6. One or two journals is not enough. So you are ready to submit your poems. You’ve worked long and hard. You are ready to show your blood and sweat to the world. You decide on some poetry journals, follow the rules, prepare the letters, track your submissions in a poetry log…and now you’ve sent your poems off to……three poetry journals! Wow! So little. You don’t have much faith in your poems, do you?
Grab a tissue quick because I have some bad news for you. Your poems aren’t likely going anywhere. Those three poetry journals that you have your eyes on, your whole heart invested in, are probably not going to like your poems as much as you do.
Which is why you need to submit to more than three journals. How many you ask? I’m talking twenty in the least. One writer advises submitting to no less than 60 poetry journals in a year.
You need to get your work out there. Out of the twenty journals you submit your poems to, you will likely get two to three acceptances on average. Yes, it takes that many to get that little in return. You don’t know which editors will appreciate your work or understand what you are trying to say. Sharing your work with two to three editors is the sure making of unpublished poems. Unless of course those three editors just happen to appreciate your work, which I hope they do. But it is not likely. Do that and you probably won’t be submitting to poetry journals for years. Especially if it is your first time submitting your beloved poems to the world.
Don’t believe me. I’ll share an experience with you: In college, my writing professor gave me some kind feedback on my writing. It was the first positive encouragement I had received about my writing from other than family. She read a creative non-fiction piece in front of the class and later encouraged me to submit a poem. I did submit my poem. To one journal as if it was the only journal that existed. After receiving the rejection letter, I didn’t submit my work again for several years. Now I know better. So, don’t do as I did. Submit, submit, submit!