I don't know about you, but when I get together with other poets, I love swapping submission and publication stories. I love hearing about someone who sent relentlessly to a magazine for 12 years, collecting a half a dozen or more blank rejection slips, then finally getting the word on acceptance. I love hearing about the little poem that could--a poem that came back in the mail ten or twenty times, and then BOOM: acceptance, Poetry Daily, six anthologies, the works.
But I am not picky. I am not looking only for stories about big magazines or huge sums of money for book contracts. I love first poem acceptance stories (my first poem was published in Denali, the literary magazine of Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon (don't tell me you've never heard of Denali?): I was thrilled to pieces to see my work in print). And I love hearing what's been said on rejection slips, both the form part ("Dear Poet . . . ") and what gets scribbled beneath it.
If you care to share your stories, please post them here or send them to me via email@example.com. With your permission, I will use your name and story at an upcoming panel on the submissions process, which I'll be sitting on this April at Get Lit! in Spokane, WA, where I hope to run into Sherman Alexie, that National Book Award author.
Thanks in advance for sharing!