:Submit-O-Rama:



Earlier this year, we engaged in a Submit-O-Rama Boot Camp that challenged writers to focus not on rejections as losses but rather as opportunities to resend and conquer the writing world. After May's Boot Camp ended, I found I'd gathered a stockpile of questions from participants who were either brand new to the submissions game or just hoping for some feedback on their own writing journeys so far.

So this year, rather than providing lists of journals (don't worry: there will be one at the end) and other tips on sending out your work, we'll be focusing on answering your questions. Join in the October Submit-O-Rama: Fireside Chat Edition!

the what
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The goal of the Submit-O-Rama is to take up the challenge to submit your work to as many places as possible in a month. Whether you aim to submit to 31 places in 31 days, or five a week, or some other challenge, the goal is simple: get your work out there for the world to see.

This October is also about taking time to slow things down, rather than leaping right into the submission fire. This time, let's actually take the time to throw out questions, and take the time to answer them. Let's focus less on "just getting it out there," and more on understanding why we're doing what we're doing, and how it really works for us as writers.  

the who

The simple answer is: You! Whether you are a poet, a short story writer, a journalist with articles waiting for print, a photographer with prints waiting to be seen, or a memoirist with a manuscript just itching to share your story with the world, you can be part of this challenge!

the why

There are so many reasons to participate in a submission marathon! Chief among them, though, is that opportunity to set aside the fear of sending your babies out into the world by focusing instead on the opportunity to share in a friendly competition with a number of your writing peers! It’s a drive for solidarity: together, we can get published, or at least to some extent overcome the fear of submission. It’s the perfect opportunity to run fearlessly (or, at least, semi-fearlessly) toward your writing goals. And rather than having to wonder “What if I had submitted,” you will have submitted and know that you gave it your best shot … and hopefully reap the benefits of your efforts!

the how

Take on your own Submit-O-Rama challenge! There are a number of pre-set challenges for you to choose from, including one that allows you to "choose your own adventure" and set your own personal goals for your submission efforts. This month, you can also choose to hold off on your submission efforts until one--or several--of your submission questions is (or are) answered. Even if that means not submitting anything until the end of the month! That's fine, as long as you reach YOUR submission goals! Check out the challenges below, and pick the one that's right for you!

BASIC TRAINING
AIT
ALPHA DOGS
SACK PACK
ARMY BRATS
VETERANS 

the when

The challenge begins at 12:00:01 AM on October 1 and ends at 11:59:59 PM on October 31. Because this month's challenge is formatted a bit differently, your deadline for submitting has been (wait for it) ... EXTENDED! This time, any submissions from now until November 8th will count toward your Submit-O-Rama challenge goal! Good luck!

Have questions regarding the Submit-O-Rama? Check out the FAQ page!

36 comments:

  1. This is just what our fantastic circle of poets needs! Way to go, Khara!

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    1. Thanks, Ben! I'm excited to get started!

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  2. You got me, Khara. And it ends on the eve of my 1/2 birthday! Auspicious! FYI: half birthday is when you can say you are 6 1/2 or 9 1/2 or in my case 51 1/2! Halloween midnight is exactly 6 months from May 1st noon. Yes, I think this way. So I have to pick the über-challenge...just have to.

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    1. It is my birthday, maybe that means I should join? :-)

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    2. I'm loving that logic, too, Stevie :)

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  3. okay - I didn't take part in SAD but I'll give the various categories a thought and then decide; in any case, I will be jumping in ... thanks Khara!

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  4. Khara, this is perfect challenge for me. I've been so focused on novels lately that I haven't submitted stories in more than a year, and have 2 stories I've put off working on. This will be a good motivator.

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  5. I'm leaning toward the Uber simply because I love a good challenge. My trepidation is that Robert usually has a PAD challenge in Nov. so that's a rush of poetry while trying to edit a novel. Gunna think on this a bit.

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    1. Very true ... I usually do Robert's PAD challenge and NaNoWriMo in November. Maybe, in that case, the "Choose Your Rules" challenge would work for you? That way you could lessen the poetic onslaught however you needed to :)

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  6. Well, Khara, you've thrown down the gauntlet and several have chosen to pick it up. I'll be putting my own glove on the ground as well. For me, I think it will be a "MY RULES" kind a game. I'm thinking of doing a combo pack, using aspects of each of the challenge types, plus mix and match poetry, short fiction, and perhaps a few picture books/chap books. Who knows what I'll come up with.

    And in case any think I'm crazy, welcome to reality. I've always bitten off more than I can chew, so why stop now.

    Great challenge. Can't wait to see De's reaction to this one. Good for you, Khara!

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    1. Thanks, Claudette! And, way to mix it up--that sounds like a fun blend, and will hopefully make for a fun challenge experience for you, too!

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  7. Good idea. I'll probably go "Basic" because of the revision involved (that's what I had *intended* doing this month before getting sidetracked into new stuff)
    Question: How do you deal with the thought that you've "wasted" a poem on the wrong publication?

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    1. Great, Barbara; good luck, no matter what challenge you choose!

      To answer your question, I tend to only think of a poem as having been "wasted" on a publication when it gets rejected--and even then, it's not so much a waste as a "threshing floor" moment. By that I mean, I cast a big net when I submit; a rejection, for me, narrows down the focus of where I submit so that, at the next go around, I have a more precisely selected group of places to send poems to. I also remind myself that most rejections are not personal; perhaps the editors have a different aesthetic than I do, or didn't have room, or any of a multitude of reasons. Every "No" gets me closer to a "Yes".

      And there's always Rejection Art :)

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    2. 'Every "no" gets me closer to a "yes"' - EXACTLY!!!

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  8. I'm going for the "Choose Your Rules" because I've got a lot of things going on in October and I'd rather be pleasantly surprised if I surpass a modest goal, than disappointed if I can't complete the challenge. Looking forward to connecting with everyone involved!

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  9. Well, okay, I'm going to give it a try. I'd be willing to do the Uber except [lowers voice here] I don't think I have enough decent poems...eeek. I will give it a try, maybe, though?

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  10. Good luck to you both, Emily and Ina! Welcome to the challenge! :)

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  11. I don wanna. But I'm gonna anyway. I'm using #5, make my own rules. Cause I'd prefer to be writing. :-)

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    1. Great, Stevie! Make of the challenge what you will, submit as much or as little as you choose, and above all have fun (and good luck)! :)

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  12. Well, gang, I'm still in, but this first week will be a no go for me in so many ways. I just got word that we're moving apartments this week. We're packing as we speak. Until I can get the office set up again and operating, submitting anything is going to be nigh on to impossible.

    Good luck to all those who will begin subbing tomorrow. I'll join in as soon as I can.

    Keep those little fingers strokin' those keys. There's gold in them there fingertips.

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    1. Sorry for the troubles, Claudette, and best wishes for your move!

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  13. SAW was fun, but there are 2 places I submitted to that still have not answered! So I will try the do-it-yourself SOO (Submit on & off)Hopefully 2 or 3 times a week. Now all I need are enough decent poems! But I am now sending the same poems to several places at once.

    Good luck to everyone & may next Spring see us all reading a big bunch of our poems in a whole lot of journals!
    MarianV

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    1. Good luck to you, too, Marian; thanks for joining in the challenge!
      ~Khara

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  14. Khara - thanks for the kick off - have been a little under the weather... but just knowing that there is a "challenge" out there - gets me moving. Have submitted 11 poems on 2 days to (October 1, and today October 5) Not sure I will get back here with some more daily discipline. Thank you for the motivation and I will check back in after weekend and perhaps be more organized. Best of luck to all :)

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  15. Hi Khara,

    I'm enjoying this and it's awfully good for me. Made it clear that I'm not writing enough. Thanks for the necessary gentle kick in the backside...

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  16. I hope you've been able to find some kind of traction, Pearl! Ina, thank you for your comment ... I've been surprised by the number of "levels" to this challenge: not only in submitting, but also in reminding so many of us (myself included!) of the importance of not only constantly submitting but also constantly producing, constantly revising, and constantly keeping ourselves motivated! It's a "gentle kick" to me, too :)

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  17. How do you find places to submit? Is there something I can google?

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    1. Check out Poets & Writers, or Duotrope (though you need a paid subscription to see full submission details for the latter). I'll be sharing tons of resources this month with options, too :)

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  18. Khara, I've been slapped by several rejections in the past few months and revised my MS's some more. To help me face the next round of submissions I'm going to COMMIT TO SUBMIT and take the Uber Challenge. Thank you for motivating me to face a challenge. @Debi Swim: I find many places to submit at Poets & Writers magazine. Online you can click the tab Conferences and Residences Database and a tab for Agents appears. Writer's DIgest also has resources.

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    1. I'm so glad you're joining in, and wish you the best! The rejections are hard, but in the end, semi-worth it (I won't lie and claim they're TOTALLY worth it) with those few, or even that single, acceptances that come among them! Good luck! (And thanks for sharing those resources!)

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  19. Okay, Khara, here's my veterans post. I had delusions of grandeur considering my travel schedule in May, but I have done some good work. Thanks for the push!

    http://kasiewhitener.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/submit-o-rama-may/

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Thank you so much for your comments! Please feel free to share your thoughts here; I look forward to engaging in conversation with you!

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