Thursday, September 1, 2022

September Submission Strategies

This morning, I looked at the date on my computer:  September 1.  We all have different seasonal markers, and one of mine is September 1 as the date when many literary journals open for submissions after a summer hiatus.

In the past, long ago in the past, before online submissions, I would have had a stack of submissions ready to be mailed on September 1.  I had a plan and a purpose, and I needed publications.  I had a vision of a better teaching job or maybe a life of a freelance writer who got grants and speaking engagements and great tax deductions.

My submitting life is complicated now.  I am astonished at how expensive submitting fees have gotten to be.  I have problems with a $3 fee, and now many of them are $4 or higher.  Several stamps, paper, and printer ink cost far less in terms of money.  I was one of those people who used to send out poems/stories again and again, on the same paper, so my submission costs were even cheaper.

That said, I do prefer online submissions.  I just don't want to pay so much money for such a slim chance of my creative work being accepted.

This year, I have tech issues that I haven't had before.  I have a new laptop, and I'm realizing how much submitting work I have done in the past from computers that weren't connected to my cloud accounts.  Happily, I'm able to reassemble any work that was stored on a different hard drive--in some ways, Submittable has worked as a different kind of cloud storage.  

Because I've moved and shut down a website, I've needed to change the contact information on all of my documents before I send them out.  My work situation has changed, so I've needed to change that paragraph on my cover letter/bio statement.

So, I started a new folder--it will be easier that way.  I'll know that everything in the folder has been updated, and if I'm away from my process for several months, I won't have to re-examine it all again.

Of course, if I'm away for several months, I'll lose some opportunities.  One way that submitting now is different from the days when I folded pages into envelopes:  so many journals are open for such a small window of time.

Let me not waste this open window!

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