Wait a minute Mister Postman…

I’ve been on one of my not-as-regular-as-they-should-be submissions binges over the last couple of days. During this I have wildly flung poems at four competitions and five online magazines. There’s probably more that I could do (I have… let’s call it a considerable backlog eh?) but I’m now tired of staring at old poems and think it may be time to write some new ones instead…

However, whilst looking at magazines at which to throw my soul scribblings like some kind of literary skipping stone (what counts is not that it sinks but the ripples it makes before that) I was once more struck by the fact how some of the ‘established’ literary/poetry magazines still don’t accept online/email submissions. I genuinely do not comprehend why that is. Please someone tell me that there is an actual, valid reason for this that isn’t simply elitist clinging to the postal system as some kind of last bastion of clear cut class divisions and the good old days when poetry was written in ink on expensive paper by Oxbridge educated young men with a hard-on for the illusory English countryside. Because, honestly? That’s exactly how it comes across.

Then again, maybe I’m just bitter and cynical. I did spend most of today reading about social exclusion.

Anyway. Yay submissions?

Have some Marvelettes. If you think I’m including this as an additional gender-based dig at the literary elites then you are partly right. Also, it’s a hell of a catchy tune 😀


4 thoughts on “Wait a minute Mister Postman…

  1. The only time I’ve ever posted a submission on paper was for a small Finnish story competition – which shifted to electronic submissions the next year, I think. The only reason I can sort of accept for postal submissions is that some people prefer to read stuff on paper, not the screen. Still, it does feel very exclusionary as a practice (also discourages international submissions). I’m so glad that most places I want to submit to accept electronic submissions only (by email or electronic form)…

    HOWEVER, super yay for sending stuff out again!


    • For some of these, particularly the ones that are genuinely run by a one or two person ‘team’ there seems to be a genuine lack of cyber-literacy which is also sadly obvious on some websites reminiscent of Geocities… And honestly, that does put me off. And yes, I’m aware that makes me equally elitist in a way, judging as I am from my digital tower.

      I have seen some competitions/magazines say that international submissions from countries with unreliable postal service (e.g. due to conflict or instability) are welcome via email which is good.


  2. It’s interesting because when I used to be a Competitions Administrator I never thought about the fact that we never accepted online submissions. Everything was by paper as I remember from the piles of envelopes that I would receive each day when the competitions were running. But then the people running the magazine and the competitions were all middle classed, middle age and white so I think you’re not far off from thinking it’s about exclusivity. It’s that fear of embracing the 20th century let alone the 21st century.


    • Even about five years ago this would have been more understandable but now it just seems bizarre. I would expect that the admin of entries would be easier electronically, even if you then printed the entries out….

      Eh, I’m just embracing my inner proletariat today 😀 Poetry is as affected by social divisions as any other area of life, a tool for both resistance to and reproduction of hegemony.


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