Sunday, November 30, 2014

How Much Are You Willing to Pay?


As you know, many print journals now use online submission managers such as Submittable for submissions. Many of these journals are no longer willing to accept snail mail submissions. That’s fine with me. Makes my life easier. In the past few years, several of these journals have begun to charge a submission fee, usually $2 or $3. Although some poets I know are very annoyed about this and some of them refuse to submit to any journal that charges a submission fee, I’m not particularly bothered by it. Seems like a fair trade-off to me. I don’t have to use up my paper supply, two envelopes, postage for the sending and the SASE, or gas going to the post office. At their end, the journals get a little compensation for printing out submissions or reading on screen.

However, the other day I saw the name of a print journal that was new to me, so I checked it out. I’m not going to name it but will say that this journal publishes work by women only. The journal pays $50 for fiction and non-fiction and $35 for poetry. Great. I wouldn’t mind paying a small submission fee to a journal that compensates its authors. So everything looked cool until I got to the submission part. That’s where I saw the $15 reading fee! (Yes, I put an exclamation point there to register the jolt I got at such a fee.) And that’s for just three poems. Now keep in mind that there’s a difference between a submission fee and a reading fee. I’ll pay the former but not the latter, especially when the amount is so absurdly high. It’s tantamount to paying to be published. Another irritant: they read anonymously so all identifying information must be deleted. I know that some people like that. I find it annoying as it causes me the unnecessary step of deleting the information. I think editors ought to be able to be objective with or without names.

So I’ll keep my money and they can keep theirs.

Speaking of money—Many of you, I’m sure, are familiar with Erika Dreifus and her wonderful blog, Practicing Writing, which is always loaded with useful information for writers. It’s primarily geared towards prose writers, but poets will also find it useful. Every Monday, for example, Erika makes her readers aware of no-fee, paying markets. She also sends out a monthly e-newsletter, The Practicing Writer, which is similarly filled with wonderful, up-to-date information. In the current December issue, Erika includes a list of books suggested by authors who previously played some role in her newsletter. As one of those lucky authors, I recommended Still Writing: The Pleasures and Perils of a Creative Life by Dani Shaprio (Grove Press). Both the blog and the newsletter are terrific resources for writers. You can subscribe to Erika’s newsletter at either of the preceding two links. Just scroll down in the right sidebar.

Speaking of blogs—I have previously recommended Adele Kenny’s The Music in It, and I now reiterate that recommendation. Each Saturday Adele posts a poetry prompt. Each of her prompts contains some instruction and several model poems or links to them. Readers are invited to post their drafts in the Comments section where Adele generously comments on them. Recently Adele began occasionally inviting other poets to contribute a prompt. I’m happy to have been invited twice to do that. My second guest post, The Loveliness of Words, is currently posted at the blog. It’s excerpted from my book, The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop, and includes a wonderful model poem by Rod Jellema and a prompt based on the poem. Check it out and try the prompt.

Speaking of books—It’s time to order your holiday gift books. I hope you’ll consider The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop for the poets in your life.

2 comments :

  1. I couldn't agree more! A nominal submission fee is fair enough, but those ridiculous reading fees are just too much.

    Thanks so much for mentioning "The Music in It" and, most of all, thank you for your wonderful prompt this week (check out the comments, there are several).

    ReplyDelete
  2. The post title drew me in…and then I saw the kind words about the blog/newsletter/me. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

Let Me Know What You Think

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...