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.

Conversations and Connections Conference

This weekend, I’m heading to Washington, DC to present at the Conversations and Connections Conference, held at John Hopkins University and sponsored by Barrelhouse Magazine and The Potomac Review.

I’ll be part of a panel entitled “Think Small: The Benefits of Working with a Small Poetry Press,” and I’ll be sharing my experience publishing two books of poetry with indie presses. My co-presenters are Dawn Leas and Tony Mancus, one of the co-founders of Flying Guillotine Press. If you’re looking for a good writing conference that is affordable, I suggest heading to Conversations and Connections on Saturday. The registration information and panel descriptions are listed on the website.  There will also be speed dating with editors of literary magazines and publishers, which is a great chance to make connections and share your work.