Submit Your Writing Like a Man

While I was appalled to learned about a gender difference in the way women and men submit their writing for publication, as I read Kelli Russell Agodon‘s essay on the subject, I increasingly recognized my own female style of sending out my work.

Women poets, read this essay on the differences, and see if it rings any bells. She is the author of Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room and was the co-editor of Crab Creek Review for many years. She has seen a lot of submissions and recognized a pattern among them. Maybe this is just one magazine and one editor’s view, but as soon as I read it, I started going through my rejection emails and found six encouraging recent rejections I had totally ignored. The  editors had specifically asked me to submit again — “strongly encouraged” was a phrase that appeared more than once. Some of them made comments about the poems. I ignored all of them casting a stink-eye in their virtual direction. Fortunately, though, I saved them.

I remember feeling embarrassment, annoyance, and a wish to forget the whole exchange. After all, I had selected the poems carefully for these journals and felt they were good matches. And yet I know the odds, the deluge of submissions these (mostly) volunteer editors face. After reading the essay and the emails, I submitted again to every single journal. Crab Creek Review will be included! I’m changing my style to masculine. Life’s too short to go away licking wounds. Or to abandon campaigning a good poem.

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