The post office decided to help me out with this blog by delivering a package including Issue 53 (March 2007) of remark.–this issue actually guest-edited by C. Allen Rearick. This very well could be the last acceptance I can point to this year, and I’m not ashamed to admit that my poem “buried alive” is by far the shortest piece in the issue measuring in at only 4 lines. For me, it’s not the size that matters, but what you do with that size.
I could just say, “Go me,” and call it a blog, but I really want this to develop into a community. So I’m going to include one of my TOP SECRET poetry submission tips: When you submit batches of poems, whether 2 or 10, vary the length of your pieces.
Putting on my editor’s cap, I have to make editorial decisions based off many criteria. Space is one criterion that comes up often. If an editor has 30 lines to fill and 2 poets with 20-line poems, then it’s simple mathematics that only 1 poet will make it in the issue. That gives you a 50% chance of being accepted. If you happened to include a killer poem of 10 lines or less, then your chances increase.
Of course, the shorter poem still has to be very good and fit within the editorial scheme the editor has planned for that issue, but editors constantly are forced to make difficult decisions between poems and poets they love equally. If you have quality poems of different lengths, it makes perfect math sense to bundle different sized poems.
Let me know if you agree or disagree with this. Let’s continue to build our community together.