Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A word or two

Looking at Common Ground Review's guidelines, I read this footnote on why they don't take simultaneous submissions:

*A word about simultaneous submissions: Simultaneous submissions can cause editors serious problems. For example, the editors have accepted a poem for publication (after lengthy evaluation and some negotiation), and the poet notifies them the poem has been accepted elsewhere and wishes to have it withdrawn. At this point, the editors have spent a great deal of time planning layout. (i.e. which poems should face each other on opposing pages or where the best place is for each illustration.) Poems that occupy more than one page add another layout dimension. In addition, layout involves four pages not one. Subtract one poem and either add a poem or subtract three other pages. Whichever action occurs causes the editors to have to re-evaluated the journal layout and then start over again. The content page and the biographical pages of the journal will also have to be edited.

I can understand having a choice of poems to yourself is a nice comfortable feeling, and if I were an editor, I'm sure I'd prefer it. But in the interest of the poet, I wouldn't require exclusive submissions. Especially if I have a "lengthy evaluation" period. Especially since I don't know what business I'd have doing the layout for somebody's poem before I'd informed them that I wanted their poem and waited for their confirmation. If, however, the magazine has indeed informed the poet of acceptance (as the first line seems to suggest), and the poet nevertheless pulls the poem later on, then that poet is a jerk and isn't playing fair and demanding exclusive submissions from him/her probably isn't going to save the editors from anything.


Pat Paulk said...

But the world was created in 10 days by God and editors cut it back to 7. They are a pain in the rump, but they do rule the world of publishing. Thanks for coming by my blog, I appreciated your comment!!

michi said...

good point sarah. the layout process normally does not start before telling poets about accepted poems. all the simultaneous sub business has really changed over the past few years though, hasn't it? a few years ago, barely any zine accepted them. i understand that monthlies don't want simultaneous subs, because their response time is short, but it's a pain with zines that only have biannual or annual editions.

what do you think of "no previously published work accepted"? i am not sure i understand the reason why, esp not if something has appeared in now defunct magazines or in print.

m, who thinks it's all really very ixkpk.

SarahJane said...

If the poet waits a month or even two, I can understand the aversion to sim subs. It's when we're talking upwards of 6 months where I think I'm wasting my life sitting on a poem. Happened to me last year with a journal that has a 4-month response time and won't take sim subs. I figured I'd try anyway. After about 5 months went by I inquired and "although we liked a lot about your poems," they weren't taking any. I think that if you won't allow poets to submit elsewhere, you would try to answer on time.

As to previously published poems, wouldn't it be great to publish a poetry journal that only included previously published poems? It could be like a semi-annual anthology. I'd do it.

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