Saturday, September 08, 2007

Fall Submissions

Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
So, I'm getting off my butt and sending poems out. It's been some time since I sent such a large quantity of work out into the world.

Here's a little snapshot of my submissions tracker spreadsheet if you're curious. A few of us were talking over e-mail about the do's and don'ts of submitting work--namely we talked about simultaneous submissions.

A while back, I never simsubbed. I was too scared to. Now . . . I do simsub, but ONLY to the journals who say it's okay. What's more, I keep very anal notes about where I'm sending things.

If you look at the picture, you'll see I've got color-coded bars.

Black means a poem's been taken, so it's out (note that there are very few black bars).

Gray and white tones signify batches of poems sent to journals that do not accept simultaneous submissions.

The flourescent colored bars indicate batches of poems that are being simultaneously submitted. So, if I'm sending a batch of five poems to three different journals, all the journals and poems will be highlighted in turquoise. I generally try to keep the number of sim-subbed batches down to 2-3 journals per batch. It's too hard to track anything greater.

Yes, it's cumbersome and tedious, but I know far too many editors who get pissed about folks pulling their poems at the last minute and I don't like pissing people off, namely people who take the time to read my work.


The other thing I noticed--more and more journals are accepting online submissions. Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, and The Virginia Quarterly Review are taking submissions online.

If you're sending your stuff via that route, have two sets of copies for your batches: the individual poems, and a batch of your poems saved to one document. Sometimes the uploading software only allows one file at a time, so you'll need to consolidate your pieces.


I'm feeling good. I'm feeling like I've gotten some things accomplished. We'll see what happens when the rejections start rolling in! All told, I sent poems to lots of journals. Quite a feat for me.


Susan Allspaw Pomeroy said...

That's awesome, O. I still keep track the old fashioned way (and I work in IT....) You're inspiration to get off my butt.

faceturnsread said...

Um...can you email me a copy of that spreadsheet? Tanks.

Oliver de la Paz said...

Sure, Hoss.

Waldo said...

At VQR we take submitted poems one at a time, rather than in a file containing the whole batch, because our submission system extends to the acceptance process. We rarely accept an entire batch of poems, but often accept one or two from a batch. So by treating each poem as an individual entity, we can accept a couple and set those on the digital path to copy editing and publication.

I'd explain the logic for those systems that want batches of poems all in one big file, but I don't have the foggiest idea of what the logic is.

Oliver de la Paz said...


I actually prefer VQR's system to the single file system that KR and Ploughshares uses. VQR's system makes sense to me because I save poems as individual files and it's easier for me to upload the individual files as is rather than consolidating five poems to one document.

Waldo said...

That's great to hear, Oliver. We did a great deal of research prior to launching this submission system, including extensive surveying of authors and analysis of pre-release beta test usage, but the one detail that I totally neglected to study was how poets tend to store their work. I simply assumed that it was one poem per file, but I really shouldn't have made that leap of logic. Here's hoping there are more poets out there who adhere to your method. :)

Oliver de la Paz said...

Oh, I think you'll find most of us store our work as one poem/story per file unless otherwise instructed.

Quite a logical conclusion you made, if you ask me. ;-)

January said...

Being that organized makes me nervous, but it makes perfect sense. It's kinda inspiring.

Oliver de la Paz said...

Jan, it's the neurotic Bio major in me that's forcing me to do it.

wordsmith said...

Yikes, Oliver, i'd love to see a copy of that spreadsheet, too. I've stoppped sending things out seems so overwhelming.

by the way, this is Sejal! How are you?

Oliver de la Paz said...

Hey Sejal! Good to hear from you! Sure. I'll happily send you a copy of the spreadsheet.

jenni said...

Good for you, Oliver! And thanks for sharing your tracking secrets. I admit to being a total half-ass slob when it comes to keeping track of . . . well almost anything really. But you've inspired me to get organized!

Oliver de la Paz said...

Most folks aren't as anal as I am, Jenni. You're quite normal, in fact. I'm almost OCD about logging my work.