Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Submissions, 2012

The words "submit" and "submission" come to us from the Latin, "sub" (beneath) and "mittere" (to send or put). In other words, to submit something is to place it beneath the gaze or power of someone else, and their will be done. I have often compared poetry akin to a religious calling--one has an inner yearning, falls in and out of favor with said calling, attends weekly or monthly meetings of the faithful--etc. Submission is a part of this, and one need only witness various forms of prayer to understand that the soul and/or body are being delivered unto a higher power in offering, much in the same way that poets offer small chunks of themselves to editors every time they submit to a magazine.

So we come around to the beginning of September, with its plethora of academic magazines sprawling their jaws open, waiting to consume slush only to poop out steaming piles of rejection slips and, if we're lucky, and perfect bound 9x6 volume of inspiring genius. As we wish all these beasts successful bowel movements, I'm curious to know about the submissions of readers of this blog. Much has been said on this blog about submissions, and one's odds in submitting. I'm curious to know if folks are sending their poems out this year, and if so, where?

One issue that folks have with publishing is the cost. At around $1.00 a submission, as well as paper and envelopes, submissions can rack up ye olde budget quickly. That being said, many modern magazines are going to an electronic form of submission. Still, even when the only spent is time, many don't like the odds. Without the chance to simultaneously submit, poems sit in a stagnant pool of electrons, only to be reeled in and tossed back come December. It's not a pleasant fate, and many poets chose to avoid it all together.

WITH THAT IN MIND, below is a list of venues that accepts both simultaneous submissions AS WELL AS electronic submissions. And, while there's no guarantee that any one poem will get picked up, having twenty-seven magazines to which the same five poems can be scurried off reduces one's odds for publication tremendously.

Magazine Name
Sycamore Review
The Aroostook Review
Stolen Island Review
Silk Road
Salt Hill
Carolina Quarterly
Mid-American Review
The Journal
Arsenic Lobster
Caketrain Journal and Press
Black Warrior Review
William and Mary Review
Roanoke Review
Bat City Review
Iron Horse Literary Review
Sugar House Review
Quarterly West
The Marlboro Review
Hunger Mountain


Geoffrey A. Landis said...

I've been pretty lacksadasical about submitting stuff lately; looking over my log, I've sent out 20 submissions so far this year, and more than half of those, I think, were reprints sent to various anthologies. None of these went to mainstream literary magazines; I'm afraid I've almost completely given up on these.

Thanks for the list, though; maybe I should go after some of these.

pottygok said...

I'm curious about your attitude of "I've completely given up on these" when it comes to "mainstream" literary magazines. Obviously, there's a numbers game involved that a lot of folks don't like to play, especially when there are many non-mainstream, non-academic journals out there with higher acceptance rates.

My issue, however, with these magazines--the non-academic, non-mainstream--as well as many of the similar presses, is that they're willing to publish almost ANYTHING, and while there is a certain democracy in that, as both a business move and integrity move, I question it. This is part of the reason I'VE pretty much given up on THEM.


pottygok said...

One more issue that I have with "mainstream" journals is that their response times are wretched. I just received a rejection from a submission that I sent out in January. Seriously...that's EIGHT MONTHS!!! Were this a non-simultaneous market, that would mean the poems would've been tied up for over a year!!!

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

As you say, the reason I've mostly given up on mainstream literary periodicals is purely the numbers game. There are, in fact, some very nice lit quarterlies out there... but right now it just seems like it would take more of my time than I'm willing to spend to devote to submissions. Maybe some time when I've got a bunch of free time.

Anonymous said...

I stay with college magazines/journals because they are not obscure outlets no one's heard of or too mainstream that they won't let anyone in (although some college magazines/journals are starting to act snooty enough where they won't accept college-aged poets' work. They take months and months to give you an accept/reject note - or no note at all!!!)

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

Yeah, "months" would be ok if it were just a few months, but it's often longer than just one or two. And it's a feedback chain: 'zines take so long to reply, so you have to send out simo submissions to several magazines or else it will take decades to sell any poem, and that means all the 'zines get six times as many submissions (assuming each poet submits each poem six places), which slows them down even further...

Dianne Borsenik said...

Of the 27 mags you listed, I've submitted (in past years) to 11 of them (all rejections). I've submitted to several magazines and anthologies this year, mostly anthologies, and have had several acceptances. As Geoffrey has pointed out, the replies from journals are often so long in coming that it's counter-productive (for me) to tie up my good poems for months and months at a time. I tend to submit them to anthologies, where I think they'll get a wider audience, have a better chance at being accepted, and will more likely be published sooner rather than later.

pottygok said...

One thing I like about this list is that you can submit the same 5 poems to all 27, thus magnifying your chances of acceptance.

I'm also curious to know what anthologies you've sent to, and who is publishing them. Are these "mainstream" or "academic" anthologies, or are they lesser known publishers? Do you find that the smaller venues accept more than the larger, "mainstream" ones?

I think that might be something to consider--what is the credibility of the publisher and how much does that account for where one submits? I know there are lots of poets who firmly believe that any acceptance is a good acceptance, but I've seen too many online magazines and self-published 'zines that either cram the poems in with no breathing room or simply don't treat them with the respect that they deserve.


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau