Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Acceptance Emails; Reading Periods.

I've had the pleasure, yesterday and this morning, to send out acceptance emails to poets who submitted poems during our August reading period. Outside of launching, and getting that admired solicitee to acknowledge or even submit to Octopus, this practice of sending out acceptance emails is one of my favorite things about being an editor. And the persistent waves of young hot groupies.

Out of about 90 submissions during August, we took 16 or so. I have no idea how those numbers jive with other magazines, particularly online. But I'd be curious.

The reading period thing for us is a new concept. We just added this info onto our last issue. I like it. Before, we'd get a lot of sub-par work, even from poets we dug. Poets felt free to try us with their b-game first, then maybe step it up. There was no penalty for endless amounts of attempts, which welcomed the mediocre poems. With the reading period, we consistently got A-game material. Everyone had one shot at Octopus, for the whole year, and this was it. It became a little event, at least in our little world.


Michael said...

I definitely see the point about reading periods, except I forgot that OCTOPUS was doing theirs in August and now I have to wait a whole freakin' year to submit? Drats!

didi said...


Since you asked for some ideas from others as far as quality of submissions go, reading only one month a year is a good idea if you only publish once a year. It offers an exclusivity to your magazine that you do not see in others -- regarding MiPO, since I publish four times a year and I am usually ahead a season from everyone else, I found after five years of doing this that having open submissions for about a month after each issue comes out and then closing open submissions and sending out invitations to whom I feel will fill the rest of the shoe, works for me.