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REJECTIONS

I've compiled the applications I've made for things related to the career I'm trying to build for myself since finishing my master's degree in late 2020. This is just the stuff I have records for, can remember, and is related to music and writing.

You have to be tough if this is what you want to do. I really want to scream and complain about unfair everything is, but I am able to put some distance between between my adult self and my inner child. As a compromise, I'm logging all of my failures here and lashing out a little bit (exorcising of frustration in a controlled environment).

 

I don't want to be seen to have apparently been taken by surprise by how difficult this is ('life is a fight for a knife in the mud', is how I heard it put in Succession last night). But, at the same time, I don't want to give the impression that it's not as difficult as it actually is. Throughout everything I've done, I've tried to maintain a bit of dispassionate self-examination. A great author wrote in the Luke Madams Short Story of the Year Award 2022-winning Party that 'we are reporters, the lenses through which we conduct our observations operable for but a flash of time', and here is a view from inside a particular set of circumstances at a particular point in time—namely, an attempt to penetrate several industries guarded by the supervillain ghouls of nepotism and classism, in the UK in the early twenty-first century, following a decade of austerity, growing inequality and declining social mobility, and several decades of privatisation and deregulation, as somebody who was the first person ever in his family to go to university and frankly hasn't yet quite understood just how impossible his task is.

 

If you'll forgive the messianic undertones, I'm doing it for you, so you'll know what it was like. It would be a disservice to anyone hoping to do likewise to pretend it is something other than it is (here's the stuff you won't learn from LinkedIn #blessed and #humbled posts).  I'm hiding nothing. I'm making no secret of how much I'm struggling. It's demoralising, it's dispiriting, it's exploitative, and some of the practices I've encountered will almost certainly become illegal in coming years. Just as it seems ludicrous now to believe that a few short years ago letting agents were free to make up charges as they pleased to extract money from people trying to find somewhere to live, so it will soon seem insane to believe that now, as I write this, there is no legal machinery in place that makes it legally or logistically impossible for employers to dupe gullible and vulnerable job applicants into providing them with free labour as part of 'trial' or 'sample' work. Here is a time capsule from an age that isn't particularly inspiring to live through. The Age of Enshittification.

There are tens of thousands of people in the same position as me all fighting for the same jobs to try and get to where they want to be in life. But I'm really trying. Every single one of these was a blow, some far more than others, and this isn't even a complete list. It's debilitating, it's demoralising. To get anywhere requires doing more lengthy tests, trial shifts, assessments, producing sample work, working unpaid, answering tedious questions, filling in application forms, writing cover letters, jumping on Zoom calls for a 'quick chat', but it's all with no guarantee that the person demanding it of you will remember five seconds after they've sent the request.

If you're a recruiter and you're reading this, please just be merciful. Do you need somebody to submit 1,000 words to you? Is there really anything you can tell about someone's ability in 2,000 words that you can't tell in 200? Have you considered that they might have 20 open applications asking for the same thing? Do you realise that they may be very aware that you have no obligation whatsoever even to glance in the direction of the finished work after they finish it? That it's not that common to receive any response at all after doing trial work, that you can finish it and do very well only for the recruiter to remember that they forgot you were never eligible for the job in the first place as I've experienced? Are you trying to check their ability and capability, or are you just trying to filter out the people who won't do whatever you ask of them?

 

If you do make these demands of people, please, at least make the effort to look at the work and get back to them once they have gone through the effort.

Date
Company
Role
Result
Notes
Nov-20
British Music Collection
Climate. Sound. Change 3 x £500 grants
Rejected

I was going to use the money to continue work in the vein of the then-recently completed The Machinery. I'm still trying to get funding for that, and my presentation at SOUND/IMAGE 22 was really a way to pick it back up.

Dec-20
Clod Ensemble
Sound Creator (One year, salaried)
Rejected

I was one of ten people interviewed from around 500 applicants, which game a sense of hope about how my post-masters life was going to that was sadly not borne out by subsequent experiences. Got the rejection the day before Christmas Eve, which was a very very dark time but Clod Ensemble and Paul Clark in particular have been the biggest help in my career so far. They paid all shortlisted applicants for their trial work. Be like Clod Ensemble.

Jan-21
Arcola Theatre
Today I'm Wiser Festival proposal
Rejected

Festival postponed by two months because of Covid. Then got rejected

Mar-21
Literary Agencies
Submissions

Rejected

Submitted Springtime in the Lonesome Valley to around 20 agents. Received one positive response. Wrote the novel off (no pun) as an experience-gaining exercise in the end as the work I'll need to do to revise it will be mighty indeed, but maybe one day long in the future I'll revisit it.

Mar-21
Sage Gateshead
Summer Studios 2021
Rejected

'The panel enjoyed reading about your journey so far but the standard of the competition was incredibly high this year and overall they felt the delivery and execution of your musical ideas could be improved. Your plan for the residency was ambitious but perhaps expecting more than the residency can offer, so in the end they felt other applicants would benefit more from taking part this year.'

Apr-21
nonclassical
Associate Composers Scheme
Rejected

Had to ask to find out I was rejected. See Scumbag Corner for more on that one

Apr-21
Sounds and Music
New Voices 2021
Rejected

Feedback. Registration takes place in April and I got my feedback in December. That's a seven-month process from start to finish. Given that this is the most lucrative programme for composers like me, I poured hours and hours and hours and hours into the application. It's an extremely demanding process and is definitely the most emotionally and morally destructive of all

May-21
NTS
Work in Progress 2021
Rejected

Was going to use the programme to make an EP. Response

May-21
The Nest Collective
Amplify (12-month Associate/Mentorship programme)
Rejected

The mentorship would've helped me transition into a pro. 'I'm writing to tell you that unfortunately you haven't been selected as one of our 4 associate artists for 2021. We had hundreds of applicants and a lengthy debate within our panel to select the final four. I know how disappointing it is to receive these emails so I wanted to take the time to thank you for your application. Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications were unable to offer feedback on your application. Thanks so much for sharing your music with us.'

May-21
Sounds and Music
Covid Composer Award
Rejected
May-21
NEKO 18
-
-

Very vague but I believe it was two months of hanging out in this place where important people work and probably going to presentations about how to network and stuff like that. 2,000-word application, but was immediately bait and switched. They announced they were pushing it back by several months and changing it to this. Take a look at that website and try and tell me what it actually is. Its infuriatingly opaque. What is CLOCK? 'CLOCK is a collective approach to professional development.' But what is it? 'CLOCK is open, flexible and accessible. Learn in your own time.' Yeah but what is it though? 'CLOCK is your kit with resources and processes to help you validate your skills and knowledge. Never fucking mind.' Basically, I think its the kind of thing they would organise in the hall at secondary school and you get a certificate at the end. Nah

Jun-21
MDPI UK
Freelance English Editor for Research Journals.
Rejected
Jun-21
Thoughty2
Freelance Writer
Rejected

Very well-paying role writing scripts for the Thoughty2 podcast. I was shortlisted and submitted this script on the requested topic of trees. Feedback: 'Thank you for sending across your sample. I really enjoyed reading it. As you know I'm looking for a very unique writing style and unfortunately, I don't quite feel this aligns with it. It is very well-written and well-researched, but just isn't the right voice for the channel. So I won't be moving forward with your application. I'm really sorry to disappoint you but thank you for all the work you've put into this and I wish you all the best.'

Jul-21
Opera North
Minute Masterpieces compeition
Rejected

Had to ask to find out I was rejected. See On The Eight

Jul-21
HyperJar
Customer Service Agent
Rejected

I actually have no idea what this is but I have emails showing that I interviewed for them

Aug-21
Penguin
Editorial Assistant, BBC Audio
Rejected

Wrote a podcast review as part of my application

Sep-21
Orchestras Live
Music Creator
Rejected

Had to ask to find out I was rejected

Sep-21
Oxford Contemporary Music
OCM Boom 2021-22
Rejected
Sep-21
Ross Thomas
Music Composer Intern
Rejected

Added him on LinkedIn and messaged him as well. Never got a response or any updates on the job

Sep-21
The Grand, Folkestone (hotel)
Pianist
Rejected

Never got a response. Though I think the hotel might have closed in 2022

Sep-21
Global Lingo
Minute Taker

?

Just weird. I get emails from them every now and again asking for my ID, bank details and asking if I'll take an extensive background/criminal-record check for them. Just so I can remotely join their meetings somewhere on the other side of the world and take minutes for them? Is there really nobody in their immediate surroundings that can take minutes? Could they not just lean into the hallway and say 'hey you, wanna take some minutes?' to the first person they see?

Sep-21
Entertainment Centre
Part Time Creative Writer
Rejected
Sep-21
News UK
Digital Writer
Rejected

Never heard anything

Sep-21
Thoughty2
Freelance Writer
Rejected

This role was too perfect and too good to miss so I got back in touch with the recruiter (the role was kind of an ongoing/open ad at the time) and talked my way into being able to submit another samples script. I listened to a bunch of episodes of the podcast, made a big effort to absorb their tone and voice, planned, wrote and meticulously revised this brand new script on the same topic as before. I crafted it in such a way that the remainder of the script suggested itself and could easily (was begging to be, actually) turned into a completed version. Same feedback as before

Oct-21
Canterbury College
Speculative email to try and get volunteer work working as a music teacher/tutor
Rejected

No response

Oct-21
Titanium Tutors
Music Tutor
-

Registered with the company as they had a student in London somewhere who needed a music tutor. Paid c. £50 for a DBS, went through their tedious, months-long admin registration process where the person I was speaking to at their end would comically change every week or so, and started preparing the course I was going to teach. Only then did they decide to give me an interview with the parent of the student. After a brief phone call while she was getting out of a taxi, she said she would let me know then told the company that actually she wanted someone who was taught GCSE before. See my review

Oct-21
Larian Studios
Writer
Rejected

Never heard anything after receiving the following email: 'Thank you so much for applying to our Writer position at Larian. Weve have an overwhelming amount of applications come in over the last week. At this point, were proceeding with our first wave of applicants, but well be revisiting your profile in the future. We just wanted to send on an email to let you know that it might be some time before were back in contact, but youre still in consideration at this time. Thanks again for your interest, and hopefully well be in touch with you soon!'

Nov-21
-
SEO Editor

Successful

I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement for this role so have to be careful with the details. I joined the company after passing their proofreading/editing tests. Happy for something to work out finally and it paid very very well. My probation month went swimmingly--got great feedback and proofreading manager said he had had great feedback from my line manager. I actually like proofreading. Role was remote and company were pretty chill. We got paid a daily rate and was told early on that were trusted to do the work were set and do our jobs without too much interference. Only that wasn't the case--after my probation period ended I was casually asked to install the surveillance software Time Doctor on my own computer so they could track my working day down the minute (you have to record toilet breaks in this software, that's the surveillance level were talking here). Enjoy Time Doctor's literature written in classic SEO semi-English, and keep in mind that they're talking about human beings, not herds* of rats.


I pointed out that I had successfully done the job until then without the need for surveillance software. I was also told in clear English prior to accepting the role that we are not surveilled and trusted to manage our own time. I sent this lengthy email detailing my very valid concerns (most pressing of all, a tech company should not be asking me to let them record my screen without there being a robust data privacy policy in place. I brought this up and was given the bro trust me defence, the reasoning being that they promise they wont look at your data and use it against you. The trust, of course, didn't work both ways. Trust me to do my work without surveiling me didn't fly). The response to my lengthy, verbose, articulate email and the concerns I raised was thus: either install the software or don't work for us.


*I've just learned that a group of rats is called a mischief, which is quite delightful

Nov-21
WEA
Music Appreciation tutor

Successful

Long story, but I never ended up working for them

Nov-21
Guardian Blind Dates
-

Still haven’t found me a date :(( gimme a break universe

Nov-21
Random House
Editorial Assistant, Cornerstone
Rejected

Wrote a non-fiction review as part of the application. Knowing that my last rejection was rejected outright, I took a shot and tried to stand out by doing something clever. My application was rejected around three days after I submitted it, well in advance of the advert even closing. I questioned that and received this response assuring me that it was all good

Nov-21
Deskchair
Freelance Academic Writer
Rejected
Nov-21
Rabbit Hole
Staff Writer
Rejected

Drafted a c. 1500-word email after they asked applicants to do so and I discovered I seemed to fit what they were looking for. Response a month later was: 'Thanks for this, we'll take a look and let you know if were interested.' Nothing more (but see below)

Dec-21
Odyssey Piano Studio
Travelling Piano Teacher
Rejected
Jan-22
VIDA Select
Creative Freelance Writer
Rejected

'Although we were impressed with your writing, we have decided not to move your application forward to the next round of interviews.'. Shortlisted, took their tests, rejected. This pick-up-artisty company pretends to be you on dating sites (shady in hindsight). Since I'm actually a seasoned dating-app pro and frankly am a dream to talk to, I was surprised to find that they didn't agree that I'd nailed it (I did). This is a rare unambiguous case where I can say they made the incorrect choice. Pick apart my professional credentials, sir, but question not my gifts of the written comedic/charming variety

Mar-22
Oxford University
Proof Reader
Rejected
Mar-22
Sounds and Music
Covid Composer Award

Successful

£500 grant

Apr-22
Leamington Sinfonia
Composition Competition
Rejected
Apr-22
Sounds and Music
New Voices 2022
Rejected

I believed I had addressed the feedback from the previous year's application and met every single one of the application requirements and guidelines in microscopic detail. However. Extremely, extremely emotionally demanding. Spending weeks on the application, waiting months on end for responses. You try to put it out of your mind and focus on other things, but the temptation to believe it could work out always gets the best of you

Apr-22
Sage Gateshead
Summer Studios 2022
Rejected

Response. Worth pointing out that my application *didn't* focus heavily on rehearsing and practising for a performance. I was going to use the time to work on Struggle. Keep this in mind while you're spending hours on your applications--it's very possible that the people you're trying to win over with your carefully crafted rhetoric won't even read it properly

May-22
Danimations
Comedy Writer
Rejected

Submitted my funny Home Alone summary. Had to chase them up to find out I was rejected

Jun-22
Unsigned Guide
Enquiry for funded recorded session at Strongroom Studios

Successful

Got the session. Recorded on 14/01/2023 after many reschedulings


Video

Jun-22
Bulletproof Documents
Academic Proofreader
Rejected

Wanted me to proofread an entire 2,000-word document to completion as a test. I completed one or two paragraphs to demonstrate that I am capable and returned it with this email. Never got a response (disclaimer: I misspelled remuneration as renumeration in the original email. I concede that that doesn't bode well for somebody applying for a proofreading role. The point still stands though. Whoops)

Jun-22
Rabbit Hole
Proposal
Rejected

Submitted my Cancel Culture article for consideration. No response

Jun-22
Danimations
Comedy Writer for News Channel
Withdrawn

After my unsuccessful earlier attempt, I received a notification stating that the company was starting a chatbot news YouTube channel and wanted writers to submit samples again. See the 'Other' section on my Writing page for more info

Jul-22
University of Greenwich
SOUND/IMAGE 22 Conference

Successful

Gave my presentation Stochasticism and Liminality: Over the Garden Sense in November 2022

Jul-22
Bluebird Transcription
Transcript Proofreader
Rejected

First update: 'Unfortunately due to too many applications from unqualified candidates we will have to repost this job with stricter filters and request that those who do have transcription and/or proofreading experience apply again. We cannot go through 927 applications separately. The post will be edited and re-posted shortly. Apologies again for the inconvenience.' Applied again then was rejected

Aug-22
Southwark Council
Music Tutor
Rejected

No response

Aug-22
RedCat Digital
Freelance Weekend Editors
Rejected

Application never viewed

Aug-22
Minnac Life Sciences
Freelance Copyeditor
Rejected

Application never viewed

Aug-22
Talewind
Writer/Narrative Designer
Rejected

Made a real effort to schmooze and get to know people at the company but it was admittedly ambitious given I have no experience in the games industry

Aug-22
Digital Gurus
Digital Content Editor
Rejected

Application never viewed

Aug-22
Comeback Media
UK-Based Content Editor

Rejected

Aug-22
Digital Spy
Freelance Sub-Editor

Rejected

Aug-22
MET Recruitment London
Copywriter and Content Editor
Rejected

Application never viewed

Aug-22
Clio Muse Tours
Content Editor

Rejected

Aug-22
Key Media
Copy Editor

Rejected

Aug-22
Runnymede Trust
Editor

Rejected

No response, chased up, ghosted

Aug-22
PA Media Group
Sub Editor

Rejected

Was asked to by the recruiter to confirm that I'd be happy with the part-time hours and salary, so it seemed promising. Later received the template rejection email

Aug-22
evulpo AG
Content Creator - English

Rejected

Asked to hand-write two pages explaining an English grammar/language concept as a test. I chose tautologies. Chased up, couldn't get hold of anyone, got a template rejection email almost three months later

Aug-22
Cambridge Proofreading
Editor
Rejected

Though I can apply again

Aug-22
Deluxe
Freelance English Editor
Withdrawn

Wanted me to do an hour's unpaid work. Stand up to these people

Aug-22
Faversham Literary Society
Short Story Competition 2022

Rejected

Entry: Seven

Aug-22
Euromonitor International
Central Analyst/Writer
Rejected
Aug-22
Moral Rating Agency
News Release Writer

Rejected

'Thank you for your application and your follow-up email. Please be informed that your application is still being reviewed, which is under consideration among other candidates. We will contact you within the next two weeks if you are chosen for the interview round.' No more contact

Aug-22
The London Finance of Banking and Finance
Learning technology, multimedia production and educational content
Rejected

No response

Aug-22
The Guardian
Opnion pitch
Rejected

Pitched an article about my experience as someone who gained a music degree after attending secondary school where music wasn't offered as a GCSE following Rishi Sunak's proud declaration that he was going to cull so-called low-paying degrees in August 2022. I'm well attuned to fuckery of the Sunak variety after writing my undergraduate dissertation the value of art under neoliberalism

Aug-22
The Online Recording Studio
Remote Music Producer
Rejected
Aug-22
Ampifire
Solid Writers
Rejected

Heard nothing then received this in February 2023: 'Thank you for your interest. We have closed out this job and will not be moving forward at this time. Best of luck with your job search'

Aug-22
Embarque
SEO Editor and Fact-Checker
Rejected

Asked me for a reference, ghosted me

Aug-22
Ubiqus
Freelance Writer

Rejected

Had to transcribe a recording of a Bank of England meeting as a test (c. 600 words). Failed, but did get feedback on my submission, which is rare. Asked if I could be notified of future roles, got no response. Applied again in January and was rejected immediately

Sep-22
Tejan Bah
Writer/Researcher For Documentary YouTube Channel
Rejected

No response. Even added and messaged him on LinkedIn. But, when I looked over it later, the $10/1,000 heavily-researched words he was proposing is cause for concern

Sep-22
Arcadia
Writer
Rejected

Role turned out to be unpaid. I figured I could at least do a couple of articles to get some bylines. Had a remote interview booked. Logged on, they were confused about who I was, said they didn't have my details, told me to log off and contact HR then jump back on the call, I did so, and… got ghosted. GHOSTED, for a VOLUNTARY role. The world

Sep-22
Oxford Contemporary Music
OCM Boom 2022-23
Rejected

Wanted to do some multisensory variation of In From the Cold. Chased up, never received a response

Sep-22
BoxPlay
Freelance Writer
Rejected

Application never viewed

Sep-22
Aphelops
Narrative Designer
Rejected

Application never viewed

Sep-22
Devonshire
Freelance Proofreader
Rejected
Sep-22
Sample Replays Ltd
Logic Pro / Melodyne editor
Rejected

Application never viewed

Sep-22
Whippersnapper Media Limited
Freelance Proofreader
Rejected
Sep-22
Crossover
Production Writer, Write of Passage
Rejected

Application never viewed

Sep-22
ESG Book
Content Editor
Rejected

Application never viewed

Sep-22
Trendforce.one
Copyeditor
Rejected

Application never viewed

Sep-22
Digital 51
Content Designer
Rejected

Application never viewed

Sep-22
RWS Group
English Editor
Rejected

Application never viewed

Sep-22
The Guardian
Internships x 12 (Creative Access)
Rejected

'Due to the high volume of applications we regret to inform you that your application has not been progressed on this occasion.' The fuck does that mean? Another application I spent weeks down the drain without even any feedback. I even crafted a custom e-signature. This one stung as I'm a Guardian subscriber. It's another case where the job description literally described me as the person they were looking for (it was a positive-action role quite rightly to help correct the 54% of journalists from the demographic of 7% of people who went to private school), but whatever

Sep-22
VAMS
Article Writing
Rejected

Application viewed, never got a response

Sep-22
Plaid
Freelance Content Writer
Rejected
Sep-22
Morson Talent
Web Content Manager
Rejected
Sep-22
Summa Linguae
English Native Proofreaders/Editors
Rejected
Sep-22
Insider Inc
Subeditor
Rejected
Sep-22
ProofreadingServices.com
Proof Reader
Rejected

Failed their test

Sep-22
Creative Resource
Proofreader
Rejected

No response or updates

Sep-22
Rethink Mental Illness
Content Writer
Rejected
Sep-22
United Music Group
Music Producer
Rejected

Seemed a little bit too good to be true in the first place. Supposedly they were hiring to people to work in a recording studio as producers, composers, mixers, everything, for 32k a year, but didn't require any previous experience. There was a slight sadistic element to it as, once you applied, you were asked to find United's phone number on the internet, phone, and confirm your application. The only available phone number was their general one, so you had to sit on hold and maybe get through to someone who may or may not have any idea what you are talking about. I eventually managed and was told somebody would be in touch. I got the update on Indeed saying my application had been viewed, and that was it. Chased up, got ghosted

Sep-22
Bryant Pharmacy
Data Entry Clerk
Rejected

Had phone interview, went great, was ready to start. Then they revealed at the end of the call that the role wasn't remote and I would need to be based in Poole ???????????????        In an extremely bizarre coincidence, the lady who interviewed me said her son was studying music and wanted a composition tutor. She saw on my application that I was a musician and asked if I'd be interested. I would, I gave her my website, she said she would be in contact. No more contact

Sep-22
Modops
Chat Moderator
Rejected
Sep-22
Hachette
Junior Editor
Gave up

I realised Hachette are part of Penguin and the application was the same as the other two I did. After those experiences, knowing how much effort would need to go into making the application semi-decent, knowing I could do that and have it rejected before the ad even closes again, they've very possibly decided who they're hiring already, and knowing therefore that my chances of success hovered somewhere around 0%, I had a moment of clarity and stopped wasting my time

Sep-22
Neuto
Freelance Conent Writer
Rejected
Sep-22
Upraise Education
Freelancer Journal Manuscripts Copy-editor and Proofreader
Rejected
Sep-22
Creatilogic Culture Media Limited
Content Writer
Rejected
Sep-22
Luno Fashion
English Editor and Proofreading
Rejected

'Unfortunately, due to market conditions, we have to cease hiring for now. I’ll make sure to keep your resume and get back to you later this year if we reopen the position.'

Sep-22
Tamara Jenna Productions LTD
Freelance Writer
Rejected

Spoke once, chased up, ghosted

Sep-22
Jenrick Commercial
Copywriter and Content Editor
Rejected

No response

Sep-22
TV Transcriptions Ltd
Freelance Proofreader
Rejected
Sep-22
-
Ghostwriter

Successful

Very happy to land a writing role and collaborate on a series of finance-based articles. Wrote three before the role came to an end. Very rewarding and enjoyable, but as I was a ghostwriter I don't have my name on the work. Here's a discarded sample of one though

Sep-22
Austin Macauley Publishers & Olympia Publishers
Submitted novella Dead Man
-

I wrote Dead Man mostly for myself, but decided to shoot my luck and send it off to a select few publishers just in case. I wasn't prepared to learn than even in publishing there are powerful people trying to shake down artists and hoover up more money for themselves. Meet publishing scams. These two companies sent me almost identical emails stating that my work was fantastic etc. and they think it has great potential, BUT, here's the rub, they're not doing so great at the moment,. What I can do is give them some money and they'll stick my work on their website for me. See the reviews, one of which may or may not be mine

Oct-22
DL News
Copy Editor
Rejected
Oct-22
Arts Council
Developing Your Creative Practice grant (to help me record my album)
Rejected

'Other applications were preferred. Panel noted that - your application didn’t clearly show us how your activity meets the aims of Developing your Creative Practice.'

Oct-22
Avado
Junior Copy Editor
Rejected
Oct-22
London Symphony Orchestra
LSO Soundhub 2022/23
Rejected

All applicants get entered into a prize draw to become a slightly less lucrative Soundhub Associate. I was successful in becoming a randomly-selected Associate, which is a massively valuable achievement and gives me something I can make the most of in 2023, but I am stuck with the knowledge that only composer-related scheme I've been successful in gaining entry to so far was the result of a random prize draw

Nov-22
Hera
Houseplant Projects (composition comission)
Rejected
Dec-22
Help Musicians
Creative Activities grant (to help me record my album)
Rejected

They don't do feedback

Dec-22
OCTAPULL
Freelance Part-Time Content Writer
Rejected

Application never viewed

Dec-22
LSO Soundhub
LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme 2023/24
Rejected

'Unfortunately, I am writing to inform you that your application was unsuccessful on this occasion. With more than 200 submissions, this year’s scheme saw a record level of interest. That sadly means we cannot provide individual feedback. We very much hope that you will apply to the Panufnik Composers Scheme again in future, and encourage you to keep an eye on other opportunities within LSO Discovery.'

Dec-22
CoMA London
Composer in Residence
Rejected
Dec-22
Uoffer Global
Freelance Proofreader
Rejected
Dec-22
?
Freelance Musician

Rejected

Anonymous posting on Indeed looking for a composer for some project. I assumed I had been rejected until I received an email in February 2023 asking me to submit some sample music. Feedback was good and they wanted to hire me, so I genuinely felt I had I finally landed a job as a musician. Then I got this contract to sign. The gist was this: I do all the work making the music, they pay me next to nothing, and for the privelege I surrender every conveivable legal right to that music to them for all eternity. They weren't interested in negoating or reconsidering, so it was a no from me

Jan-23
The Podcast Boutique
Podcast Editor
-

There is a hot new trend in recruiting called the phone screen test. In their description, you record yourself answering a number of questions the hiring company has typed out so they can get to know a bit about you and see whether you'd be a great fit for the company. In more plain English: companies now cannot even be bothered to interview you. They want you to interview yourself and they or may or may not review your answers. Kindly join me in the resistance by inviting all recruiters who demand this to reevaluate their choices

Jan-23
365x366
Graduate Writer
Withdrawn

This company does good work raising funds for Ukraine war relief. Less good is their request for applicants to write a roughly 1,500-word story in three parts (unpaid) as part of the application process. Its ok, though, because the recruiter promises that the work of all unsuccessful applicants will be deleted. They totally will not field free work from gullible people, in other words. See my response

Jan-23
LSO Soundhub
Call for scores for lunchtime concert in April
Rejected

Submitted By Degrees

Jan-23
Current Affairs
Pitch for article
Rejected

Pitched my There is No Such Thing as Cancel Culture article as I'm keen to rework it and get it published. Thought I'd found the perfect home for it

Jan-23
Music Gateway
Freelance Content Writer and Blogger
Rejected

Phone interview on a Monday, told everybody would be updated by Friday. Ghosted

Jan-23
Phono Sounds
Music Company Repertoire Registration
Rejected
Jan-23
Unsigned Guide
Spotlight submission

Rejected

Submitted Struggle Prelude to Unsigned Guide for inclusion in their monthly Spotlight email/playlist. Said it could take a while, March and April playlists passed without me in them

Feb-23
M.ASSIGNMENTS LTD
Freelance Writer

Rejected

Application never viewed

Feb-23
Smart Thinking Consultancy
Freelance Content Writer

Rejected

Feb-23
Copy and Content by Lola
Podcast Assistant & Copywriter

Rejected

'Thank you for applying, this role is now closed. This role received more than 100 applications and I enjoyed and appreciated reading each one. Unfortunately, you have not been successful but thank you for taking the time to apply and I wish you luck in your job search.' Can't be mad when you at least get a response

Feb-23
Aquent
SEO Content Writer

Rejected

'Thank you for submitting your application.  This position has been filled with another candidate.  Although this particular job is no longer available, please remember that we will still consider you for other positions that match your qualifications.'

Feb-23
iAM Compliant Limited
Creative Scriptwriter (Freelancer)

Rejected

Application never viewed

Feb-23
The Peoples Political Party
Content Writer

Rejected

Received a message asking which evenings I'd be available to talk on. Replied, no response, chased up, ghosted

Feb-23
Principle Music
Freelance Writer

Rejected

Somebody with some music experience was 'desired'. I repeat: somebody with some music experience

Feb-23
Trendforce
Copyeditor

Withdrawn

Advert stated the role was part time. Received Linkedin message from CEO asking me to submit a long cover letter to HR giving my rate and hours, among other things. Spent half a day crafting the perfect cover letter. HR manager emailed the next day ignoring my stated rate and hours and offered me less money for more hours per week (their budget was below what I stated). Note that if I'd known that, I wouldn't have applied in the first place. More time wasted for no reason. PUT THE FUCKING PAY AND HOURS IN THE JOB DESCRIPTION

Feb-23
The Guardian
Opinion pitch

Rejected

Pitched an opinion article along the lines of this very page. There were a lot of articles around similar lines coming out at the time (this, this, this), so it seemed timely

Feb-23
The Sportster
Proofreader

Rejected

I noticed some errors in the articles I was reading on this site. I channelled my inner salesman, found the details of the head of the site's content, and sent a very persuasive email offering my services as a proofreader. He emailed straight back thanking me for the errors I pointed out but said they weren't looking for editors at the moment. No hard feelings there. Worth a shot

Feb-23
Rabbit Hole Magazine
Article pitch

-

Spent a couple of weeks thinking about and half a day crafting a pitch email for an article examining the rising popularity and acceptability of astrology and its links to the overall rise in conspiratorial thinking and misinformation. I'm a passionate scpetic and it's extremely disturbing to see nonsense like this tying hostility to astrology to misogyny (you, rather than it being because it's factually invalid). Received email straight back saying the magazine had closed down so they aren't accepting articles. Note that nothing online suggests this and their site still says they're accepting pithces.

Feb-23
Freelance blog / content writer (home-based/Fully remote/PT)
Lnco

Rejected

Carefully crafted a cover letter as it was a case of the role sounding perfect. Checked Indeed five minutes later and I'd been rejected even though it also said the recruiter had last reviewed candidates 23 days ago. Who knows

Feb-23
Glastonbury Festival 2023
Emerging Talent Competition

Rejected

Worth a shot

Mar-23
Action Aid
Writer & Editor

Rejected

Feb-23
Nief-Norf
International call for scores 2023

Rejected

Didn't actually remember applying for this, so bit of a bonus rejection.

Mar-23
Michael Page
Story Editor

Rejected

Mar-23
Unit4
Technical Writer (Internship)

Rejected

Feb-23
130701
Submitted demo for record label

Rejected

Sent what I believed to be a very persuasive email to this record label that hosts a lot of pianists and composers to try and get me signed. Long shot, but it was worth a go. I subsequently came across this article that helped me to understand that that isn't really how it works anymore anyway. Once you're doing well enough on your own, labels will start to appear

Feb-23
?
Academic Content Writer

Rejected

LinkedIn connection made a post about a role they were hiring for. Submitted CV and application, was told they would be in touch, chased up, no response. Received a response in late March saying that I was unsuccessful but they may be  hiring again in April. The role, it turns out, is writing answers to questions at a rate of 9 Indian rupees per 100 words (about 9 pence). My fault for once again not checking the rate in advance

Mar-23
ITV
Question writer for University Challenge

Rejected

The application was quite a bit of work. Forot all about it, got an email two months stated that I hadn't been selected for an interview. I guessed that, buddy.

Mar-23
Victoria Pink Transcription
Audio Transcribers

Rejected

860 people applied

Mar-23
Sage Gatesead
Summer Studios 2023

Rejected

This is now my third year applying. Given that I was shortlisted last year, I've spent the past year trying to address everything they told me to address, and I'm literally making music and need this opportunity, I don't know what else I can do. I'll probably give up and work in a call centre if at least one of these music things doesn't work out this year.

Update: Rejected! Three years in a row. I have absolutely no fucking idea how the world works. I just don't understand.

Mar-23
Immigration Advice Service
Freelance Editorial Content Writer/Journalist

Rejected

Application never viewed

Mar-23
Transcription Global
Proofreader

Rejected

Mar-23
Be Creative Agency
Freelance Copywriter

Rejected

Application never viewed

Mar-23
Royal Philharmonic Society
RPS Composers Programme 2024

Rejected

Another massive, highly competitive opportunity. Spent weeks on the application and went through several drafts as I tried to fit everything I wanted to say into the 1,000-character limit for each question. Have to wait until June to find out if I've been shortlisted. As much as you try to forget about it and manage your expectations, I will get hopeful between now and then. Time to go through it all again.

Update: rejected after three months of waiting. They think I'm really great and talented but they're not going to help me

Mar-23
Renowned For Sound
Music Reviewer

Rejected

Application never viewed

Apr-23
HW Fisher
Scholarship for Writers with Low Income

Rejected

Massive blow. Scholarship gave fully-funded access to a very lucrative novel-writing programme. Agency itself and a selection of industry experts offer guidance for completing a novel. I was going to use it to complete Decay (see Writing), which I believe is a book that actually needs to exist. Spent several weeks editing down my opening to chapter, spent an entire weekend on the application form. Submitted on Monday, rejected on Thursday. Don't see how they could have read all of the 'high volume of applications' in four days, but that's how it goes. I made the absolute best case possible for myself.

Apr-23
Confidential
Ghostwriter for biography

Rejected

Massive opporutity and a massive blow.  Submit application, client impressed and wants a sample (very interesting person). Produce an excellent, detailed, one-page sample from the scant life details they provided (obviously, I'm good at it). Well received, thinks I'm the person for the job. Bit of back and forth, I'm having to chase up all the time, I submit a price. This could change my life. Hear nothing for over a week, chase up, client was 'just about to email me'.  Loved my writing but there was a panel of four people who voted for someone else. Oxford graduate got it, I expect.

Apr-23
World Coffee Portal
Content Writer

Rejected

Asked to submit writing samples for manager to review. Submitted, no response. Chased up over the following month, ghosted.

Apr-23
Jobscribe Now
Freelance Proofreader

Rejected

Indeed showed after I submitted an application that 2,185 people had also applied for it. Think I can safely forget about this one.

Apr-23
One Golden Nugget
Freelance Book Writer

Rejected

Similarly, Indeed showed 1,311 people have applied for this one. Safely assume it's a no.

Apr-23
Research Publishing International
Freelance business/ economics writer

Withdrawn

Granted this unfolded immediately after I got rejected for the Ghostwriter role above. This role is doing almost precisely what I did for the other (unreated) Ghostwriter role I did. Get a brief, do research, write articles. Submitted samples of my work, response said cool, the next stage is to do a trial article. Email gave the rates of their various kinds of articles. Only it turns out the trial is unpaid. It's 'just to see my suitability for the format'. I've done enough of these 'justs' to know that I'll spend time on it, submit it, and never hear from them again. I stated that I'm not in a position to unpaid work. In fact, my policy in light of the mountain of unpaid work detailed in this spreadsheet is: if you're asking for unpaid work of any kind, you can go fuck yourself.

Apr-23
Confidential
Entry Level Staff Writer - Novels

Rejected

Apr-23
Geographical Magazine
Writing/Journalism Intern

Rejected

Apr-23
Arts Council England
Developing Your Creative Practice Round 17 funding application

Rejected

This is my second time applying. Two unsuccessful applications means you're not allowed to apply again for a couple of years, so I'm all out of ideas after this. I can't make the EP without money.


Update: rejected

May-23
IFC Media Limited
Commissioning Editor (Freelance)

Rejected

May-23
MYA Consulting Ltd
Proofreader

Rejected

Totally bizarre. Recruiter kept invoking 'courage' to get me to withdraw my application because he had too many. Made it clear how interested I was then got ghosted

May-23
Michy Studios
Musician

-

Another scam. Advert on Reed for some kind of musicians' agency that are looking for submissions. Submitted some stuff, got this email back saying that I can pay them between £300 and £1,000 and they'll totally make me famous. Pretty much exactly the same as the Austin McConnell publishing scam (see above). The name of the company wasn't actually included in the ad, but a little subsequent Googling revealed that they are already a well-known scamming organisation. Be careful out there.

Jun-23
University of Birmingham
Sounding Change Programme

Rejected

At least I didn't have to wait long. Only around two weeks between application and rejection

Jun-23
Musinfo
Sampo Academy
Jun-23
Tomplay
Freelance Proofreader
Jun-23
Proof Content
Editor / Copywriter

Rejected

We really appreciate your time and enthusiasm, but unfortunately we’ve had candidates with more relevant experience so we will not be moving forward with your application.

Jul-23
City Lit
Music History & Music Theory Tutor

Rejected

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