I’m not big on urging or teaching how to get published but I have some advice for you. I’m prompted by my experience editing (which means producing, beginning-to-end) the Long River Run members-only journal of the Connecticut Poetry Society. Our guidelines are a little lax so some submissions are going to be awkward if not downright strange; yet I come to some rules you ought to follow.
1. Follow the guidelines. If it says “forty line limit” don’t send forty-five lines and ask me to shorten it for you.
2. If the limit is one poem don’t send three and ask me to pick one.
3. Don’t send me a second email with a only the few changes you want me to make in the first one.
4. Don’t use a cute, rare, illegible font. Times Roman 12pt is fine.
5. Although I respect your need to protect your brilliant work, don’t send me something I cannot edit. I am an editor and if I have to cut and paste an image from a pdf and then have to sweat over it to make it look like the other pages sin the book I might leave it out.
6. Send electronic copy as an attachment if possible. Email programs do strange things to your work.
7. If you cannot send an electronic copy, send a typed copy.
8. If you send a handwritten copy, make it legible! I am not a seer.
9. Include all your contact information so that when you violate these commandments I can give you a chance to redeem yourself.
10. Don’t email me after the deadline asking if it’s too late to send something—it is but it’s better to send me a poem I can ignore than to piss me off with a message that wants an answer before sending me a poem I will ignore.
I’m sure there will be more commandments—I’m no Moses. But these are those I was given last night as I assembled the first draft.
So long for now.