Forget Wall Street, I just sent my manuscript out today and I'm broke! I've got no change in my pocket going jingle, jingle, jingle... Holy poor poets, submitting a manuscript is becoming a pricey little activity. I had forgotten!
Printing of MSS at copy shop: $5
USPS First Class mail: $4-5
Reading fees for poetry contests: $20-25
Being rejected 6 months later: priceless
So it's about $35 to submit your mss to a poetry contest, $9 if you submit it to one of the fine presses that doesn't ask for a reading fee (see Amy's list my post below for those fine presses).
I hadn't realized that as poets we were spun from our gold. (We are you know.)
I am thankful that technology has come to a place where poets can now publish their own work. I would love to see a group of poets come together with some sort of cooperative and each poet publishes a book and is responsible for promoting his/her own book (and the money that would be used on contests, submitting, would go to helping the poet market their own book.) And the other poets would work as an editorial team to make sure that quality books would be printed. All the money that now goes out to presses, would be used for the cooperative.
Of course, I also don't want to see these independent presses go under and I know they get a lot of money from these contests (that's why they have them). We have a poetry and fiction contest each year at Crab Creek Review and much of that money keeps our little journal afloat! So it's a tricky thing, supporting independent presses and not going broke on contest fees yourself.
I need to think more about this, but there's something to this idea of a cooperative... maybe this will be a topic for my Artist Way morning pages (which I've done faithfully every day).
But in the manuscript department, I'm feeling really good about my second manuscript. Of course, this guarantees nothing, but there it is. I'm sure when a rejection flies into my mailbox, I will question myself, my work, the poetry world, the mail carrier, my dog, but for now, I'm feeling groovy.
So think good thoughts for me. My manuscript flies away today into the hands (hopefully the gentle hands) of strangers. I would love to get this second mss out in the world, so I'll take all the good thoughts and good karma you can give.
On the comedy front, here's some video from Chris Rock (who I *heart*) on the Larry King Show (who I'm not so crazy about). If you're at work, be warned, Chris's comments may not be workplace appropriate, definitely *not* PC, and maybe offensive to some, etc. etc. But I love what he says about McCain's houses. He makes some good points about voting for someone who represents the normal person.
Artist Date to be happening soon...