I always overthink the submission process -- reading over guidelines, analyzing sample poems from various journals trying to decide if they're anything like any of mine, fiddling with the index cards I still use to keep track of where my poems are and where they've been, making and remaking submission packets. So I thought I'd ask you guys how you go about it.
- How much do you pay attention to your submission packets as a group -- as a mini-manuscript, as it were? Do you try to send out poems that play off of one another, poems that exhibit a wide stylistic range, a grab bag to give the editors different things to choose from, poems that belong together? What about if you're working on a thematic manuscript or group of poems -- do you send poems from that group out together, and if so, do you point out that fact in your cover letter?
- Do you pay attention to the order of your poems? I always think I'm putting the strongest poem first in my packets, but looking over my submissions spreadsheet, it looks like the last poem gets picked just about as often as the first. Which probably says as much about the fact that I am not a good judge of my own poems as anything.
- Do you like to send out a bunch of packets all at once & then sit back for a while, or do you maybe send out one or two at a time & then a little while later send out one or two more?
- When they come back, do you send out the same group of poems all together to the next journal, or do you go back and make new selections?
- Finally, I'm always open to recommendations for new places to submit! I like online journals and print journals, both -- I love the feeling of holding a print journal in my hands & seeing my work literally "in print" but I also love being able to send out a URL because it's so much easier to share the poems that way. There are lots of good journals in both formats and I try to keep a bit of a balance in my submissions pattern. So if you've got a journal you really like, or especially if you think of one that my work might be a good fit for, I am all (virtual) ears.