These first two weeks of the new year, I have been reading posts by several other writers who are summing up the old year and looking forward to the new in terms of how they handled their writing goals, especially in terms of submissions. Kathleen Kirk first alerted me to writers setting the goal of receiving 100 rejections in a year. The idea, I assume, is that in order to receive 100 rejections, you’d have to send out a minimum of 100 submissions.
Although I don’t like to put too much pressure on myself to publish (as writing is the goal), I do try to keep my work out there. So I decided to do a little searching myself to see how I had been doing with submissions/rejections/acceptances.
Currently out awaiting response: 17 journal submissions; one chapbook contest
Journal submissions in 2011: 57. Acceptances? 14. Still under consideration: 13. Rejections. 30. (That’s a 24% acceptance rate. Not too shabby, I think, considering that writing and submitting is not my primary job.)
Full-Length Manuscript: Submitted to two contests in 2011. No luck there. Will continue to work toward this goal.
As I looked over my records, I tend to send out batches of submissions when I have “down times” – school vacations, summer, long weekends or when my husband is away. If I could get out 57 in this way, I should be able to get MORE out if I am consistent.
So, how can I do this? I have started a new charting system so that I can move groups of poems that are rejected (I tend to think a lot about which poems are going out together) straight into another column to be resubmitted. This way, when I record a rejection, I am more likely to go to my list of possible journals and submit again instead of waiting.
I plan to send out the completed full-length manuscript to at least two places in January/February, and I am working on a second manuscript, applying for summer residencies, and trying to read and attend as many poetry events as my schedule allows.
And I catch the words wherever I can. Some I even get to keep.