Sunday, August 22, 2010

Putting the Money Where the Mouth Is

90º ~ hard-core sun, a solid breeze stirring up the heat

Whew!  I just completed my round of August submissions.  I now have work out at 26 journals, which is huge, considering I only had 2 submissions still out there from Spring 2010.  Clearly, I believe in simultaneous submissions, although I like to think I've gotten smarter about the whole submission process.  I used to be a "carpet-bomber submitter," tossing packets at journals that would never accept my work.  In my defense, I read as many journals as I could, but it took me years to learn the different aesthetics at even a small fraction of the journals that are out there.  Add in the fact that many journals are edited by grad students and aesthetics at these journals can change every couple of years.  Even now, when I feel like I have the tiniest of toeholds of a reputation in the poetry world, I still feel like much of my submitting is hit or miss.  I have narrowed my journal pool considerably and limited the number of journals a given poem can go out to.  Live and learn.

Envelopes available at De Milo Design, click for link

Many poets build their reputations as I've done, by placing individual poems in lit mags on the way to publishing full-length collection.  Given that I'm doing the same thing with book #2, I thought it appropriate that I put my money where my mouth is.  Therefore, I'm having a special promotion on copies of Blood Almanac.  If you purchase a subscription to a lit mag between now and October 1, you will qualify for a 50% discount on my book. 

Email me at sandy dot 40 dot longhorn AT gmail dot com for details.


Jessie Carty said...

Argh I had a good comment and my Internet ate it! :)

Sandy Longhorn said...

Jessie, in just a few weeks I'll be hearing this as the first essay comes due in Comp I! :)

Karen J. Weyant said...

26 Journals! Wow. And I thought I was doing well when I managed to send poems out to six journals at the start of August.

I have a lot of catching up to do!

Jessie Carty said...

Yeah I had a student who said he thought class started at 925 not 9 am. Umm. What class starts at 925 ?

Sandy Longhorn said...

Ah, Karen, well maybe it's more a sign of my own dysfunction than any issue for you! I'm nothing if persistent.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Jessie, I'm laughing b/c our Tues/Thurs schedule includes classes that start at 9:25. I've been at PTC for 5 and a half years and I still can't keep the T/R schedule straight in my head...and those are the days I'm teaching on campus.

January said...

26 journals--that's great! If I can get a few done every few months I'm happy. Still, it's hit or miss and takes a lot of energy. Good for you!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, January. It's definitely the "sweat" part of the blood, sweat, and tears. :)

Molly said...

Sandy, do you have any advice (other than read, read, read and read some more, which I already do) for those of us who are just starting out on the process of finding journals whose aesthetic might be a good fit for our work?

Sandy Longhorn said...

Molly, great question. Here are two concrete things that you can do.

1) Read full-length poetry collections and if you admire the poems/feel a kinship with the poetic style of the book, use the acknowledgments page to give you a list of journals that might also work for your poems.

2) For contemporary poets who have a voice/style/aesthetic similar to your own, check and see if they blog or Facebook or Twitter (if you do FB or Twitter). Often writers blog about journals that have accepted work or just journals they admire.

These two things can help you focus on which journals to read more thoroughly, culling out any that publish work similar to your own.

Oh, and I'm a huge fan of simultaneously submitting. In fact, true confession, I used to submit a group of 5 poems to a dozen journals at once. I'd just throw it out there and see what stuck. That's a time consuming and possibly expensive way to figure out the markets, but it worked for me, and I made some good contacts with editors along the way. ***Just always remember to notify if a poem is accepted elsewhere and don't submit if the journal doesn't accept simultaneous subs.

Good Luck!