Sunday, September 20, 2009

Poetry Submissions - The Process: For the Love of Index Cards



My Submission Journal (above) - Beach Beauties



For the love of Index Cards


I haven't submitted since July and have very few submissions in the world right now.

I promised Jeannine I'd submit this week, so today is the day.

I thought I'd explain my cavegirl process, but as a paper-person, this works well for me.

I keep two boxes:
A "Submit These" box - these have the titles of all the poems that haven't been submitted

and a "Submitted" box - poems I've sent into the world.

I keep all the titles of my poems on index cards. When I submit them somewhere, I take it from the Submit These write the name of the journal below it and the date, then I file it alphabetically in Submitted.

When the poem is rejected or accepted, I pull the card and note it.

If it's rejected, it goes back into my Submit These box.
If it's accepted, it goes into the file marked Accepted (imagine that!)

To keep track of what journals have my poems, I have a notebook in which I write the journal's name, and all the poems I sent there along with the date.

That way, I can see both where a poem has been submitted (by looking at the index card which has all the journals listed below the title) and also, what journal has what poems.

I know I end up doing things 2x, but this is the system I keep returning to, even after my fancy Excel spreadsheet. This is what keeps me most organized.

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5 comments:

Jessie Carty said...

it seems a lot of poets use the index card system :) I used to do something similar but when i came back to submitting in 2006 i started an excel spreadsheet and i've stuck with that, although i do also print the current drafts of the poems and put them in a "submit" box so i can then pull them when rejected and look for revisions etc...i love hearing about how other people organize things!

Kells said...

Jessie--
I started with a notebook only, moved to an excel spreadsheet, then a few years ago moved back to my cards.

I actually think the spreadsheet makes the most sense, but I was tired of working on a computer when it came to submitting and I like to be able to physically group poems together and that helps me decide what to submit to where.

I've learned whatever works best for each person, is the best way for them. thanks for your note.

Kells said...

Jessie--
I started with a notebook only, moved to an excel spreadsheet, then a few years ago moved back to my cards.

I actually think the spreadsheet makes the most sense, but I was tired of working on a computer when it came to submitting and I like to be able to physically group poems together and that helps me decide what to submit to where.

I've learned whatever works best for each person, is the best way for them. thanks for your note.

Jennifer said...

This is an awesome system, I cannot believe I have not thought of this! I actually shuffle around the actual poems. This is so much better I am going to start making index cards as soon as possible.

I do also keep an exel spreadsheet.

January said...

I haven't found a system that works well for me. I've used spreadsheets, but untimately I come back to a word file that I update regularly.

I, too, have to start submitting again. *Sigh*

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