Here’s a thing. Poetry presses and magazines exist on a shoestring. Sometimes half a shoestring. I’m sure we’d all love to support them by subscribing to them all, but it does get a tad expensive. So what’s the answer?
Charging for submissions seems relatively unusual in this country but it’s not in the US. The New England Review, for example, is very upfront about making a charge for submissions, but they made it sound very reasonable:
“We charge a small fee for online submissions ($3 prose, $2 poetry, $2 NER Digital). This fee, which is waived for current subscribers, helps to support New England Review in its mission to encourage literary innovation and exploration by publishing writers at all stages of their careers. It’s also not much more (and sometimes less) than what you’d pay for postage, paper, and printing. We also think you’ll appreciate the convenience of being able to upload your submission from your own computer.”
So what do you think? Should magazines move to this model, and ditch the vagaries of Royal Mail altogether? Would you agree to paying a pound, say, to submit a handful of poems to a magazine? Is it better to give your money to the poetry magazines rather than the Royal Mail?
If you’re reading this and you run a small press, what are the disadvantages of this system – your having to print out poems? Possible loss of formatting? Too much trouble to set the system up? Would a fee deter people from submitting – and possibly the ones you actually don’t want to deter?
Take the quick poll and please comment – I’m interested to know what you think.