Thursday, January 29, 2015

the envelope of love

I just walked nine batches of poems over to the post office. Last time I did a serious mailing only a handful of literary magazines were reading email submissions and they were snarky about it. Today I found in my research most have ceased reading work received in physical form. The old self-addressed stamped envelope is looking endangered.


Online submissions are easier and cheaper for writers. I look forward to sending more work out that way.

I created a physical mailing because that’s the way you were taken seriously. Up to now. And because I wanted to take the process seriously. It’s been ages since I really committed to sending work out. Assembling the whole package — addressing the envelopes, the SASE, the stamps, the cover letter — it’s dispiriting. Especially, of course, when the hope and eagerness is bitten away at by the fat SASE of rejection. The times I have sent out work in the few last years I asked in my cover letter that the manuscript be recycled and NOT returned. The pages were often not something that could be sent out again anyway, what with editors’ pencilings or the puncture marks of staples or just the wear of handling. And if the submission came back pristine, that was its own kind of discouragement. Better the slim envelope of rejection than the fat.

Here’s hoping for the svelte envelope of love.