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My least favorite part about publishing poetry is sending out submissions! Unfortunately, it does not do it itself, as much as I have hoped this would happen. I have created my own submissions tracker in order to keep track of the process. It is very important, no matter what system you use, to keep track of submissions. Especially if you begin doing simultaneous submissions. Most venues accept simultaneous submissions as long as they are marked as such, and are immediately notified if a piece gets accepted elsewhere. That is just good manners, but without some kind of system, it may be hard to remember who to notify.

it's hard work submitting to online litmags, but somebody's got to do it

My system makes use of an excel spreadsheet with two tabs. The first tab is for the actual submissions, and includes the titles of the pieces submitted, where they were submitted to, the date submitted, expected response time, and then a record of if the piece was accepted or rejected and any relevant comments/feedback. The second tab is a list of possible places to submit to, which can be sorted by deadline date. Also included, is a column to indicate poems that may fit with each title. It is important to research where you are going to submit to, so you know what kind of work they tend to publish and don’t waste their time or yours. The best way to do this is by reading the actual magazines, but most magazines at least provide sample work from the latest or archived issues on their website, and reading these is a good start.

Two of my favorite places to find titles to investigate are the New Pages Guide to Best Lit Mags and Duotrope’s Digest. Duotrope also has a free online submissions tracker you can use.

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