Submitting Poems

One of the benefits of completing SubTracker is that I’m getting back into submitting my poems again. I never stopped completely, of course, but my submissions slowed down when I made the decision to leave behind my old system and get to work on a new way of tracking them. Now that I’ve committed to the switch and gotten SubTracker running well enough to distribute it, I can focus more on getting my own work out the door. Two snow days with freezing temps (rare in Mississippi) haven’t hurt.

Over the weekend, I added to my pages on SubTracker on this site with a page on Importing Data into SubTracker, Using SubTracker, and Modifying Subtracker. It is my hope that these will help people get started, and I see that a few downloads have already occurred.

One thing I did this morning might be very helpful. I opened the Submissions_Out query for editing, and removed the sorting in the query itself. This will let me sort the query results in more ways, for instance by date submitted. I did that this morning, and went back to some of my oldest submissions. I was able to clean up a few things, like marking one as returned because I hadn’t received a response in the time they said I would and another because it had been marked as “completed” in Submittable and wasn’t showing on my Declined list. I also queried a few journals that had held onto my submission for six months to a year. This kind of housekeeping is important to do, and SubTracker will make it even easier than my old system, thanks to this sorting.

While I was working with my Submissions_Out query, I next sorted it by title to see which titles were out at more than one place. The ones that were only still out at one place or that had been stuck at places longer than I wanted, are titles that I will submit to more places soon. I don’t go crazy with simulataneous submissions, but the way things go these days, it’s best to have titles out to at least a few places at a time and to keep resubmitting as things come back to me. Sorting this query by title will help me do that. And of course, the Submissions_In query will tell me when a title isn’t submitted anywhere at the moment. I don’t have many of those right now, though I did go through and “retire” a few that I’m not planning to submit again or at least not much.

Having SubTracker working helps because A) it’s good to have a system that can do these things to keep better track of submissions, B) now that I’ve committed to it, I know I don’t have to keep records on two systems, as I did during my transition, and C) if I’m not working on the database, I should have more time for writing and submitting.

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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