Sunday, August 16, 2009

When my third collection, RICELAND, was accepted for publication, it was 63 pages long, minus epigram and thanks. It is now 84 pages. Basically, some of the themes needed to be fleshed out a little. I think it's there, now. After ANTHEM, my second collection, was accepted, I cut 40% of the poems and replaced them, so adding 20-odd pages isn't too bad.

I've had several recent acceptances. decomP. Pank. elsewhere.

I've been working on another poetry collection, YOU HATED US FOR OUR WINGS SO WE NEVER FLEW. It's around 70 pages. The chapbook GOODBYE TO NOISE, which appeared at and the mini-chap TEXAS, forthcoming from Mud Luscious Press, are both included in this manuscript. It's pretty tight. I've started shopping it around a bit. I'm looking for presses. I had a nice rejection from Silenced Press a while back.

I put together a collection of ten ten-minute plays as well. I'm calling it TEN. It's just shy of 100 pages. Some of the plays have appeared in Arkansas Literary Forum, Oregon Literary Review, Bent Pin, Opium, and elsewhere. I haven't shopped ot around yet. I have one place lined up to send it.


Glenn Buttkus said...

Wow, you are like a poster child for HOW TO BE PUBLISHED ON LINE.
Over the last several years, as you were completing your Master's, and now as a teacher, you seem to have the process wired about how to submit to chapbooks and ezines
and get wonderful results. I guess it is also important to note that your work speaks for itself; that you are one hell of good poet to begin with. Looking back over the 120 of your poems and stories I have collected on line and posted on my site, it is still amazing to track the different phases and interests you have pursued. You may have noticed recently that I have been able to find a ton of poems done by Scott Malby, a teacher in Oregon, living in Coos Bay. Do you know his work? Congrats on getting
RICELAND out there.


CLBledsoe said...

Thanks Glenn. I've been reading Malby on FFTR. Good stuff.

Getting published is all about hard work and taking your ego out of the equation. Editors are people with their own tastes. Do the research, see what they like, see if you like them, and if your work is similar enough, they'll probably publish you. Unfortunately, there's also some luck in there--timing is important, and other factors. There's a story that Ray Bradbury had over 500 rejections before he was published. There's another story that Truman Capote never had a rejection in his life. Both of these could easily be true, but they don't really reflect on the talent of the writers so much as the fickleness of the industry.

It's easier to submit work online because the turn-around time is usually quicker, and it's less expensive to e-mail than to snail-mail, but the principles are the same. I have forthcoming work online and in print. I can't say I really prefer the one to the other.

When I first started sending work out as an undergrad., it took over a year before I saw any results. I "carpet-bombed" which just means I wasted a lot of stamps sending work to every market I could find. Imagine going up to complete strangers and asking them to buy something from you. Maybe one will, but most won't. Now, I target things more. I have developed relationships with publishers. I still send work out to journals I haven't appeared in before, but it's less of a crap shoot. Still, it's taken years of work, and the most impressive publications I've had have been maybe fourth tier. And I still get a lot of rejections. When I was starting out, I might get 20 rejections for something before it was picked up, especially fiction. Now, I often place a piece on the first try because I know what particular editors like, but sometimes it takes 5 or 6 rejections before someone picks it up. Of course, I'm a better writer now, as well.