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Some news about submissions, latest Telltale pamphlet

I see it’s been ages since I gave an update on submissions and what not. And it’s also been a while since I talked much on this blog about what I’m up to outside of my ‘read a poetry book a day’ challenge. So here goes.


I recently had a poem accepted for a magazine after 34 weeks. I’d kind of given up on that submission, so I’ve meanwhile sent the same poem out to another magazine, one that doesn’t say ‘no simultaneous submissions’. But then nor do they give any email contact details on their site, so in the unlikely event of them wanting that particular poem I will have to admit it’s gone. I’d rather let them know now but not sure how to – save writing a letter, and I think letters are likely to be read ‘in order’ rather like submissions.

Currently out:

1 poem for 77 days
3 poems for 53 days
4 poems for 46 days
5 poems for 31 days
plus 3 poems out to competitions.

I’ve not sent anything out to magazines in over a month, but then again I haven’t written anything new in that time either. But I do feel the reading project is benefiting me big time. I’m getting so many ideas about how I need to improve my own work. This is good. Because although I’m not writing I’m preparing to write better stuff. Or so it feels. We’ll see.

Selecting, editing & publishing

Having said what I’ve not been doing, I’ve still been working on some very interesting things. One of which was being a guest selector for South magazine, together with Jeremy Page of the Frogmore Papers. Jeremy is an experienced editor, poet and industry veteran –  it takes a lot to impress or surprise him.  So it was great fun (and a real learning experience) for me. South Magazine has an anonymous submissions process, which means both selectors read all the poems (separately) and make their selections. Then they get together to compare, negotiate, re-read and finally reach an agreement as to which poems should make the cut. At no time did we know the names of the poets. Although our initial selections weren’t identical, we actually didn’t disagree much at all when it came to discussing individual poems. Fascinating stuff. The launch of South 52 will be in Lewes (yay!) in October.

And another wonderful experience for me has been working with Sarah Barnsley on her debut pamphlet, The Fire Station, for Telltale Press. Sarah is a joy to work with and such a talent. We hope to send the pamphlet to print very soon and the publication date is set for September. More on this in due course.

Published inBlogMags & BlogsPamphletsPublishingSubmissions

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  1. Rosemary Badcoe Rosemary Badcoe

    I have a couple of groups of poems out now for 115 and 91 days. The only way to deal with it seems to be to forget about them! It’s one reason we try to keep response times as short as possible for Antiphon – we know how dispiriting it can be to wait for ages. Any mag running later than about 4 months must be constantly sitting on an enormous backlog, I reckon. That would bother me.

  2. Thanks Rosemary, I agree in your position I would have to keep response times reasonably short to preserve my sanity! But then I’m a person who likes to not only meet deadlines but deliver well before. I realise mags are running on a shoestring but it can be done – evidenced by Antiphon, also Prole, Interpreter’s House and others. I think after 200 days a simultaneous submission can be excused. Although I have heard of some sniffy responses to this, even when notified immediately of the withdrawal. Everyone has their own ways of working I guess. I think you’re right, you do have to forget about it. I don’t check my subs as often as I used to. Thanks for commenting 🙂

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Robin Houghton 2021
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