Tag Archives: submissions

‘Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes’ accepted for Poetica Magazine’s Holocaust Edition!

Poetica Magazine's Holocaust Edition

‘Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes,’ a poem from my book Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer, has been accepted for publication in Poetica Magazine’s 2014 Holocaust Edition

A few months ago I posted some information about Poetica Magazine’s call for submissions for their 2014 Holocaust Edition, which sought works of poetry and fiction, previously published, that dealt with the Holocaust in some way.  I was planning to submit, and I wanted to let all of you guys out there know about the magazine and the awesome opportunity to have some of your work reprinted.

Well, I got notice today that one of the poems that I submitted was indeed accepted for publication! If you submitted, though, and haven’t heard anything back yet, don’t despair — they are notifying all submitters by mid-January 2014. So you still have time!

I will post more about the issue once it has been completed, but I’m excited. And I’m proud to be a part of such a wonderful literary journal, in whatever way!

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Crafting the perfect book submission

'Piles of Books' by ollily/Flickr

‘Piles of Books’ by ollily/Flickr

When seeking publication, it is easy to feel as though everything is out of your control. After all, everything is out of your control — as a writer, the only thing that you control is your writing (and even that is an arguable point). But we can all agree that it’s true that whether or not a publishing house picks up your book is completely out of your hands. Or is it?

In reality, there are a lot of things that you can do to increase the likelihood that a publisher will want to pick up your book for publication. And it really boils down to a pretty simple idea: if you want a press to publish your book, it helps if you’ve done most of the work for them. What follows below is a step-by-step guide to helping a publisher want to publish your book, based off of my own experience as a published author who has worked for two (and a half) publishers over the past few years.

  1. Edit your book. This should really go without say, but it needs to be said nonetheless. If you want a publisher to take you seriously, make sure that the work you send out is the absolute best work that you can produce. Read through it multiple times to make sure that you’re not missing anything. Make sure that the concepts flow properly; make sure that there are no spelling/grammar/punctuation errors (this is a REAL turnoff for most presses); make sure that your submission is formatted correctly. This isn’t to say that your book won’t be edited once it’s picked up by a press (it most certainly will be) but it shows the editor that you took the time to fix what needs to be fixed. And hey, it’ll save them some time once the book enters the proofreading stage — when a single editor is working on 20 or 30 projects all at the same time, even saving so much as an hour’s worth of work becomes a big deal.
  2. Target your submissions. You will save yourself a lot of time, paper, postage, and headaches if you follow this one step and none of the others — target your submissions to relevant presses. If you’ve written a murder mystery, submit it to publishers of murder mysteries; you’re not going to have any luck with a publisher of textbooks. If you’ve written a textbook, veer away from publishers of popular fiction. Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, “Duh,” but you’d be surprised at how many writers do absolutely no research on a press before submitting their work. And go on their website to see how they like their submissions formatted — some like things done differently than others, and they are usually pretty strict as to what they will consider (if they say to send the first three chapters double-spaced, send them the first three chapters double-spaced and nothing else). You do yourself no favors by submitting blind, or by blatantly going against their wishes.
  3. Do some market research. Before an editor decides to publish any book, he’s got to convince the publication committee (the people responsible for the press’s bottom line) that the book will indeed make money, or at the very list break even. A big part of this process is compiling some market research. What’s market research? Simply put, it’s data that will help a publisher predict whether or not a book is going to sell, and how many copies they can expect it to sell, and compiling this data can take a bit of time — so if you can even do some preliminary research to help the press out it can be a big boost to the likelihood of your book being picked up. This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but this is the standard market research a press likes to have done before agreeing to publish something:
    • Competing Titles (similar books published by presses other than the one you are submitting to)
    • Comparable Titles (similar books published by the press you are submitting to)
    • Author Sales History (the author being you) — if you’ve written a book in the past, tell them how many copies were sold to illustrate you already have a following
    • Author Associations (what organizations you belong to that you can use to promote your book) — alumni, professional, social organizations, etc.
    • Target Audience (who is going to buy your book and why) — you want a specific target audience that is broad enough to ensure the possibility of large sales
  4. Avoid artwork if possible. If you’re submitting a photobook or a book on art history or some related topic, then feel free to disregard this step. but if your work does not directly relate to art, heed this warning: including plans for artwork with your submission can severely reduce the likelihood that your book will be published. Artwork will impact almost every step of the publishing process: it impacts layout, it impacts cost (which means they will either make less money on each copy sold, or they will have to increase the cover price, which in turn means they will likely sell fewer copies), and it quite simply adds a lot of extra work for the press. Obtaining rights, photocopying images, formatting images to the correct dimensions, ensuring artist credit is correct…having a large number of images can add hours — days of work to a book project. The presses I have worked with have turned down many, MANY projects simply because the submissions made reference to artwork. If you’re dead set on including artwork, completing the tasks below will work in your favor, but I still advise against it:
    • Send digital files of artwork, no solely physical images. Most presses prefer .TIFF files due to their higher resolution and the fact that they do not degrade with each “save”. Generally speaking, the higher the resolution (ppi, or pixels per inch) the safer you are — but around 300 ppi for photos or 1200ppi for drawings is a good estimate.
    • Accompany the submission with an “Art Log” — an excel sheet that assigns each image an identification number (ex.: Fig.1.3, where “1” corresponds to the chapter number and “3” means that it is the third image used in Chapter 1), a brief description, a size, whether or not the image is in the public domain, and where in the book the image will be used (chapter/page). The identification number in the art log should be equal to that image’s file name. You will also want to submit physical printouts of each image, marked on the back with its corresponding ID number, but make sure you send the digital files as well.
    • If you are using artwork other than your own: gaining the permissions to use the artwork ahead of time will save the press a lot of time and many headaches. If the image is not in the public domain, you will need to contact the image’s creator or the creator’s agent/representative to gain rights — and be forewarned, this often can, and does, cost money, especially for more famous works.
  5. Include a SASE. If submitting a hard copy submission, include a self addressed, stamped envelope or you might not hear anything back at all. If you expect to get your full submission back with any rejection, specifically tell them that you want it back, and include enough postage for the weight of the package or it’ll get shredded or recycled. Stamps cost money, and if a press shelled out free postage to respond to each submission they received they’d go out of business. Not only that, but it’s also the polite thing to do. Better still, tell them in your cover letter that they can notify you by email (and make sure to include your email address) — this will speed up response time greatly.

Really, that’s about all you’ve got to do to dramatically increase the odds of your book getting published. Simply put, publishers and editors are human beings, which means that on some level, they’re lazy. Doing as much work for the press as you preemptively can will make a big difference. It won’t be the only consideration (quality will always, hopefully, be top priority) but it’ll certainly help you edge out the competition; victory is in the margins.

When presented with an almost-there project that’ll take a lot of work vs. an almost-there project that’ll take almost no work, which would you go with?

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Grey Sparrow seeking submissions!

Grey Sparrow’s logo

Grey Sparrow seeks submissions on a rolling basis — meaning that you can submit anytime (which is absolutely wonderful). They are, however, currently awaiting submissions — particularly of flash fiction (under 1,000 words). If you’ve got any work done, now would be the ideal time to submit, while the editor is actively seeking it out!

The call, from Grey Sparrow Press’s facebook page, below:

We’re a little low on submissions… Possibly because it’s the summer, but always receiving quality work–could use flash.

So get out there and submit! Submissions details here.

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Filed under Grey Sparrow / River Otter Press, Submissions, Writing

Eunoia Review to reprint three poems from my book in mid-July!

Three poems from my book, Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer, will be reprinted by Eunoia Review on July 10th and 11th. As I mentioned in a previous post, Eunoia Review is an amazing online literary journal that aims to print two new pieces of writing each day, which really gives readers a lot to choose from.

The three poems that Eunoia is reprinting are “Jack Loves Jill”, “Permaculture”, and “Unleavened Love” — I’ll be sure to post a link when they’re up so you can take a look, get hooked, and then buy hundreds of copies of my book.

And if you haven’t taken the time to submit to them yet, do it! They publish a little bit of everything and are even willing to consider reprints — a great way to get the word out about your latest project!

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Midwest Quarterly announces full year of poetry

The Midwest Quarterlywhich just passed its 50th anniversary in 2009, has announced a year of issues that will contain nothing but poetry, which is extraordinarily good news for any poets out there. These are themed issues revolving, in order of appearance, around “The Living and the Dead,” “Rural and Urban,” “Trash and Treasure,” and “Work and Play.”

Though the deadlines for the fist three issues have already passed, poets can still submit to the “Work and Play” issue until September 1st — up to five previously unpublished poems per submission.

I’m also thrilled to say that I just found out that two of my newer poems have been accepted for the issue focused on “The Living and the Dead,” tentatively scheduled for October 2013! The first — “She sometimes dreams” — I wrote while a student at UConn, under the tutelage of Darcie Dennigan (with some fine tuning by Penelope Pelizzon), and the second — “Poltergeist” — I wrote during a particularly boring shift stocking produce at my local Adams Hometown Market (which just goes to show you that  zucchini can serve as both a tasty side dish and poetic inspiration all at the same time).

Sorry I didn’t get this call out to you all earlier, but if you’ve got any poetry that meshes with “Work and Play” (however loosely) get out there and submit today!

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Eunoia Review submissions details

Eunoia Review is a great online literary magazine that recently accepted a few poems from my book Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer, so I thought I’d pass along some of their submissions info!

The journal takes its name from a Greek word meaning “beautiful thinking,” and as such, it aims to share the fruits that come with beautiful thought. Publishing one to two pieces of writing on a daily basis, you’ll always be sure to find something new and exciting when you click through their pages.

And now, the submissions details:

Eunoia Review is currently accepting submissions of original, previously unpublished poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction on a rolling basis. We also accept reprints, but you must retain or have regained the rights to your work. We aim to respond to all submissions within 24 hours. In order to help us to do this, please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Poetry: submit up to 10 poems in a single attachment.
  • Fiction: submit up to 15 000 words in total (single or multiple pieces).
  • Creative non-fiction: submit up to 15 000 words in total (single or multiple pieces).
  • Send in the body of an e-mail as plain text or attached as a Word document to eunoiareview[at]gmail[dot]com.
  • Include a short third-person biographical note.
  • Subject line of the e-mail should read Submission: [Genre] – [Writer’s Name].
  • We do not accept simultaneous submissions.
  • In the case of reprints, you must retain or have regained the rights to your work. Please indicate which pieces in your submission are reprints, as well as stating their publication history.

Be sure to check them out! As a lit-mag willing to publish reprints, they can be a great resource to authors trying to spread the word about their books. The poems from my book will be published in mid-July — I’ll post more details as they become available!

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Poetica Magazine call for submissions

Poetica Magazine's Holocaust Edition

The beautifully haunting, tentative cover of Poetica Magazine’s 2014 Holocaust Edition

Poetica Magazine is a great literary journal I recently found that publishes poetry and fiction, in addition to occasional themed editions and chapbooks. Though the journal refers to itself as one of “Comtemporary Jewish Writing,” it is open to submissions from people from all walks of life:

“We publish original-unpublished works by Jewish and non-Jewish writers alike. We are interested in works that have the courage to acknowledge, challenge, and celebrate modern Jewish life, beyond distinctions of secular and sacred. We like accessible works that find fresh meaning in old traditions that recognize the challenges of our generation. We evaluate works on several levels, including its skillful use of craft; its ability to hold interest; and layers of meaning.”

With three print editions a year, there are a lot of opportunities to find some great writing that falls into the broad theme of “Jewish life”. And, with so many editions, it becomes easier to submit — you don’t need to wait for a one-month period that comes just once a year. You can find Poetica‘s guidelines here.

Additionally, if you’ve got any poetry, or fiction that is centered on the Holocaust, you can submit to the 2014 Holocaust Edition. But there’s a catch — the work must have been publicshed elsewhere first. This is a great opportunity to those writers out there who have had a book published and would like to get a sample of their work to a wider audience, which is a huge deal. The official call is below:

Only previously published works will be considered.

Works previously published in Poetica will not be considered.

Please submit 1-10 pages with acknowledgment page:

list the name of publication, edition, year published.

Writers must hold all the rights to their work:

please include a statement with the submission.

And submitting to the Holocaust Edition does, unfortunately, have a price — $10 per submission. I’m usually a big hater of publications that require a reading fee for submissions, but for this one I think I’ll break my own policy and send something along — there are a few pieces from my book, Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer, that might place nicely in the edition.

I hope you’ll take a look at the journal, consider submitting, and pick up a copy today!

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Filed under Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer, Inspiration and Prompts, My Writing, Publishing, Submissions, Writing