Sunday 15 July 2012

On Editing a Poetry Journal

As many of you know, I edit the online poetry journal Bolts of Silk. The benefit of it is in ensuring that I get to read a lot of good current poetry (though admittedly I get sent some pretty poor poetry too). Today though I was becoming exasperated by some of the things that people do so I thought I'd share them here!

Some people obviously don't read the submission guidelines

- I've had people send me in poems that are well over the 40 line limit or send fewer or more than the requested 1-3 poems
- Some people send poems in attachments rather than in the body of an email 
- I've had people send me entirely inappropriate poetry which indicates not only have they not read the submissions guidelines they've not even read Bolts of Silk itself!
- some people don't check the grammar or spelling in their poems
- I've had people address me as editor (or even worse Sir!)
- some people don't include their own name!
- today someone sent me another poem by return of email after I had rejected his work (surely you should know this is rude without needing to read the submission guidelines that state not to send any more work until a few months have passed. This is something I normally state in my email, but it had slipped my mind this time).

The moral of the story is of course, if sending work to a literary journal, follow the guidelines as closely as possible. If you don't you're liable to annoy the editor and an annoyed editor is less likely to use your work! 

So rant over and I'm more than delighted to read any poetry you might want to send in, but please, make sure you read the submission guidelines!


Aging Ophelia said...

I feel your pain-- I've done it myself, editing a journal, I mean, and it can be as frustrating as gum in your hair.

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Juliet,

Oh sigh! ... that must hard editing a Poetry Journal.
You would think people would read the instruction and guidelines carefully.

Happy new week

RG said...

Follow directions? Who - me?

They always give the tough jobs to the most capable! How would you like one of those imbeciles to do the editing! Probably they all work for banks.

Carol Steel said...

That has to be frustrating! Good for you to reiterate the guidelines and reasons for not pissing off the editor. Some people are so stupid.

And I do enjoy reading Bolts of Silk; thanks for your hard work there.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Heavy Hedonist - it can be frustrating can't it?

Draffin Bears - you'd think it would be easy to read the guidelines but obviously not!

Rabbits Guy - I'm sure none of your bunnies ever follow directions!

Carol - goad you enjoy reading Bolts of Silk, i enjoy editing it, i do, most of the time....!

Owl Who Laughs said...

Thank you for this candid commentary that reveals something it took me decades to learn: many adults are as selfish as grammar school kids, only with new ways to hide it.

We're all selfish, it's true, but those that take the time to be respectful of others reach a new level of being. Even better are those who listen, and who foster mutually beneficial relationships.

We need that level of consciounsess to progress ethically as a global civilization.