This month The Friday Poem is hoping to get some answers out of you poets. We don’t want to sound like a S&M club in Basingstoke, but how do you like to submit and, more importantly, how do you like to get turned down? Most poets expect to pay a bit to enter a competition but how do you feel when a magazine charges you to submit a poem or a publisher charges you to submit a manuscript? And once you’ve submitted, how long should you have to wait for an acceptance or a rejection? When it comes, who does it nicely? Who lets you down gently, who leaves you hanging on, and who do you never, ever want to submit to again? Send us your stories of nasty or impersonal rejection letters, submissions procedures that make you feel small and sad, and editors who just don’t understand how to be polite.
And let’s celebrate the good ones — tell us about the editors who are efficient, prompt and kind, who understand what it’s like to send a poem off into the dark and wait, fingers crossed, for that blessed acceptance letter. Tell us who treats you and your poems well.
Poets can feel pretty powerless in this game, those new to the poetry scene can feel intimidated or excluded, and we’d like to help make the process better. Nobody is making much money; at least we can be kind and polite to each other.
Publishers and editors — we’d love to hear from you too. What are your submissions protocols, and why? We understand that Submittable costs a lot, that it takes time and energy to read all the submissions you get, and that there’s never enough time in the day to do everything you’re supposed to plus have a bit of time for your own work / kids / ship-in-a-bottle hobby. Poetry matters so much to so many — let’s tease open this tangled web of pain and hope, and try and understand each other a little better. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.