Thursday, September 08, 2005

Ok, shop question:

I had a few poems accepted at a certain journal around 2 years ago (October of 2003)--I was told they would be published in the Fall or Winter of 2005. Then these poems were part of the psa chapbook ms, due to be published in December of 2005. So I called said journal, to make sure everything was cool, and was told they'd get back to me. That was June. So in August I sent an email, asking what was happening, no response. Now, this journal has been in some tumult--new editor, and the old poetry editor has been replaced by a brace of co-poetry-editors. They've moved to a new building. They've tinkered with the journal's format pretty significantly. Apparently they are cutting sharply back on the old poetry editor's backlog of accepted poems. Which is fine with me, really, if they would just have enough consideration to say so and let me try real quick to place them somewhere else.

So my question is--how much longer do I wait before trying to place these poems elsewhere? I mean, I suppose there's a chance this journal is still interested in them, though it seems to diminish every time I think about it.

And follow-up question: is it too late to try and place any as-yet-unpublished poems from the manuscript? I know this sounds stupid, I just really have no idea how the whole submit-wait-rejoice-or-resubmit process I'm so familiar with at this point goes when the poems are coming out in a chapbook in a few months.

Any ideas?

I'm interested in answers to these questions too. I wonder if I can submit to journals a few poems that are scheduled to publish as part of my chapbook in a few months. Now they are technically unpublished, but soon WILL be published, and earlier than the hypotetical journal issues (should they be accepted). Blah. It's worse than that movie Primer.
Stuart, this is sort of a tricky one... here're my thoughts, though I'm interested to hear what others say.

It sounds to me like you've made a genuine effort to alert the editors about your situation. I think if it were me in your shoes, I'd let them publish the work in their winter issue and figure it will come out before or around the same time as your chapbook.

Not sure what else you can do, really. Are there other journals that would accept and publish the poems before your chapbook comes out? I think even for online journals, that'd be pretty fast.

I have to say, I think in general that's too long a time to wait between acceptance and publication -- though I did it once too, because it was a journal I really wanted to be in.

me too (though I've never seen "Primer")--let me know what you come up with.


Thanks for the feedback. One thing I guess I didn't make clear--it seems pretty obvious the chances are slim they are publishing the poems at all--where once (like, two issues ago) 25 poets or so would see publication an issue, the first of their new-look issues has 2 poets. And I've heard rumors of previously-accepted poems being 'purged' (attractive word). See what I mean? I mean, I'm annoyed by the whole process at this point. I'm thinking about doing a "reverse submission", just posting the poems here, and giving it around a week or two for any editors who might be interested in publishing them to contact me. Then I'll pick which journal (or two) to accept--you know, the same process by which ^we^ submit to journals, only reverse. No hard feelings if I reject your journal, thank you for submitting to my poem, please try again next round of poems.

I probably won't actually do that. But it is a satisfying daydream.
I think it's pretty standard procedure, when a book is cominjg out, to try and rush indiv. poems into journals, because the book publisher won't mind the first-rights going elsewhere, but the mags won't take reprints, for the most part...

Stuart, I'd write the mag and say, "This has been really confusing and while I love your mag, I think it best that I take these poems back now, as they'll be coming out in December elsewhere."

Then I'd send to mags with a good record for quick turnaround...

Soudns about right. Any suggestions?
Ah, in that case I agree with Laurel. And I think I know which mag you mean.

I like your reverse submission concept!
hmm, chapbook publication and magazine publication are not exclusive. i mean, if you have things coming out in your chap, that doesn't mean they can't have previously appeared or can't at some future point appear in a mag. books either. there are no rules about this kind of thing that i am aware of. generally the editor will just decide based on whether the audience for given book or chap overlaps with the mag's audience and to what degree. for instance, we have printed poems in LIT that have previously appeared in books and chapbooks as a way of introducing new readers to work we thought was worthy of notice. you know, in case they missed it in book form. a mag can serve as a kind of sampler this way. and certainly many things we have published later appear in books and mags, and LIT has been acknowledged as the place said poems previously appeared, which is nice. i'd just indicate in your subs and let the editors decide. "previously unpublished" in mag guideliness almost always just means in re: other magazines.

and at this point, i'd either withdraw your poems from the sluggish journal or insist that they tell you something definite. it's very inconsiderate of them to keep you waiting, and personally, i think they should be obligated to print work accepted by a previous editor. to not do so is an violation of editorial ethics.

my several cents!
and bear in mind that selections from your books or chapbooks appearing in magazines AFTER the publication date of the books is a GREAT way to "advertise" those collections. since it's practically impossible these days to find a bookstore with a genuinely browsable poetry section (i gots all my yeats, heaney, ginsburg, dickinson, whitman, and brownings, thanks, and will pass on most of the rest), magazines provide a place to browse and sample poets whose work is unfamiliar.

That's interesting, that poems can appear after they've been in a book--I'm assuming you mean that there's some kind of range in which they can be considered 'current', i.e. a few months maybe, or whatever the pub. schedule of the journal dictates (i.e. appearing in the next issue after the book/chap is published)? Still, that is heartening, to think I can send out now with more ease of mind.

It ^is^ awfully inconsiderate, isn't it--and actually happened to a poem of mine a few years ago. When Grand Street retooled themselves (before going under for good)and switched poetry editors, they un-accepted a poem of mine after holding onto it for ~ 3 years. I was pissy enough to ask that they send me the kill fee. Then, I sent the poem out, and guess where it got accepted?

If it ends up getting de-accepted again, as seems to be in the process of happening, I may not have the heart to send it anywhere, given the bad luck it brings to places which accept it!
& thanks, all, for the good advice & insight. I really have less of a sense than I should as to how to navigate the publishing waters--which world feels as subtle as Proust's intricate social one, described.
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