Some reasons why that fancy literary journal has yet to respond to your submission in a timely manner

  1. they’re super busy and haven’t gotten around to it yet
  2. they like it a lot and are really considering publishing it, but these sort of decisions require bureaucratic red tape, unused colostomy bags, and a plethora of deodorant. Finding these things in bulk always causes problems.
  3. they got to it, but are holding onto it because they like to pass it between each other and laugh. You may not ever receive a response.
  4. they have mailed it to the president to have a national holiday named in your honor, but with all of the election hubbub going on, they are waiting until after November to see who will be the one declaring it. If it’s Romney, no holiday in your honor will be declared; in actuality, one called the “13% day” will be declared instead, in which all people are encouraged to donate 13% of their income to those upper-class individuals struggling to make ends meet on less than $350,000 a year. If it’s Obama, he’ll declare a holiday for you, but make a speech suggesting we all celebrate “in as mediocre a way as possible.”
  5. their office, staff, and submissions (and/or submissions manager) burst into flame last weekend, and since the general public doesn’t care about the state of literary journals, no one was notified. If this is the case, we’re sorry to say your submission will be published never.
  6. they ran out of toilet tissue.
  7. all journals are terrified of the number 7.

New endeavors

After a year-long hiatus from working for a literary journal, I’m pleased to announce that I will now be reading for Fjords Review, an absolutely lovely journal. I’m so excited about this new endeavor, and I hope you will consider submitting your best poetry and fiction!


In other news, I went running this morning (a slow, slow progress, since I’m re-training after re-injuring an old injury) and started thinking about a creative nonfiction essay I wrote the day of my surgery. I’ve been thinking about it off and on since I wrote it, but haven’t been able to figure out how to approach it. I gave it to a friend to read over, but that was it. Finally, today, I came back from that run and edited it and even came up with an ending, when it had none before.

Sometimes, changing genres is exactly what I need to do. I read once that anytime you get to point in your writing where you’re stuck, try changing the form, or even the genre. I’ve had trouble with figuring out whether a poem needed to be in couplets or quatrains, so I changed it to prose. Seeing it as that block of text helped me figure out how to shape it. Topics I haven’t been able to broach in poetry (like my surgery, my trip to Greece, etc.), I’ve been able to express in fiction or creative nonfiction. There can be so much versatility in being a poet; there’s always a potential to switch, to envision space. I make up it’s a great deal harder for prose writers to make that switch, to shrink than to expand (any of you prose writers feel differently?).

Happy writing!