Thursday, February 24, 2011

Trials and Tribulations of a Poet...

Tomorrow we will talk about the importance of poetry. Yes, it is important. Yes, even today. Why? you ask. Tune in tomorrow and find out.

Today, since this blog is supposed to be about sharing my experiences and (admittedly limited) knowledge of writing / publishing, I thought I’d go on a bit about my own submission process.

As you may know, I’m working on book length poetry manuscript about adopting Grace. Because I hope to one day publish said manuscript, I’m in the process of sending out individual poems to various literary journals. Why? you ask again, curious reader. Because, poetry publishers want to see that others have already taken a chance on you and published individual poems before they commit to a full length poetry book. It’s fun all around!!

Anyway, waaaay back in August I sent out a group of poems to a particular journal. As you might know, it takes a while to hear back from literary journals. This one in particular said to wait six months before contacting them if you haven’t heard from them yet. So, I waited. And waited.

Meanwhile, my little submission sat there on Duotrope, the days out getting higher and higher. This is good! I thought. Maybe, I haven’t heard anything because they LOVE my work and it’s winding its way through the approval process. (Don’t laugh too hard, this has actually happened a few times.)

Finally, I passed the six month mark and did what any good writer does. I emailed asking about the status of my work. A few days passed, and this morning the long awaited email appeared like magic in my inbox. With butterflies dancing in my stomach I opened the email.

Was it an acceptance? A rejection? No. To both. Instead, it read something like this. “We’ve looked through all of the poems submitted in August and your poems weren’t there. Maybe you sent them to a different journal.”

Sigh. And just to be dramatic, Sigh again.

This is what happens when you have 4 kids. I don’t think I sent them to another journal, but maybe I did. Then again, maybe my computer ate my submission. Either way, it’s obvious that my poems will not be appearing in that journal.

This is why I only send my work to journals that take simultaneous submissions.

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