I'm not sure where this week went or what I've actually accomplished, so might list it here to get this started as I've come to my blog with a huge blank. I only worked one day, but I secured teaching work for several sessions dotted over the next few weeks, even added a new school to my list. I got my computer back which seems like a huge deal, so I had to spend time sorting that, transferring files, finding things I couldn't do when it was away.
Writing-wise, I finished a poem I was trying to write for the Book of Kells writing and art competition, the deadline is 30/10. This makes me wonder if I should have links to calls for submissions, etc on this blog, but that requires a lot of research, so probably won't happen. I did enjoy researching the Book of Kells and its art and got a poem out of it, so that was a bit of fun work.
I also submitted a bunch of poems to magazines I've been trying to get in for donkeys' years, as they say in Scotland. Solid UK magazines like Envoi, Acumen, Agenda that I've been sending poems to since the late 90s. It's frustrating, but I always maintain there's hope that someday I will write a poem or two they like. But I have to admit, I do submit to them much less often than I did in the early days, partially because that sense of hope is small, but also because there are so many more magazines to submit to now. I've gotten over my fear of internet magazines and submit to them as much as I do print journals though I do like print publication more, holding an issue in my hands, over seeing it on a screen.
I'd be interested to see what the rise of internet publishing opportunities has done to the subscription and submission rates of these long-standing print magazines. There are a few that still refuse to take electronic submissions, only posted ones, which frankly because of the costs of posting from Finland I can no longer submit to even though I'd like to be published by them.
That will have dropped their submission rates a bit, I'm sure, but from having worked for a literary magazine, reading submissions, that's not necessarily a bad thing. I constantly get rejection letters saying 'we received over 500 submission for this issue, but could only accept 50 authors'. Weeding that down through charging for electronic submissions as one magazine I used to submit to started doing or by accepting only posted submissions will mean it's only the die-hards, who have money to spare, who love the magazine and still hold them in high regard in this faster paced modern publishing culture or those who know they have a good chance to be published through previous publications or connections will still submit. Am I a cynic? Probably, but I'm probably not far wrong.
This year I've submitted to over twice as many magazines than previous years and this has mostly to do with the increase in online journals. They often have a higher accept rate, due to publishing more often for less money and often have a quicker turn around time.
I don't know how much being published in online magazines is helping me, but it's all I can do in my current position. Some days I'm not sure if any of this is worth it, some days I feel I can conquer the world with just the right break. Most days I just keep ploughing on.