Thursday, 30 May 2013

anonymous submissions

Over the last few years there seems to be a growing trend for poetry magazines to request that submissions be entered without identification with a separate sheet containing one’s name and address. Well, there is if you count a trend as from 2 to 3. But they are important magazines.

The idea is that editors will not be swayed by receiving poems from poets already known either just to them or with a more nationally recognized profile.

And that’s a good thing. I’ve heard of publications where there is an in-tray with ‘friends’ and an out-tray with ‘get lost creep’.

But. The but is that this anonymous approach does not allow for editors, in more open magazines, to nurture poets as they develop. Good editors will advise people as they get to know their work and suggest that, maybe, the poet should revisit a poem in the light of what they have submitted or had published in the past by their magazine.

Or it may be that the poet is trying something different and the editor can see what is going on and although that particular effort wasn’t up to standard they can urge them to keep trying instead of getting a rejection due to no knowledge of prior work which could then put the poet off progressing.

On balance, my opinion is that there is a need for some magazines to have anonymous submissions. Maybe there should be some more with half and half. But only a few.

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