Little Green Monsters

I’m tired of not publishing.I’m tired of reading about other people’s publications (present company excepted). There was a time in my life when I published a few poems a year. Then I went freelance, got married, and lost my mother (not quite in that order), and I stopped sending shit out. And, as Teri says, if you don’t send shit out you don’t get published. And so, instead of working this morning, I sent shit out.

1. Submit often

You can’t just send one thing out and sit around and wait six months for disorganized, underpaid, possibly drunk poets to get back to you. You have to carpet bomb. Send lots of things out a lot. Disregard simultaneous submission bans unless they promise you a very short turn-around.

2. Don’t reread your work

You are not just a writer, but you are also an editor and a submitter. But you can’t do all of it at once. One day when you’re feeling good about your work, proofread it and slip it into a “To Submit” file. And the day that the fire is under your ass to submit, send it out without rereading it. If you reread it, you will probably doubt yourself, hate your work, and take to drinking margaritas at 10 am. Bad news, people.

3. Submit again

Rejection means you’re a real writer. Send that shit right back out again.

OK, OK, Indy, I get it, but where the fuck do I send my shit?

Council of Literary Magazine and Press Database

Poets and Writers Call for Submissions

New Pages

This is your engraved invitation. Do it.


10 responses to “Little Green Monsters

  1. Yes! Blanket the city. The last piece I published was rejected 27 times before it found a home. And I believe there was one before that that swirled around the bowl about 40 times.

    Send it out and wait for the rejections to pour in. Celebrate their arrivals. Being rejected doesn’t mean your story or poem or essay sucks. It probably just means they’ve already chosen the pieces they want (and it’s damned hard to knock those off the podium), or you got unlucky enough to be one of 100 pieces that must be read and checked off the list today, or the reader had a fight with her boyfriend, or they read you late at night and were too tired to read far enough, or they already have a story about elephants that juggle and can’t have two, or or or or or or…..

    Hey, that story is not doing you any good languishing in your saved file. Send it OUT!!

  2. (Teri – let us know what you think about the Hare with Amber Eyes (which is a Great Read). Indy STILL hasn’t read it yet!! Maybe if YOU tell her it’s good, she will. Does she listen to her big sister, I ask you. Does she?)

    Can I digress and tell you a cool story about submissions? I submit madly. I am not allowed to tell you in what genre nor in what fora, as I need to remain Cougar and Cougar alone on this blog (That’s so Indy can remain Indy, and Indy alone).

    But, suffice it to say that I submitted something to [major publication outlet], and after a long wait, got a rejection letter. You move on, right? Well, not me. I was so pleased by the rejection letter (“Dear Cougar, what a good idea you have here, but your narrative sucked. You forgot to resolve X.” [and I could resolve X. How had I missed that?]) that I wrote back to the editor of [major publication outlet] and said, “aahhh. Come on…. Can’t I resubmit after such good guidance? Come on. Pleeeease?”

    You are not supposed to do that. You are supposed to close the door, believe in yourself, and go somewhere else. But you know what? The editor of [major publication outlet] wrote back with “sure. why not?” I fixed up the [unspecified piece of writing], sent it back, and am now waiting on tenterhooks for a new decision from (I imagine) new reviewers….

    Indy hasn’t told you about our Dad’s rejection letters. I took great heart from them when we were packing up his office all those years ago. And we went through them again together when I made my recent trip to adjudicate in the Fangs and Clause Terrible Poetry contest.

    What’s the best line you ever got in a rejection letter?

  3. Thanks for the links. I’ve had a lot of rejection in all areas of life, so it physically hurt to try during the last year. But my tide is turning on a couple of fronts. It may be time to have more than one thing out.

  4. Pingback: Rejection | Fangs and Clause

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