One of my poems, “Elegy to Aunt Jo,” was accepted today by Rose Red Review. The editor asked for an updated bio and I took that as an opportunity to use Duotrope, a subscription-based literary (and academic) journal database, to determine just what level my writing is at.
I entered Rose Red Review and saw that its acceptance rate is about 15%. I checked out a few other journals that recently accepted my poetry (in rounded numbers):
Then I checked acceptance rates of publications in which my fiction and creative nonfiction have recently appeared:
- Michigan Quarterly Review, .25% (fiction)
- Jewish Literary Journal, 9% (fiction and nonfiction)
- Minerva Rising, 15% (nonfiction)
Should I realistically conclude that I should aim higher with my fiction and not so high with my poetry? Maybe.
According to Allison K Williams, author of Get Published in Literary Magazines (Coriander Press, 2016), you should submit to three journals a bit above your level, three that are a bit below (the safe choices), and four right where you are. I think in my next wave of sending work out I may play this by the numbers and see what happens.
Question 4U: What are your strategies for sending your work out?