Another Poem Selected for Publication--So Some Admin to Do!

Today, I got a letter from editor Paul Hoover saying he wants to publish one of my poems in the 2023 issue of New American Writing. I have been fortunate and honored to have had Paul select a couple of my other poems as well ("Homeland Security" and "Great Books of the Western World"), and I feel just as fortunate today.

As I've mentioned in other posts, it's always a special occasion when a poem is selected for publication. The odds are about 1 in 100, all things being equal. But, of course, they never are equal. Journals have different audiences, different criteria. Poets have different writing strengths and different submission strategies. Still, that's the rule of thumb.

New American Writing limits the quantity of poetry submissions by staying old school and insisting on postal submissions with an enclosed Self-Addressed, Stamped Envelope (a SASE in the biz). It's a barrier to entry for many, so it cuts down on "carpet bombing" them with poetry. You really have to want to be published there to go to the trouble.

With Success Comes Administration

As you know if you've been following along, I recommend sending packets out to multiple journals at once. I did that here. So now I have the task of going back to those journals and withdrawing this one poem (and letting them know the others are still available for their consideration). And I need to update all my records, showing the acceptance (and the rejection of the other four poems in the packet) and the withdrawals from other journals.

Also, I need to "retire" that packet. I can't send it anywhere else. I need to take those four poems and construct a new packet (adding another poem to that packet, or perhaps shuffling the poems into different packets). It's a good time of year to do that so I am ready to send packets out next year.

If you want to be published (by someone other than yourself), there is a lot of administration to go with the inspiration. Write the poems, sure. But get them out there! And keep track of them once you do. It will keep you sane (and out of the editorial dog house) as you increase your odds of success.


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