Monday, January 5, 2009

REJECTION AND THE SUBMISSIONS THAT DARE NOT SPEAK THEIR NAME

NOT ALL POETRY MAGS ARE AS QUICK AS MY LAMBO!
Greetings comrades today's post brought my first rejection of the New Year approximately six long months after submission. For an acceptance that is a long wait,for a rejection it borders on the sadistic.Which brings me neatly on to the biggest taboo in poetry,yes my friends,let me whisper it simultaneous submissions, shock! horror! and Gasp!.First of all let me say that if a magazine can reply in six weeks or less,(and some repeatedly do) then not accepting multiple submissions seems reasonable. If however they take six months or more, not accepting simultaneous submissions is really tying the hands of the, let's face it ,usually already anxious poet.Multiple submissions should be accepted under the proviso that notice of acceptance by another mag be emailed to concerned parties immediately. I mean how hard could that be, and how often would that really happen anyway for the vast majority? The refreshing hope is provided in the form of on-line poetry mags most of whom ACTIVELY ENCOURAGE simultaneous submissions and often reply within a week!I have never been a fan of these mags but I am slowly being won over as the standard- both of presentation and content -improves.Nothing could possibly ever replace the tactile physicality and special appeal of a real mags, they have a certain 'something' greater even than the sum of their parts. But, if you are just starting out,and it's publication you are after, then ,presuming you haven't got 500 years to live, they well may be the way ahead. I will post more about this soon along with a league table of reply times. Can you guess which mag took just 2 days TO ENGLAND AND BACK!! Which Irish mag took ONE WHOLE YEAR?? Can you believe that another english mag took TWICE THAT TIME. All I can say is gaze upon my league table ye mighty! Oh, and by the way I don't really own a Lamborghini Diablo at all, No, I've got a Bugatti Veyron.

10 comments:

BarbaraS said...

I've been there, and still go there, on the submission/rejection thing. Tell yourself this: liking something is subjective; if they don't like it, send it elsewhere. If after four counts it's still not doing the do, revise it. And everyone knows that the ratio of rejection to acceptance is inverse to the sum of the Pythagorus theorem and the product of ten computers. No, really; my scientific studies have shown me this! ;)

John Holten said...

Yeah, it's definantly a problem, especially, like you pointed out, when we are all used to emails and rapid (enough) responses. I await your league table - looking forward!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks B,nice theory, a shining beacon of exactitude! :)

For me now it's not just the rejection, that's to be expected, but the interminable wait is the thing that kills.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Hey John-welcome.Thanks for yer comments .Saw your work in Lamination Colony, well done.Thats exactly one of the mags I was thinking of.

Women Rule Writer said...

Poetry Irl Review take longer and longer and longer...

I don't do simultanaeous subs (Catholioc guilt stops me, maybe?), but the waiting is a killer.

A short story mag in the UK took a year to say 'No'. I'd forgotten they even existed at that point.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Hey Nuala,I have given up waiting on PIR and I haven't done simultaneous subs either -yet!

Liz said...

TFE, it's the same old story for us all, I think...no sooner up than we are beaten down again - the rejection-acceptance thing is sure-footedly connected to Pythagorus (as Barbara says) and I would add the small print inclusion of the lap-of-the-gods or is it dogs?
Get that saddle gleaming again...it awaits thee! ; )

P.S. Dead Drunk Dublin accepted work a year and a half ago after nearly a year of waiting before that...and no sign yet of it happening! (a change of mind on their part, maybe!)

Totalfeckineejit said...

Jayney-Mac Liz, Two and a half years is gonna take some baytin'and being dead drunk is no excuse,still on the bright side at least it's an acceptance.The cruelest I had was a mag going bust just shortly after accepting one of my earth shattering effusions!

Quincy said...

Well, I recently got a response from a very reputable print journal in the U.S. after two years, so I feel the pain. A very warm rejection, which almost stung as much as a cold rejection, never mind that the piece in question appeared in a book back in April, as I had informed said magazine, though they never got back to me. However, the editor did say that she assumed my submission "had been placed elsewhere," so there was some recognition that throwing up one's hands in despair and moving on is a reasonable response.

As for simsubbing, I really can't see NOT doing it in the U.S. market, where many leading journals (e.g. Ploughshares and Agni) allow it, and where very long waits for form rejections are quite common. While Poetry doesn't, they are pretty quick. And many American print journals have online submission managers now, which is not only good news for international submitters, but allows a speedy withdrawal if the process is taking forever.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Hey Quincy, tanx fer droppin' by.Some interesting points ye have there, thanks for posting them. To have to wait 2 years for a reply as you did is absurd and not a little rude.They have the upper hand,for sure, but what about a mutiny against mags with such long response times? Ultimately they need us.So.....