Hunting for Publishers

I have stuff to talk about that happened last week, but since the photos I want to include with that haven’t arrived yet (two words: makeup, modeling), I’ll attempt to regale you with my newest endeavor outside of my new working environment. Everyone who knows me is at least peripherally familiar with my creative work, having been forced to either listen to me bitch/preen or actually read the product at some point in the past. My honors thesis was a novella (loose) adaptation of Beauty and the Beast that takes place in tribal Botswana. I’m fairly dedicated to my writing, in the sense that a crack addict is fairly dedicated to his pipe.

That being said, one of the biggest parts of writing is the possibility of publication. Of course, I don’t think that publication should be the ultimate goal for every piece I write. There are some things that should never see the light of day, much less the inbox of an editor. However, there is the rare occasion that I sit back and regard a poem or short story with a vague sense of satisfaction and the belief that, yes, most definitely other people should read this. This feeling, while a communal thing among writers of poetry and prose alike experience, is not shared by editors all around. Sometimes, your masterpiece is a shitpiece.

I like to think, though, that after copious rereading, analyzing, and agonizing over word choice, sentence/line structure, and lyricism I am somewhat prepared for a quite inevitable rejection of three poems I find to be rather good. Two of them, Slices and Snake Bite, are a few years old but so impressed my intermediate poetry professor (who herself is a well-published poet) that I think they’re worthy of at least sending them somewhere. The third is a long piece I wrote this summer, entitled Anthropology, and probably rather depressing, now that I think about it. Very interesting sequence, for sure, but damn that subject matter be DARK. Not entirely abnormal for me, but you’d think that switching mediums would help to lighten up the content, no??

Anyway, I have three poems (and a novella) that I’m looking to publish, so I’ve been trawling this excellent website called Duotrope for suitable magazines and journals to submit to. I’ve found a couple that seem likely, but I’ll have to spend some of my off-time reading their archives to make sure that what I have to offer will fit in with what the editors want. Poetry seems awfully similar to me in terms of content sometimes, especially since interpretation is key throughout a reading. I’ve seen people read the same poem in completely different ways, so how does one determine if a poem is “what the editor’s looking for” when those archives that provide insight are subjective themselves? Tch, prose is so much easier to figure out in that regard. /end bias

There are all kinds of requirements beside content that are tripping me up in the research process. When submitting a short story, there are word limits and formatting to think about; with poetry, line limits, page limits, character limits, soooo many limits. Maybe I’m picking all of the wrong journals to investigate, but really. I’m supposed to count how many characters a line takes up? Less than 50, you say? How long is that, really? A third of a Twitter post, that’s how long that is. Anthropology is three pages long, at least 100 lines, and I sure as hell don’t know how many characters each line has. I have to count that nonsense. Besides, that one poem is long enough for its own submission. Aaahhhh, so much to think about, plus I wonder if a single poem submission is enough? Should I send in three at a time? What happens if someone accepts one but not the others? It’s a different sort of adventure, for sure.

I’ll definitely keep you posted about any sort of success (or failure) that comes my way with this. Can’t promise much, but hopefully a story or another poem will bite me in the ass and I’ll have more content for submissions. Problem being it’s so hard to finish stuff. Discipline. Discipline…is so lacking. Ugh.

5 thoughts on “Hunting for Publishers

    • It’s certainly occurred to me, but I hope to pursue a Master’s and Ph.D one day and it’s always good to have a publishing history for that! Unfortunately, self-publication isn’t quite as impressive as having multiple magazine publications (as presumptive and optimistic as that prediction is).

  1. Regardless of if you get published, I’d like to read your stuff! Especially anything relatively short – still haven’t found time for reading your thesis, but a short poem would be significantly easier to fit in between contracts/civil procedure/torts. If you send me a poem, that performance will constitute consideration for my promise to read it, and therefore you may rely on it, and it will be binding and enforceable. ❤ ❤ <3!

    On the other side of things, good luck with finding a publisher! I wish I had advice and/or help I could provide. I can look over contracts for you, and tell you where you can sue/whether they're binding! (Assuming US law.)

    • LOL Nothing that complicated as to need a contract. Luckily with lit mags and journals, all rights usually revert back to the author upon publication. Thanks, though! I’ll definitely send on the poems to you when I’ve got some time 😀

  2. Pingback: PUBLISHED (also vacation) | The Unfortunate Wallet

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