Submissions: E-mail or Traditional Mail?

Author:
Publish date:

Though I'd been writing poetry very regularly since my sophomore year of high school, I did not start submitting my poems to publications until January of 2006. Being my own harshest critic, I was prepared to get rejected to all the places I submitted, so I set a rule that I would only submit my work via e-mail or online submission forms (as an economic decision). However, I was surprised to find more than 20 of my poems accepted over the first 15 months or so of my submission efforts.

After success via e-mail and online submission forms (and with the ability to afford stamps without sacrificing my son's next haircut appointment), I decided it was time to start submitting to places that only accept submissions the traditional route. That's what I'm currently in the process of doing, and I'm wondering if that is a good or bad thing.

I wonder: Am I somehow just following the crowd by submitting by post? Am I doing it just to have a cool credit? Should I just be trying to get my material published as fast as possible by whoever "understands" what I'm getting at?

By the way, I don't have any answers to those questions yet. Just thinking out loud.

*****

As far as the respectability factor, Virginia Quarterly Review and The Pedestal Magazine--both very respectable publications--only accept submissions online. The New Yorker and Ploughshares accept submissions online and through the post. So there shouldn't be any kind of taboo on online submissions--it all comes down to what works best for the editors.

Yet, I've noticed that I submit by traditional mail if I'm given the option of either/or, because I figure traditional mail at least forces the editors to open the envelope. Online submissions are so easy to "accidentally" delete or forget.

*****

I submit both ways, but I'm wondering if one is better than the other. Or is a mix-and-match approach the best way to submit.

Weinstein_1:21

The Writer, The Inner Critic, & The Slacker

Author and writing professor Alexander Weinstein explains the three parts of a writer's psyche, how they can work against the writer, and how to utilize them for success.

Stottlemyre_1:21

Todd Stottlemyre: On Mixing and Bending Genres

Author Todd Stottlemyre explains how he combined fiction and nonfiction in his latest book and what it meant as a writer to share his personal experiences.

plot_twist_story_prompts_take_a_trip_robert_lee_brewer

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Take a Trip

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character take a trip somewhere.

Probst_1:20

Making the Switch from Romance to Women’s Fiction

In this article, author Jennifer Probst explains the differences between romance and women's fiction, the importance of both, and how you can make the genre switch.

Wrobel_1:20

Stephanie Wrobel: On Writing an Unusual Hero

Author Stephanie Wrobel explains how she came to write about mental illness and how it affects familial relationships, as well as getting inside the head of an unusual character.

who_are_the_inaugural_poets_for_united_states_presidents_robert_lee_brewer

Who Are the Inaugural Poets for United States Presidents?

Here is a list of the inaugural poets for United States Presidential Inauguration Days from Robert Frost to Amanda Gorman. This post also touches on who an inaugural poet is and which presidents have had them at their inaugurations.

precedent_vs_president_grammar_rules_robert_lee_brewer

Precedent vs. President (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use precedent vs. president with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 554

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a future poem.

new_agent_alert_tasneem_motala_the_rights_factory

New Agent Alert: Tasneem Motala of The Rights Factory

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Tasneem Motala of The Rights Factory) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.