Tuesday, July 27, 2021

notes from the submission wilds

 Though I kept getting distracted (by dresses, by cats, by alarming headlines) my task for today's writing day was simple.  I had some promotional things to do and create for DARK COUNTRY, easy enough, and a couple blog entries to write out for later in the week.  Otherwise, having devoted yesterday to press things and accomplishing quite a lot, my other task was to submit some of my more recent work--including the bird artist and the spell poems.  One is a little victorian gothic narrative project and the other more contemporary and a little sharper in tone.  Good poems when I look at them, but when I sat down to the task, I had absolutely no idea where to send them. I like sending out work in general and sometimes forget how much I miss the thrill of an acceptance, but so much of my efforts get directed elsewhere in poetry-land that it's the thing I kind of have to force myself to do, and something that takes a chunk of time--to format the docs, to make sure I have no embarassing typos, to research journal guidelines and make sure I've formatted things to specification. Success means poems in front of new eyes and a feeling that I am contributing to the literary community. Even though there is some rejection, it's just par for the course after this long of flinging things out there and seeing what sticks.

But strangely, I've also reached an uneasy point where I'm not really sure where my work belongs. Many of the journals I've published in over the years and made a point to send work to have shuttered. I've tended mostly toward online publications over the years, mostly because they have the greatest reach, but some have short lifespans, and print journals sometimes even shorter due to funding. Many that still exist are taking breaks or just coming out of covid-slumber and aren't reading just yet.  It's also hard to keep a finger on the pulse of new journals..I find Twitter is sometimes the best for this, but Twitter moves so fast you have to go looking to find the gems. Another thing I like to do is check out the journals where dgp authors have placed poems, since if I like their work, it's not a stretch to think we'd appeal to similar tastes and aesthetic leans. 

I found some more horror. speculative places that might be a good fit for the first project, and made a list, but none seem to be open at the moment, so those will have to wait. I have a small list of places I like and who seem to like me based on previous experience, but I am also looking to spread my breadcrumbs a little wider and a little further from home. For an afternoon of searching I managed two actual submission before breaking to write this--one solicitation for a poem on thrifting for a project a dgp author is editing for, the other, 5 pieces from the bird artist to Grimoire, which is always a favorite.

Mostly however, I am feeling listless and unsure, which you would think after doing this so long, I might be immune to. Unsure where to send.  Where things might land in fertile fields. Whether I should just devote these time and efforts to tending work on other fronts. I have no answers, and probably won't but before I break for dinner in an hour, I intend to get these two other submissions out to somewhere.. 

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