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Submission statregy?

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poet-e
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Submission statregy?

Post by poet-e » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:33 pm

Submissions for poem publications feels like a crap shoot.

Any advice?

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Wren Tuatha
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Re: Submission statregy?

Post by Wren Tuatha » Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:19 am

I see this was posted in June but I'm just now seeing it. I do a lot of submitting. I would say submitting is less of a long shot than not submitting! Some of my ramblings on the topic:

If you can learn when to trot out your ego (getting the nerve to submit) and when to tamp it down (from the time you hit send), you'll do fine. 

I think the most daunting thing is that you really can't spam submit; you do better when you tailor each submission, which means reading the journal to decide what to send, and whether to send. That's time consuming, with no promise of acceptance. But if you think of the time reading a journal as its own benefit, and enjoyable, then, ok. 

Also, the quality of your work is only one consideration for an editor. They may be putting together an issue and want work that goes well together. Then your work may be great but not what they're looking for. A particular journal is that editor's sand box. They aren't clueless or stuck up when they decline your work. Most journals reject 90-95%. Also, there are a thousand other journals out there, so moving on...

The best thing your can do to assure success is rererererewrite, stick it in a drawer for 6 months and then rererererewrite again. And then match your work to the journal as best as possible. Sometimes themed issues are easier, and so called "outlaw" journals are very accessible. If the cost of submittable fees is an issue, Trish Hopkinson's blog is a great source for no fee submissions and contests. 


I enjoy submitting. I'd like to her other poets' experiences! Wren
 

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Colm Roe
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Re: Submission statregy?

Post by Colm Roe » Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:49 am

Recently read an article about a novelist who set himself a target of 100 rejections :)
There's a man who knows the business...and revels in the challenge!
And he published :D

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Tracy Mitchell
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Re: Submission statregy?

Post by Tracy Mitchell » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:07 pm

Excellent thoughts, Wren.

Best submission letter I've ever heard of:

"I collect rejections letters; may I have one of yours?"

 

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Gyppo
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Re: Submission statregy?

Post by Gyppo » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:08 am

Sound advice from Wren.

Some writers just rely on the shotgun approach.  Blast off countless submissions in all directions and some of them are bound to hit.   Virtually free email submissions have encouraged this approach.  But time spent looking at the market usually pays off.  Try for a 'best fit', with a backup list of options if it misses.

If you're still sending out paper and it comes back crumpled, print out a fresh copy for the next submission.  If you were an editor and opened an envelope to find a dog-eared and well thumbed mess wouldn't you be inclined to assume that if nobody else wanted it you probably wouldn't either.  If there was a self addressed envelope for return the temptation to just slide it in and clear your desk would be almost overpowering.

One thing is 100% certain though.  A manuscript just sat on your hard drive, or tucked away in a file drawer is never going to sell, or even get free publication.

That's a stone cold fact.

Gyppo
I've been writing ever since I realised I could.  Storytelling since I started talking.  Poetry however comes and goes  ;-)

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Gyppo
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Re: Submission statregy?

Post by Gyppo » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:12 am

Tracy Mitchell wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:07 pm
Best submission letter I've ever heard of:

"I collect rejections letters; may I have one of yours?"

 
Any editor with a sense of humour, if still dealing with paper, would be tempted to put half a dozen rejection slips into an envelope for you.  "Certainly, be my guest."

Gyppo
 
I've been writing ever since I realised I could.  Storytelling since I started talking.  Poetry however comes and goes  ;-)

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Tracy Mitchell
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Re: Submission statregy?

Post by Tracy Mitchell » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:18 am

:D :D :D

poet-e
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Re: Submission statregy?

Post by poet-e » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:43 am

Thanks for all your thoughts!

I've tried finding good fits, but it seems hard since my work is unique... but than again, I didn't get placed in a contest on healing when most of my work focuses on that.

I submit to get feedback, but I have never gotten any with my rejections.  Have you?

Every January, I send out a few poems and like every new year's resolution, this never lasts long.

How do you motivate yourself to keep submitting?

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Gyppo
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Re: Submission statregy?

Post by Gyppo » Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:09 pm

It's a sad fact that most editors won't give feedback.  Their job is to find stuff which fits their magazine, not be an unpaid guide and mentor.  If an item jumps off the page at them, and fits nicely into their publishing plan, they'll ruthlessly discard another piece they may have been considering until then.

If one does scribble a little note,  something like "Nice style but we need shorter pieces," then take note.  Try them with something shorter.

Sometimes you can do well with a magazine which isn't specifically a poetry mag.  A dog magazine which uses shorter items for example might like your musings on Toby.

Also....  Just submitting a few pieces in January each year isn't a strategy.  It's a dabble.  Set yourself a target, even if it's only a couple of pieces a month, and stick to it.  Never be afraid to submit more, but don't sink back below that base level.  Consistency is a powerful weapon in any writer's toolbox.  It's good for your own psychology as well.

And never wait for one piece to be accepted before getting more out there in circulation.

Best wishes,

Gyppo
I've been writing ever since I realised I could.  Storytelling since I started talking.  Poetry however comes and goes  ;-)

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