Submission Season

September 8, 2013 — 2 Comments

I have seen so many submission resources online in the last few weeks. August 1 and September 1 seem to be the start of the busiest time of year for book contests and open reading periods for journals. I want to connect all of the dots and list the resources in one place.

It all started with this tweet from Tom Holmes, editor of Redactions, and a poet with years of experience (author of six books, four Pushcart nominations, etc.).

Since I’m nowhere near 750 rejections, I’m wondering if I simply don’t submit enough. I’m not completely sold on the simultaneous submission process. It seems like the poems don’t get published any faster, but the rejections do come in droves.

I then found this resource on Diane Lockward’s blog about rules for submissions, particularly simultaneous submissions.

10 Rules for Submitting to Literary Magazines

Diane’s blog post on “10 Rules for Submitting to Literary Magazines” here explains that it is important to simultaneously submit to similar tiers of literary journals, or you run the risk of being accepted by a lower tier journal and then having to turn down a higher tier journal if the more competitive journal accepts your work a day later. The one item not mentioned in this article that I learned the hard way is to record the name of the editor of the journal or contest to which you are submitting. If you receive a positive, personalized rejection note, or if you are a finalist in a contest, you will want to know if that same editor is working on other projects that you can potentially submit to.

I also saw this article on What Editors Want; A Must-Read for Writers Submitting to Literary Magazines. It’s lengthy, but it does detail the difference in thinking between editors and writers.

If you are interested in strategies for simultaneous submissions, you might want to follow the project on Lightning Droplets blog, where the writer chose to submit to 30 literary journals in 30 days: Racking Up More Than Just Rejections. It sounds like the project had unexpected benefits, such as the discovery of new literary journals, and increasing the author’s desire to write even more.

So far my post has been about submitting individual poems. If you are looking for chapbook or manuscript submissions, this tweet from Kelly Davio may interest you.

Kelly’s blog post is titled On Survivorship Bias in the Writing World or: What Kind of Advice Have I Been Taking?

Kelly discusses how published writers giving advice tend to think that their path to success will be the path to success for others as well.

A few miscellaneous things:

An article on chapbooks from Susan Rich’s Blog The Beauty of the Chapbook: Alluring and Real

A list of chapbook publishers here and here from an earlier blog post of mine.

Tom Holmes created a list of places to submit manuscripts here.

Happy submitting!

2 responses to Submission Season


    Lynn, awesome post (and site). Great resources; thanks for sharing! I’m visiting from the ModPo writers’ group, and I look forward to learning from you throughout the course.

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