A Writer’s Labor Day: Submissions

Labor Day should not be a day of labor, theoretically, though many use it as a day to take on a home project. In my case, I spent a good part of the day working on submissions. I won’t reveal exactly where I submitted, but I will say that I looked at a recent Duotrope newsletter to see what markets had recently opened — and there are a lot. Sept. 1 is a common start date for reading periods, and it’s good to get your submission in early, so Labor Day is a prime day for getting those submissions out the door or at least getting organized to do it this week.

I also had group of 7 new poems that I’ve been getting ready to send out, so this year was particularly fruitful. Those new poems, combined with a few others that aren’t out anywhere, gave me 3 submission packets that I could simultaneously submit to some of my favorite magazines.

I like using Duotrope as a reminder of places that are reading right now and that I might otherwise overlook until well into their reading period. Several of the places I submitted do not use Submittable, which is another advantage. As much as I like Submittable, I also realize that everyone else loves it, too, and sending to some journals who are not in that ecosphere can help my prospects. A few of my submissions yesterday went through Submittable, though. It’s not like I avoid them; I just try broaden my horizons, even preparing one submission to go out by mail. Here’s hoping it gets there before election day!

(PSA: If you haven’t registered to vote, there’s still time.)

I even sent out one book manuscript to a great open poetry collection contest, and I have my eye on a few others. I’ve been working on revisions to my fourth book, incorporating the new poems and also rearranging some of the sections. And because I’m a professor, of course, I spent some time prepping for classes and even held my night class because the students voted to do that. But it was restful and energizing to devote several hours to writing and sending out poems.

Published by Kendall Dunkelberg

I am a poet, translator, and professor of literature and creative writing at Mississippi University for Women, where I direct the Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing, the undergraduate concentration in creative writing, and the Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium. I have published three books of poetry, Barrier Island Suite, Time Capsules, and Landscapes and Architectures, as well as a collection of translations of the Belgian poet Paul Snoek, Hercules, Richelieu, and Nostradamus. I live in Columbus with my wife, Kim Whitehead; son, Aidan; and dog, Aleida.

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