Saturday, August 02, 2008

Poets/Writers How do you keep track of submissions?

Everybody does it in different ways, I would imagine. When you have only a few submissions/acceptances/rejections, a folder of paper works just fine..or did for me. Soon, the folder was filled with scribblings of what poems were rejected HERE and accepted THERE and I could make no sense of it.

About two years ago a friend set up an Excel file. Three tabs. Accepted. Rejected. Submitted. On each page is a place for poem name (or haiga jpg name), Journal submitted to, Year, date, and a column for extraneous information. When a reply comes to a submission, all I have to do is right click to the left of the line, highlighting it, choose 'cut' from the drop down menu, hit the accepted or the rejected tab, and right click to the left of a blank line, then paste. So easy!

Since these can be 'sorted' alphabetically, it's easier to double check on a poem before submitting, too.

What method do YOU use. Tell?



Lyle Daggett said...

I keep track of submissions in a spiral notebook. When I send poems to a magazine, I write down the name of the magazine, and the poems I've submitted, and the date I sent them.

When I hear back, I note that in the same notebook entry, and -- if any poems were accepted -- I mark which ones were.

I don't send poems out frequently or in high volume, so it's not too hard to keep track.

Pris said...

Hi Lyle
I started out that way. Where it got complicated was when I would resubmit the rejected ones to another journal and some were accepted and some rejected and then THAT poem/s rejected was sent somewhere else. Pretty soon I was having to read a long list to find out if a certain journal had already been sent a certain poem and didn't like it or if a poem rejected at the top of the list had been accepted later on down the list. I don't submit at the rate a lot of people do. Just enough to get confused;-)

Brian Campbell said...

I even found keeping track though an Excel file confusing and time-consuming, for the same reasons you describe. Somehow, because I didn't have much experience with the program, I screwed up about 2 years of records royally by pushing the wrong button (still haven't figured that one out).

Right now in the covering letter I detail what poems I have submitted, and print out a second copy of that and file it in a binder -- under "Assertions", since I dislike that word "submissions". (Wrote about that before on my blog). That way I have the editor's name, contact info., etc. When it comes back (usually rejected -- I call that "returned"), I put it further back in the binder, filed by name of review between alphabetical dividers. Next time I send to the same review, I can go back there for reference.

Also, as a game, I keep an Excel file of the names of poems, and mark what are out, how many they have been returned, etc. This record is imperfect, but since I started keeping track this way, the poem that travelled the most before being accepted was turned down 9 times (I have others that have been turned down 20 times). My batting average is quite good as this goes (right now, 1 in 4 send-outs has at least 1 poem accepted), but I don't circulate a lot of material, and I'm careful about what I submit where. Whatever way I've cut it so far, it's quite time consuming to do it right... and I'm rarely in the mood. I never have more than 15 "circulations" out at a given time -- right now I have seven (I keep resolving to have more). I collect rejection slips (filed in that same binder), and acceptance letters. I've had 66 of the former and 17 of the latter since I started this way 2 years ago. The statistics keeping takes time too. But if I didn't have this little game going, I wouldn't get up the motivation to do it at all...

DeadMule said...

I keep a list in a Word document: Names of poems, where submitted, date, URL or mailing address, e-mail address, and estimated time for decisions. I add the date for a query, if I send one.

I use an asterisk for simultaneous submissions, which I do rarely. They're just too hard to keep up with.

tom said...

small sheets of paper that get lost easily - and keeping track of email submissions in my sent mail box

Pris said...

Hi Brian
I was fortunate that I had a friend who'd been using Excel for other reasons for ages, so he set mine up and told me if I hit anything wrong, to just not save it and the version before my error would be there. It sounds as if you do a lot more snailmail submitting than I do. I do submit that way, too, but have so many email submissions over the years that the filing letter method wouldn't work for me.

Helen, yours sounds a lot like what I do, except in Word. I just love the separate pages in Excel and the ability to move the information to another page(status).

I can't find anything in my sent box:-)

Monique said...

I used to do as Lyle does. But, of course, s you know I don't write poetry anymore.

I used the came system for my scripts, but I don't send them anymore either.

We have not (but nearly, walks writing, posting etc) forgotten to post said script Pris. It's on its way


Monique said...

Oh dear Pris, I seem to be drunk. Jumbled letters. Dear oh dear.

s should read as

came should read same

Brian Campbell said...

Email/snail mail -- about half and half, I guess. I print out and file my e-mail covering letters too.

Pris said...

Thanks re sending the script.
I never thought about printing out my email submission letters. Good idea. I do have them in a submissions folder in my outlook express but would have to open them repeatedly to find information there, so it's just a backup in case an editor has lost a submission. That's happened a couple or three times in the six years since I started submitting.

JimK said...

I have started moving things
between folders. Big mass move
in prep. for manuscript.
Need a registry
of 'accepteds' though.

Pris said...

Jim...what kind of folders? Paper or online?

Collin said...

I have a Word document on my desk where I track submissions. Very simple and no fuss.

Collin said...

desk=desktop, as in my laptop computer.

Pris said...

Hi Collin
I keep my Excel folder on my desktop, too. Yes, makes it easy to get to, to update and drag the old one into the recycle bin. I keep a lot of things I want at my fingertips on my desktop.

Montgomery Maxton said...

for two years i wrote it all down.

now i keep it in my head

Pris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pris said...

Whoops, after I posted mine, yours appeared, Montgomery. I think ghosts are tinkering with today:-)

Pris said...

Montgomery, I can't keep a grocery list in my head. I admire your memory skills!

JimK said...

Folders..directories on a
flash drive, actually.
I open 2 directory explorers
and drag the file from one directory
into the other. It disappears
from this one, appears in that one.

I've fiddled with writing a
little tag inside and searching,
too. That takes more time though.

I erase a backup flash
and copy everything from the master now and then. 2 flash
copies, never on hard drive.
It's .txt though, so it's small.

Pris said...

Hi Jim
I'm familiar with dragging. I move things that way, too. I have a flash drive, but was able to get a 250 gig external hard drive for around 60 dollars a while back so now I back everything up on it, including my excel file, my password folder, email address book, and of course all documents, photos, graphics, etc.

Annie Wicking and Loman Austen said...

I have an old victorian ledger I picked up at a carboot sale. It's a thick hard back book. I write everything down in it, all the what, when and where. When I recieve a reply from 'who' I sent 'what' out to I write that down to in my records book.

Best wishes,

JimK said...

Nice. I think the externals
are a lot faster than flash.
In a few years the memory sticks
should be 20-100 times faster and
last longer.

mohan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pris said...

Someone I don't know named Mohan has scattered the same comment..'hey your blog is great. Thanks for stopping by my site, keep in touch', followed by a hot link for movie video songs. I think I found them all but I don't know this person and pls don't click on his link. Thanks, Pris