Publishing Poetry is like Arranging a Marriage – Make it a Happy One

Some words from Brian Geiger, editor of Vita Brevis, on finding true love–or at least a good match–for your poems.

Vita Brevis

Captureby Brian Geiger

If you’re here, you may have read this (or something like it, elsewhere):

We appreciate your submission. However, we’ve decided that your work isn’t a good fit for Vita Brevis, and we won’t be publishing it. But don’t be dissuaded–very few of our poets have been published on their first try! Read over some of our work, make sure your submission meets our exact guidelines, and then choose a new batch that you deem relevant. We make these decisions based on theme- and style-based criteria, so don’t take it personally! Thanks so much for your contribution! We hope to hear from you again.

We’re rooting for you,
The Vita Brevis Team

That’s a rejection email. Chances are, your first submission to Vita Brevis earned you one of these. If that’s the case, you’re in a pool of about 75%. Or maybe I only accepted one poem of the five you sent in for…

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24 thoughts on “Publishing Poetry is like Arranging a Marriage – Make it a Happy One

  1. Hmmm, I just wrote a comment over there. Yes, we need to match up with someone (or a literary magazine/publisher) who “likes” us and perhaps publishes writings like ours. But then again, a marriage with two very similar people can be a boring relationship….

  2. Thanks for sharing this article, Merril. Although I don’t write poetry, I am familiar with rejection. I’ve never taken it personally, but it does inspire me to keep trying until I finally get it right.

  3. I’m going over to read the rest of the post but felt that, as far as rejection letters go, this one is pretty inspiring in itself, no? I mean, no one wants to be rejected but if you have to be, this sure is less cold…

  4. OMG! I cannot believe I just read this from a “writer”: “Typically, poets resort to this if their low on time or energy, if their stuck in their ways, or if they don’t recognize that there’s another approach available.
    THEIR? Not once, but twice? Sheesh…

  5. Pingback: Lit Journals and Me: But How Do I Know If It Is a Good Fit? #MondayBlogs | Luanne Castle's Writer Site

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