The Early Bird Gets the Worm

If you’re looking for something new to read, one of my favorite new literary journals is Tahoma Literary Review, which publishes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. The journal will soon release its debut issue, and you can already read about some of the contributors. It’s a rather impressive list. I also like the journal because of the blog posts the editors write every few weeks, which contain some of the most practical advice on writing I’ve read, especially for those first getting started. In the latest post, editor Kelly Davio stresses the importance of submitting work early in a submission period. This post stuck because because when a lot of journals and magazines open for submissions in September, I don’t always submit my work to them immediately. Kelly’s post is making me re-think that.

Here’s what she has to say about submissions, “When editors see a piece we simply have to have, we know we’d better grab it before it appears in another magazine’s pages. That means we often have few pages left in the issue by the last week or two of the submission period:, and competition that was already tough to begin with reaches cutthroat proportions. I sometimes have to say no to great poems when they reach me on the late side.”

She adds that for the first submission period, they received work from over 350 poets, usually five poems per poet. Of the poems, over 200 came in the last week, but the journal was already 2/3 full. Those statistics really put things into perspective, and when September rolls around and a flood of journals open for submissions, I don’t plan to wait. Send the work out there at the beginning of the period.

If you have the time, I suggest going back and reading some of the older blog posts, too. All contain useful information.

4 thoughts on “The Early Bird Gets the Worm

  1. David J. Bauman says:

    I’ve been thinking along these lines lately, that I need to get myself ahead of the game and well ahead of the deadlines. Even Duotrope tends to play to my weakness here. Thanks for the prodding! I appreciate it.

    • Brian Fanelli says:


      This is a good time of year to start compiling your poems and getting them ready to send out in September, when most of the journals re-open for submissions. That’s what I’ve been doing over the last few weeks. I haven’t used Duotrope in ages, ever since they started charging a fee. Do you find Duotrope useful?

      • David J. Bauman says:

        The five bucks doesn’t bother me since I use it, or did. It was helpful yes, both for organizing (not my strength) and for researching to find journals I like that might like my style. I figure I could easily waste the five bucks on coffee. I just brew my own to make up for the cost. 🙂

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