Of Stray Trees and Submissions

The photo below, taken last week on a beach in Fuerterventura, shows the end of one year straying into the beginning of the next. I like this makeshift tree — and I was lucky to get away for a week where there was heat, and blue skies. Back with a bump, though, and reflecting for this post, I can see how some of what was begun in 2017 writing-wise, has begun to stray into 2018 – positively I hope!


Following other poet bloggers such as Robin Houghton, Jane Stanton and Josephine Corcoran, I thought I’d do a round-up of submissions, acceptances and rejections from 2017. I’m not the most conscientious record-keeper so this may not be 100% accurate.

I’m listing submissions to journals, anthologies and competitions. I submitted to some of the journals twice and some of the poems more than once.  I was submitting to 4 journals for the first time –5 with the one which didn’t respond at all. I won’t be submitting there again.

Magazines                11 (12 actually but one didn’t respond at all)

Poems sent                51 (55 including the ones sent to the non-responder)

Poems accepted       19

Poems rejected        38

Poems still out           4 (one magazine)

Competitions          14 (two for pamphlets)

Poems sent               23


1 3rd place

1 Commended

1 pending

1 pamphlet shortlisted

1 pamphlet longlisted

Collections            2 (not entirely the same)  sent out to 2 publishers.

1 accepted

1 rejected

Anthologies            3

Poems sent              7

Poems accepted     2 (2 different anthologies)

Poems rejected      5

The ‘hit-rate’ isn’t too bad. 9 out of those 11 journals took work. The best thing that came out of the year was the publication of my second collection Strange Fashion by Pindrop Press — also having the opportunity to speak about my writing in this recent interview with Paul Stephenson.  I’m very pleased that my talented writer, artist and musician friend Ben Webb (aka Jinnwoo) was able to design the very striking cover for my collection.  I’m looking forward to reading from my new collection in 2018. I have readings arranged so far in Halifax and Brighton and I plan to have a launch in Leicester ( and maybe elsewhere).


In future, I think I should submit to a wider range of and make some of my submissions international ones. Thanks to Robin Houghton for blogging about her useful lists of US and UK poetry magazines. Robin also tracks her rejections carefully so she can see when they do get accepted.

It seems an age ago now but it was only last January that I passed my PhD in Creative Writing. It comprises a poetry collection and a ‘Poetics’. It is lying there forlornly waiting for me to do something with it!

That, briefly, is a round-up of some of my poetry stuff from last year. I’ve concentrated on numbers as it is something I rarely do. I’m also using Duotrope to track submissions.It is okay but you do have to pay and, of course, you have to remember to input the data! It does tell you how long a poem has been out and whether the wait is longer than the average for that mag. You realise though that the information is flawed because it is often only based on a few people’s information and not all magazines are on there. I’d be interested to know how other people find it.

Thanks also to Josephine Corcoran for publicising this  Poet Bloggers 2018 Revival Tour which is an initiative to encourage a range of poet bloggers to blog once a week in 2018. I’ve signed up as it might make me blog more consistently . I’m thinking of sharing some of the process and product/s of my PhD work as part of that. We’ll see!








4 Comments Add yours

  1. E.E. Nobbs says:

    A very striking cover, Pam! And cool title too. Have just been in contact with Sharon and she says my copy of Strange Fashion will soon be headed my way 🙂

  2. Pam Thompson says:

    That’s so kind of you Elly .There was a delay from the printers so it should be on its way soon x

  3. jaynestanton says:

    Thanks for the kind mention, Pam 🙂
    Your acceptance rate for 2017 was impressive!
    Happy weekly blogging x

  4. Pam Thompson says:

    Thanks Jayne. And happy weekly blogging to you too. I jope I can keep it ip! x

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