I’ve been inspired by Robin Houghton‘s recent post about her poetry submissions (acceptances and rejections) in 2015 to do some reflecting and totting up myself. I am not as systematic as Robin. I don’t take particular note of how many times various poems have been sent out nor when written and revised. This is a good thing to do, however. I have been writing since my teens; started sending out in my late twenties and am now very old. Needless to say I have a lot of poems that have never been sent anywhere.
One of my resolutions in 2015 was to write more posts on here -I managed 8 last year, 7 more than in 2014. I do write a lot, am an avid reader-I bought around 100 or more poetry books in 2015- but I realise I am more of a ‘behind the scenes’ kind of poet. I have been getting requests from editors for poems, reviews and articles, as well as having pitches accepted, so something must be working.
In 2015 I made 19 submissions to magazines/anthologies. The number of poems in each submission varied from between 2-6. Out of these I had 9 acceptances (1 was a request from an editor who liked my work); 10, with two poems out in a magazine soon. I entered 11 competitions. In one I won first prize; I had a collection shortlisted in another. In another two I was a runner-up and was long-listed in two more. So that’s 6 strikes out of 11. As far as I can remember, I am waiting for a one response for a submission that has been out for three months. I have recently entered two competitions, and am about to enter three more and to organise some magazine submissions.
I have written 4 reviews, 2 forthcoming, one of which was commissioned. Reviewing allows me to pay close critical attention to whole collections. I hope to follow suit with other poets who post reviews on their blogs.
I subscribed to around 20 magazines last year. I intend to at least half that; not because the magazines don’t deserve subscriptions but because it just isn’t realistic to subscribe to so many. Considering I don’t send out that many poems I’m pretty pleased with the above, however rough and ready my totting up might be. I’ve chosen to concentrate on what was accepted rather than what was rejected.
Here’s a poem by the-sadly-late Tomas Tranströmer. I love the idea of the tree ‘walking around in the rain’. The photo is a tree near where I live-looking a little sorry at present but maybe it rushes around at night on its life errands. I hope so.
Good luck with your writing. Keep at it. Keep sending out!