all of the deserving writers who apply.

I wish you luck with your work and hope to see you another time.

Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference