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Submissions stats for 2015 – the good, the bad, etc

I know there’s nothing festive about submissions stats, but I haven’t shared any in a while so in case you’re interested here goes…

Recent acceptances/ currently forthcoming

One poem in Brittle Star, one in Ink, Sweat & Tears and two in Obsessed with Pipework. All due to appear sometime in Spring 2016. Big Love & Thanks to editors Jacqueline Gabbitas, Martin Parker, Helen Ivory and Charles Johnson. Just for fun, here are some facts about these four poems (they’re not necessarily in the same order as above):

Poem A – written Feb – April 2015, 2 drafts, first submission
Poem B – written July 2014 – Nov 2015, 5 drafts, 2 previous rejections
Poem C – written June 2014 – Nov 2015, 10 drafts, 1 previous rejection
Poem D – written August 2014 – Nov 2015, 6 drafts, 1 previous rejection

Poems currently out and waiting on

2 out for 85 days/12 weeks
6 out for 71 days/10 weeks
2 out for 53 days/8 weeks
2 out for 41 days/ 6 weeks
1 for 32 days / 5 weeks

I have about 5 more which I think are nearly ready to send. There are a few submissions windows closing soon – for example Bare Fiction (9th January) and Popshot (20th January), and others opening (The Interpreter’s House in February, for example.) January is also a good month for competitions – the Kent & Sussex (deadline 31 Jan, judge Anne-Marie Fyfe) and Magma (19 Jan, judge Daljit Nagra) are two that come to mind, although I’m not sure I’ve anything with comp-winning potential at the moment.

The year in numbers – rejections and all

Since the start of 2015 I’ve had a total of 44 poems rejected by magazines and 18 unsuccessful competition entries. On the positive side I’ve had 8 poems taken by magazines, 1 second place in a competition and one longlisting. In addition I had 2 (different) pamphlet submissions longlisted and work in 3 anthologies. This doesn’t make for a stellar year in terms of ‘hit rate’ but I was pleased to make a first appearance in both Brittle Star and Prole, and on the whole I’m cautiously optimistic about where it’s all going. More to the point I have two new projects bubbling under and I’m enjoying experimenting with my writing – inspiration has come from many different sources this year and I’ll be talking more about that probably in my next post.

I hope this is an interesting yardstick for anyone else in a similar position – people tend to be a bit coy about announcing how many rejections they’ve had, but I think that it’s actually more enlightening (and maybe encouraging?) than just hearing about the acceptances. I also can’t see any reason not to talk about rejections since if you’re sending out regularly then surely they’re a fact of life and nothing to be ashamed of.

Ah! I feel a lovely quiet, indoorsy sort of Christmas coming on – much as I’d love a walk along the seafront on Christmas day the forecast is RAIN RAIN RAIN with a side of GALES. So let’s see. Wishing you a peaceful and happy Christmas, and thanks so much for reading, commenting, sharing, recommending and supporting this blog. LOVE.X


Image credit – Bo’s Cafe Life


Published inAngstBlogRejectionsSubmissions


  1. By the way….think about the Camden/Lumen Comp, mainly because the entry fees are ridiculously low, and the money goes to a great charity; think about YorkMix/York Literature festival…that gets better every year; finally, let me put in a plug for The Red Shed….it’ll probably be publicised by Write out loud….and I’ll be delighted if there are thousands of entries, since I’m judging it, and I like reading new stuff. There you go. Plugging session over. Have a lovely Christmas, rain and wind notwithstanding. You can always sing along with Feste. When I was a tiny little boy, hey ho, the wind and the rain. Twelfth Night. Seems appropriate.

  2. You’re doing much better than I ever have.

    I no longer submit to anything that requires a fee. I only submit to one or two publications per year at this point in my life. Seeing my work in print is nice, but it no longer excites me the way it did years ago.

    • Hi there Brian, thanks for commenting… I don’t mind the submissions fees for comps, as the judges need paying, and often it’s also a fundraiser for the publication or organisation concerned. And I do think a small fee via Submittable is OK too, although not many mags do charge one. After all, we’re not paying postage/paper/printing & SAE, all of which comes to more than £1, which I think mags should charge people to submit via Submittable, but hey. However, the fees do add up, so one has to have a budget 🙂 Happy Christmas!

  3. Sophie Sophie

    I thought this was very interesting, thank you for posting. This has been my first year of writing poetry, and next year I am thinking that I may try submitting one or two, so this was quite an eye-opener (in a good way). Could I just ask – how do you find places to submit?

    Hope you have had a lovely Christmas!

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Hi Sophie! If you are looking for UK magazines to submit to then I would start by looking at the Southbank Poetry Library website as they list all the mags they receive, even better if you’re able to visit you can then read latest copies, which I recommend as it gives you a feel for the style of poetry they favour, which varies a LOT! Also, both Jo Bell and Nell Nelson (Happenstance) have lists of mags on their websites. Sorry I can’t supply the links right now, am on a tablet and typing is hard work… thanks for commenting and good luck with your submissions!

      • Sophie Sophie

        Hi Robin, No, that’s great, thank you so much! (I hate typing on my tablet, so any answer longer than one sentence is admirable). Thanks, and good luck with all your submissions etc. Look forward to reading more posts!

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