A while back I went through a list of places that had rejected poems of mine this year. Enumerated among them were the publishers of the Two Weeks ebook anthology, who had passed on a poem of mine called “The Modified B Plan” without so much as a no thank you, said breach of ettiquette getting me all curmudgeonly and stuff.
Turns out they had accepted it, but somewhere in the distance between the fancy online submission engine and my gmail it had gone missing. I only discovered this fact after using said engine for another submission to their online journal, Linebreak. By that time the anthology was well and truly out there in the public, and any chance of capitalising on their unheard acceptance was nonexistent.
I contacted them anyway, and asked them (perhaps cheekily) if they might be interested in taking the poem for Linebreak, which I’d been trying to crack into for a while. I figured what the hell, it was worth a shot. One of the nice things about Linebreak is the way they have the poem read by another poet and feature the audio and the text on the page together. I’m fascinated by other people’s reading of my work, so the chance to hear my words in someone else’s voice goaded me on.
Happily they responded quickly (and even more happily, their response arrived at its intended destination) with an affirmative. They explained that when they hadn’t heard from me about publication in Two Weeks, they’d tried to contact me through this website to no avail. I wrote back, thanking them for their acceptance and explaining that I’d only recently discovered that, to the detriment of my proofreading credientianls, the email address I’d listed on this site was completely incorrect (it was in fact a mash-up of the two email addresses I use most frequently).
The thing is, in between assuming the poem rejected and finding out that this was not the case I’d submitted it to Going Down Swinging. While multiple submission is well above board these days, it’s courtesy to let people know that you are submitting to more than one place, so once I’d heard back from Linebreak I contacted Going Down Swinging to let them know the score.
The same day I sent the email withdrawing “The Modified B Plan” from consideration I got an acceptance letter for it from the Going Down Swinging editor. Whoops. I quickly replied and explained the situation, and after a little back and forth between myself and the two editorial parties it was decided that the two publications were distinct enough in format, geographical focus and time of release for both journals to accept the poem without any worries about conflict or publication rights.
So now, after that outpouring, I’m pleased to say that my cutup blank verse vilanelle about flying pirhanas is currently online at Linebreak, read ably by the delightful Katy Henriksen. It will also appear in print in Going Down Swinging #32, which will be released toward the end of 2011.
Here’s to happy endings, then – both for poets and the poor people in pirhana-themed horror films.