Street, Swim, Stir, and Send Your Stuff Out

SWWIMWinter has been good to my poems, with one little baby out in the world in Stirring, and another out in SWWIM, and two out in Street Light Press. But aside from the fact that all these journals begin with the letter “S,” is some other similarity playing a quiet tune here?

When I get a piece published somewhere, I read the entire issue of the journal. Inevitably, I’ll come across a poet whose work sings to my existing tastes or whose work surprises me. (Check out Carolee’s poem in Stirring, for example!) This, in turn, will often push me to read more work by those poets, in other journals, which, in turn, gives me ideas for new places to send my work.

Submitting work to journals and contests and publishers (lions and tigers and bears) is one big pain in the ass. First, you have to locate journals that are a good match for your work. My go-to spot for that is Trish Hopkinson’s blog, A Selfish Poet.

Then come the tasks like record-keeping and filling out online forms, not to mention opening yourself up to rejections. If you’re like me, and you get lots of rejections, you need to know about lots of journals.

What makes submitting easier? Two things come to mind: a system and some sisters.

Some writers use Duotrope to keep track of their submissions. Others use their own record-keeping systems.

New online communities for writers seem to pop up daily. I’m drawn to those that are Women who submitcreated by and for women, like Women Who Submit on Twitter, which offers info on open submissions and “submission parties,” both F2F and virtual.

Where do you go for information and strategies on sending out your work? Help us out here, so we can get back to the fun part – the writing.

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