Saturday, April 25, 2009

Submitting Poems....

Lately I've been wondering why I haven't been hearing from any literary journals. I haven't been submitting much with NaPoWriMo, but today I decided since I finished my poem for the day and my family is out, to send out a few poems.

Well, when I looked into my little index card box (which is my filing/organizational system for submissions), I realize, I only have poems out at about 3-4 places, and one is since September, so the question "is my submission lost?" went through my head.

Oh, let me confess early, I so dislike submitting.

It can overwhelm if I let it--where to send what poem? It can bore--not another cover letter with that dull opening, "Enclosed are my poems..." It can create self-doubt (don't send that poem, that's a terrible poem, they won't like that...)

But I know it's part of the job and I like to part of the conversation, to have my poems out in the world.

I write lists of journals I want to submit to and sometimes just leave random scraps of paper around with journal names. Once my husband found a note on my desk that said, "Submit to Black Warrior." And he said with a smirk, "What exactly does this mean?"

I was amused with that one. But now, I am listless. So where to submit?

Any ideas? I'm thinking about VQR, Tin House, Three Penny- these are places I haven't submitted to in years or at all.

Also, I realize there are some literary journals charging $20 for a poetry contest that doesn't include a subscription. That is WAY TOO MUCH. I remind myself that poetry contests are really just fundraisers for the journal and to understand that, and know that is why they are charging $20. And I know at Crab Creek Review, we charge $10 for 5 poems (which comes down to $2 a poem) in our poetry contest. We consider all the poems that were sent for possible publication.

I think $10 is reasonable if you want to enter a contest and support a journal. But $20 with no subscription seems a bit high given there are chapbook and mss contests that charge that much. I will pay $15 or $20 if I get a subscription to the journal though and if I love the journal, like North American Review.

Well, I've fallen off my soapbox. Enjoy your Saturday and let me know if you have any favorite journals you think I should submit to.



  1. Kelli- Have you ever submitted to Hyden's Ferry Review? If not, just a thought.

  2. What about Ouroboros Review ( They're a fairly new journal, and I know they published January (Poet Mom)...I've been enjoying the poems they've picked for publication.

    I'm considering submitting there as well and I was wondering if you were too.

  3. I agree with Maya. Also, have you considered the heavy hitters: Poetry, Ploughshares, and Slate? I think their selection process is not as stringent as it used to be.

    I'm in the same boat, but I have to find places that take previous published (poems I publish on my blog). I'll get back to mailing out after NaPo.

  4. Have you thought of Cave Wall? It's a great journal, the editor, Rhett, is phenomenally considerate, and I think your poems are right up her alley. And if not, she sends the best rejections... :o)

  5. Thanks everyone. Good ideas.

    I haven't submitted to Hayden's in a while and to the heavy hitters, not in a great while.

    Marie, I wasn't familiar with Cave Wall so thanks for that. I like good rejections too.

    And Maya, I hadn't considered Ouro.. but checked them out and recognized a few names-- January was there~!

    I submitted to Agni (you can now submit to them online) and found this list of journals that take online submissions:

    Thanks for the help. I'll get some submissions out this week!

  6. Might I suggest the new journal Ouroboros Review. It's both print and online and they are accepting submissions for the third issues. It's a gorgeous journal.

  7. Collin,

    You're the second to suggest to me, I will definitely send poems their way.



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