Building Relationships

Yesterday I read this post and found the topic really interesting: “Why not build relationships with particular journals while also sending to newer ones?” For myself, the answer is pretty simple: There are still so many journals that I want to see my work to appear in that I keep sending new work to new journals, instead of sending a submission on to a journal I’ve already been published in.

I’ve appeared in two literary journals twice: The Los Angeles Review and PANK

My second publication ever was in The Los Angeles Review, and I was screaming-call-my-boyfriend-and-my-parents excited when I got that acceptance e-mail from their wonderful poetry editor, Tanya Chernov. At my first AWP, I got to meet her and Kelly Davio, the current Managing Editor, and it was a moment I still cherish because I was a wide-eyed first year MFA student and they were really really nice and they liked my poem! my little poem! That moment shaped for me how I wanted to be as an editor. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many contributors while I worked for The Pinch, and I hope I’ve even once been able to be as kind and gracious as Tanya and Kelly were to me. 

A couple of years after they accepted that first poem, I decided to send another packet onto them. The work just seemed like it fit their aesthetic. They accepted another poem, and I got to see them again at AWP the following year. I am also now friends with them on Facebook, and I just like them. They’re good people. L.A.R also has a special no-fee “Previous Contributor Submission” category on their Submission Manager to support this sort of thing.

My relationship with PANK has gone differently. In September 2011, I sent them a short story. Less than a month later, they sent me an encouraging rejection. I had no fiction to send them, so I sent some poems their way in December. I received another encouraging rejection to which I sent another packet. Got another encouraging rejection. I waited a couple of months and sent them a new packet in March 2012, shortly after being too chicken to talk to the editors (especially the particularly fancy Roxane Gay) at their AWP table but having enough of my wits about me to at least buy one of their classy t-shirts. They accepted three of my poems for their June 2012 issue a surprising ten days later.

That short story I sent to them back in September of 2011 was still waiting to be published and I had spent a ton of time editing it, so I decided to try to re-submit it to them as well as some other journals in October 2012. They accepted it for their February 2013 issue less than a month later. That marked my first ever fiction publication too.

I like the idea of keeping up with a particular publication. L.A.R. opened doors for me and kissed some confidence into my fledgling writer status. Once I got that acceptance, I really felt like I could do this crazy submitting-and-rejecting thing. Yes, I could do it. PANK published three of my poems, the most that I’ve had accepted at a time, and my first fiction story, a story I’d worked on for over a year and had submitted 41 different times!

Sandy Longhorn wrote a post about getting second and third “dates” with journals not too long ago. How do you all feel about it? You snagged that journal credit and are off seeing if you can get another one, or do you still send submissions to those journals you’ve already seen your work in? A little bit of both?

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3 thoughts on “Building Relationships

  1. Tara Mae! Love your recounting here. Also, thanks for the reminder about my own post. I commented on January’s blog and had totally forgotten it! (That’s what the spring semester can do to the brain.)

    I like the little bit of both option because I think there are always new journals or journals that are new to me. It does require keeping up with a lot of information, though.

  2. I’ve wondered before if other poets send to the same magazines again or not! I only recently started doing that the past year or so, to magazines that I particularly liked for various reasons–mission statement, nice editors, a pretty layout, etc. Southern Humanities Review and Ruminate Journal are two that I like to publish with more than once; primarily though, I do try to get my work out to new journals.

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