September 30, 2019

Not Rejected, But Declined

All poets who send their work out into the publishing world know about rejection. As I sort through the September submissions to our writing prompt, I'm thinking about rejection. It's hard to get a poem rejected, but it is also difficult to reject a poem.

As I have written here before, some submissions are very easy to reject because they do not address the writing prompt. Poets Online is no different from many other journals and online journals; you need to read the submission guidelines and get a sense of what kinds of poems have been accepted.

Poets Online only accepts one poem submitted that was written to the prompt, so when I get a Word document with 10 poems (none of which address the current prompt), it's easy to move it to the rejection folder. We also sometimes get poems written to previous prompts and though we love that people use prompts in the archive, we only accept submissions to the current prompt.

We ask you to format your poem using TEXT format, rather than HTML, and put the TITLE of the poem at the top in all capital letters. All our submission guidelines are on the website.

Have you submitted poems using Submittable? Many major journals use this service and I like that I can find many of my submissions all in one place. I also like that they don't say in the status for your account that your submission was "rejected." It was "declined." I know it's the same result but it is a better word choice.

Of course, getting an ACCEPTED is an even better word choice.

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