In my last post I mentioned some reasons why I think it's still a good idea for poets to submit poems for publication. In this post, I'm going to list three big perils of publishing. Of course, there are more than three! But these will get us started.
1) Long response times. It's worse for poetry than in any other sector. I know because I submit (or have submitted) everything from flash fiction to novels. Go back and read that first sentence again. Underline it. Bold it. I can't overstate this. I've waited years to hear from journals. It's not unusual to wait six to eight months just to get a form letter. In fact, this is what happens most of the time for most people who submit.
2) Rejections. No matter how talented you are, or how thorough, expect to get far more rejections than acceptances. Also, don't try to read anything into your rejections. We all get the same notices. If an editor specifically requests you to send again, that means something, but if it's a generic "feel free to try again" that's not the same thing. You can increase your chances by sending your best, most fully polished poems, and targeting them to the right places.
3) Ambivalence. It can be tough to fight your way through long response times, grueling competition, and long lead times before publication only to find out no-one really cares that your poem's in a journal. How many people do you know who've even read a single poetry journal in their lives? You may find that even your closest friends and family just can't work up much excitement for your triumph. It's not like you won a sports trophy or got a bunch of money.
With these perils in mind, it's still definitely worth your time and energy to submit your poems. I'll get back to talking about why in a future post.
And remember: the best way to avoid rejection is to send your best, fully polished work to journals you want to publish in with a simple, short cover letter (or email).
If you'd like some feedback on your poems, or want to get an edge in submitting to publications or contests, consider getting feedback, or a quick polish (or both) through one of the buttons below.
Or simply send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
I've also posted a lot of poetry tips, ideas, and exclusive access to my own poems over at my Patreon page. There's also unique pictures and access to my flash-fiction and occult writings. Please help me out by supporting me at Patreon!!!
Thanks so much!!