Submit Like a Man - Follow up

This post-- Submit Like a Man--on the difference between my experience on how men and women resubmit to journals who ask to see more, created some conversation, so I wanted to return to it to follow up on some of the comments & share a little more about my thoughts and beliefs behind my post.

Some of my favorite comments from that post were this--

from Michael:   ...the commotion I hear must be writers running to their therapists. 

from David:  Damn. Guess I won't be sending my "Frog Story: an Epic of Boyhood in 36 Cantos" to you now. . . .

From Ronda:  Must be in touch with my inner male. . .

From Shawnte:  You've got me questioning my own masculinity, now...


Most commenters agreed with my belief and verified that they too take a while to submit.

One told me my conclusion was "and well non-sensical 'political correctness'"  - Though I'm not sure what that means.   But I understood he *didn't* agree with me.

Jessie brought up the point that it probably varies with each editor and I completely agree with that.

I do think a few editors may be turned off by too soon, but I would lean toward "too soon" than "too late."  Especially if they read all year long and also realizing that sometimes you submit in January and by the time your submission gets to me or our Poetry Editor personally, 6 weeks may have already gone by since you sent it in.

With certain journals (Paris Review, Poetry, The New Yorker, any of the *big* guys), it might mean to resubmit during the next reading period because some of them have certain rules such as you can only submit once a year, etc.   

Yes, a big YES to following literary journal guidelines.

But with journals that do not have these "submit only once during a year" rules, again, I lean towards sooner than later.  


I think I bring this up because I have disappointed myself one too many times by not resubmitting soon enough after being asked to resubmit.  I am the classic case of how not to submit to literary journals.  I submit randomly and more infrequently than I think I should (or encourage others to do).

Also, as an editor I have seen how many of the male poets immediately send work back to us when we ask and a good majority of those submissions have been accepted.


Obviously, we each have to make our own decision on when and what to resubmit.  

I guess I'm thinking about something I heard a well-known writer say once -- If you're worried about being "too forward" or "self-promoting," you're probably not; it's the writers who don't think or care about how they are being perceived that usually have the issues of being the "shameless self-promoters."


Here are some tips for the poet who is new to submitting his/her work from the Academy of American Poets.  They are very basic, but they answer some questions some newer poets may have to submissions.  


Also, realize, we are all in this together-- poets and editors, new poets and experienced poets.  Rejection is part of the game, as is making mistakes.  

In the end, my best advice to any poet is to send your best work to your favorite journals.  

And if they write you a note to see more of your work and it's a journal you want to be part of, send again.  

Good luck and good writing!



  1. Thanks for continuing the conversation. I've had mixed results with this, but once I emailed the poetry editor after getting a "send again" note. She made a great point about journals that are staffed by grad students: TURNOVER. She encouraged me to submit again right away b/c she would be graduating and moving on after that particular reading period and could make no promises about her successor. I submitted and still got rejected, but I appreciated the insight into journals that are based at MFA/PhD programs.

  2. Thanks, Kelli. Very helpful to those of us who are just beginning to submit.


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