Poetry for Publication: The Quality Question

One of the best moments for me when I’m instructing a workshop is the moment when a participant asks a question that challenges me to think through my own assumptions and ideas. While teaching a workshop on theme in poetry at the Northwest Poet’s Concord this year, I had one of these experiences. After a discussion about the importance of developing theme when writing poetry for publication, a particularly astute participant asked, “Isn’t publishing poetry really about quality?”

We’d love to think so, but my answer is an emphatic, “No!” There are several reasons for this answer. Here are 5 of them:

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Dueling Columns – An Editor’s Thoughts on Simultaneous Submissions

Preface: Richard and I are writing dueling columns on this subject.  He’s written up the writers’ view on simultaneous subs here.  I’ll link to it again at the end of this column.  Share your thoughts–editor side, writer side, what-the-hell-is-a-simultaneous-sub side (Richard answers that question), whatever.  We want to know what YOU think!

First, a disclaimer.  We allow simultaneous submissions at The Externalist.  Still, I sometimes think that we shouldn’t and as an editor, I completely understand why some markets don’t. 

Simultaneous submissions, lacking an online submission management system (several hundred dollars) or paid staff (several thousand), are an administrative headache. 

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