Thursday, September 20, 2018

DMC: "I Wonder" by Cory Corrado





I WONDER
(to be read from BOTTOM to TOP)


t o o
with wonder
gaze down upon me
I wonder whether Stars and Moon

to walk among the stars and moon
imagining how it would feel
eyes raised up to the sky
I stroll each night
the twilight
Into


© 2018 Cory Corrado. All rights reserved.


Click HERE to read this month's interview with Naomi Shihab Nye. Her DMC challenge is to write a letter to yourself in which you ask some questions that you don't have to answer. (Please keep in mind that your poem does not need to be in standard letter form.)

Post your poem on our September 2018 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up presentation on Friday, September 28th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her latest collection of poetry from Greenwillow Books:






Wednesday, September 19, 2018

DMC: "Different but the Same" by Janice Scully




Different but the Same

If ten chefs make apple pie
you will have ten pies that are different
though all baked with apples,
sugar, flour, butter, salt, and
cinnamon.

Just because some are paler,
some browner, some sweeter,

others spicier,
doesn’t mean
each won’t have its fans.

Why is that hard to understand?
What if apple pies were all the same?


© 2018 Janice Scully. All rights reserved.


Click HERE to read this month's interview with Naomi Shihab Nye. Her DMC challenge is to write a letter to yourself in which you ask some questions that you don't have to answer. (Please keep in mind that your poem does not need to be in standard letter form.)

Post your poem on our September 2018 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up presentation on Friday, September 28th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her latest collection of poetry from Greenwillow Books:






Tuesday, September 18, 2018

DMC: "Branch Line" by Tabatha Yeatts





Branch Line

How do we make something new?

How do we take that hand, still as a rock, pick up
those heavy, heavy fingers and push ourselves,
force our way through all that protective bone,
move past the little shocks of neurons trying to
ride their carts down their usual tracks?

So tempting to pull our hands back, let those
familiar travellers roll unimpeded along the line,
arriving on schedule. But today, here you are,
rushing before those clattery wheels,
laying fresh tracks the second before they dart past,
keeping them from falling into oblivion below.

They spin, you go on, pounding down one
after another, dropping them out
of your fingertips, you frenzied engineer,
and, lo, a new destination.


© 2018 Tabatha Yeatts. All rights reserved.


Click HERE to read this month's interview with Naomi Shihab Nye. Her DMC challenge is to write a letter to yourself in which you ask some questions that you don't have to answer. (Please keep in mind that your poem does not need to be in standard letter form.)

Post your poem on our September 2018 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up presentation on Friday, September 28th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her latest collection of poetry from Greenwillow Books:






Monday, September 17, 2018

DMC: "What is a Body Worth?" by Margaret Simon




What is a Body Worth?

Holocaust Museum: millions die
Faceless sculptures
Piles of gray shoes
A wall of hair
What is a body worth?

Facebook reports: two suicides
Someone’s daughter
Someone’s friend
Someone we lost for losing
What is a body worth?

On all the news: John McCain
An American hero,
Warrior, senator,
One life forged for many.
What is a body worth?

National Book Festival: one father
reads my poem
to his infant son.
My heart beats stronger.
My body stands taller.
Such a small thing can
make a life worthy. 


© 2018 Margaret Simon. All rights reserved.

For more about Margaret's experience at the National Book Festival, visit this blog post.


Click HERE to read this month's interview with Naomi Shihab Nye. Her DMC challenge is to write a letter to yourself in which you ask some questions that you don't have to answer. (Please keep in mind that your poem does not need to be in standard letter form.)

Post your poem on our September 2018 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up presentation on Friday, September 28th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her latest collection of poetry from Greenwillow Books:






Friday, September 14, 2018

Carrie Clickard: Doing the Submission Shuffle (Part Two)




Is your writing cave a hot mess like mine is?

Well, you're in luck. Carrie Clickard is back today with the second half of her extensive look at the submission process—she promises to help us make a dent in those piles of original poetry. What's more, there's no denying that Carrie's posts are always fun!

If you missed last week's post—Doing the Submission Shuffle (Part One)—take a minute to catch up, but don't dawdle. There's heaps of great information to explore this week, too!

Take it away, Carrie—


Doing the Submission Shuffle (Part Two)

So you’re back for more, are you? Glad I’m not all alone in here. Then again considering how I look attempting the shuffle, maybe I should be. (grin)



Well, onward and upward as I always say. Last week in part one we covered some excellent printed resources and three of the big online submission aggregators that you can use to discover good poetry markets.  Today we’ll wander farther afield and find more treasure troves online.


Bloggers and forums

There are some remarkably kind-hearted bloggers who post writing opportunity lists monthly, do interviews with editors and agents, keep running track of contests, etc—all out of the goodness of their heart (plus the hope of more blog traffic and followers, naturally).



Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity posts an excellent list of calls for submissions at the start of every month. (General writing: not exclusively poetry or any single genre.) They also have sections for Agents seeking Clients and Editors accepting Manuscripts.

In the children’s corner, Literary Rambles is a well-established, superb source for deep digging and narrowing your list for submissions to agents and book publishing editors. Look elsewhere for specific magazine or anthology opportunities.

Author and puzzle maker Ev Christensen’s Writing for Children’s Magazines is a great resource for writing submission opportunities, market changes and generally excellent writing advice. She’s got great depth of experience and shares valuable material.

If you write speculative poetry (SF, Fantasy or Horror) try Ralan, who covers everything from magazines to anthologies to book publishers.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) has a market listing page (not always freshly maintained) and a Facebook page you can follow without being a member.

On the darker side, Dark Markets or the Horror Tree both have market opportunity listings for anthologies and book publishers seeking poetry submissions.



Feeling overwhelmed already? Don’t panic. Whittling down which sites work for you will probably be quick work after your first visit. Then you can strike a few off the list and get on with other relaxing jobs, like writing your query letters. (Blergh)


Social media

Facebook has several “open call” or submission opportunity groups you can follow based on your preferred genre or poetry in general. A few of my faves are Poetry Submission Portal, Open Call: Science Fiction, Fantasy & Pulp Markets, and Open Call: Horror Markets. Because Facebook is Facebook, they don’t link properly here, but it’s worth your while searching for “open calls.” You’re bound to find at least one useful group to join/follow.

Don’t forget you can add your favorite submission websites and blogs on to your twitter feed too, as nearly all of them blast out to the Twitterverse. Not to mention following any key editors or agents you have on your “wanted list." Not all of them post about their publishing work, but many do.

Those of you working on full poetry collections or chapbooks should definitely catch the #MSWL (Manuscript Wish List) where agents and editors post their own “most wanteds.” The majority of posts describe MG/YA novels, but there are occasional mentions of verse novels, plus plenty of food for inspiration.

But a word of caution here (memo to me, memo to me). We all know how distracting social media can be. One wrong click and we lose an hour or more to amusing, nonproductive time-sucks. Not to mention the risk of stumbling over those emotional FOMO landmines where OTHER POETS are celebrating acceptances when our own email has been filled with reasons to:


OR



Sigh.  Sure it only takes a few keystrokes to say a sincere congratz and move on. That is if you avoid my typical 15-45 minutes of wallowing in despair and the search for chocolate. 



The joys of community poetry sharing

If you’re especially lucky (or smart) you already belong to a poetry community like Michelle’s where you’ll find one of the best sources of writing opportunities—other poets just like you.  We’re all out there in the publishing world every day, seeking out and stumbling over opportunities: good established markets, interesting ezine startups, or that perfect once in a lifetime gem. Unless you spend all day everyday searching obscure blogs you’re sure to miss some of those great chances. That’s where poet to poet information can make all the difference.

So here is an assortment of (mostly children's) poetry markets we’ve run into:

Highlights, High Five & Hello
http://highlights.submittable.com/submit

Cricket Media literary mags plus Muse and Ask
http://cricketmag.submittable.com/submit

Cricket nonfiction – Click, Cobblestone, Dig, Faces
http://cricketmedia.com/submission-guidelines

US kids – Jack & Jill, Humpty Dumpty
http://www.uskidsmags.com/writers-guidelines

Wee Tales
http://www.goldenfleecepress.com/submissions.html

Fun For Kidz – limited poetry opportunities
http://funforkidzmagazines.com/writers

Hunger Mountain
http://hungermtn.org/submit/

Kids Imagination Train
http://www.kidsimaginationtrain.com/p/blog-page.html

Guardian Angel Kids
http://www.guardian-angel-kids.com/submissions.html

Bumples
http://www.bumples.com/WritersGuidelines.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

The School Magazine of Australia
http://theschoolmagazine.com.au/contributors/writers

Enchanted Conversation
http://www.fairytalemagazine.com/p/submissions-guidelines.html

Goblin Fruit
http://www.goblinfruit.net/2014/fall/guidelines/

The Caterpillar
http://www.thecaterpillarmagazine.com/a1-page.asp?ID=4150&page=9

The Moth
http://www.themothmagazine.com/a1-page.asp?ID=1972&page=35

Frostfire Worlds
http://www.albanlakepublishing.com/frostfire

Tin House
http://tinhouseonline.submittable.com/submit

Pedestal Magazine
http://www.thepedestalmagazine.com/submissions

Overland
http://overland.org.au/submit

The Three Penny Review
http://www.threepennyreview.com/submissions.html

Clubhouse Jr. (Christian)
http://www.clubhousejr.com/submission-guidelines.aspx

SHINE brightly (Christian)
http://gemsgc.org/shine-brightly-writers-guideline

Sparkle (Christian)
http://gemsgc.org/writers-guideline-sparkle-magazine


This is by no means an exhaustive list, just some of the well-knowns, plus a few personal favorites. If we’ve missed your favorite or you have a new market to share, please chime in. Jump into the comments and tell us about it.


An annoying note about record-keeping

The possibility of being published can be so exciting at first that you may find yourself getting a little carried away:



And then what happens? You find out you’ve simultaneously subbed to markets that don’t accept simultaneous subs. And you’ll have to eat crow with an editor if one of the two gets accepted and you have to withdraw from the other. Editors remember that stuff, don’t think they don’t—especially if they really liked the piece you just took away.



So how do we avoid the awkward submission stumble? Yes, you guessed it—boring file keeping. Whether you do it on paper or digitally, you need to track what you sent where and their responses. The only thing more embarrassing than having a poem rejected once is having it rejected twice BY THE SAME EDITOR WHO RECOGNIZES IT.



So you NEED a system. Any system that works. If you like tactile, give each poem a 3x5 card and put them in an “at home” or an “out seeking work” pile. Each time you sub a poem log the editor and publication name. Date it and move it to the out pile. When the response comes in, log yes or no and the date and move on. You can do the same with a file folder. Going larger lets you incorporate printed responses as well as contracts, and even tear sheets from the printed publications. Basic systems have the advantage of being low-tech, fast to set up, inexpensive, and easy to maintain (if your house is cat and toddler free). Plus it looks like you’re accomplishing something even when you’re not. (wink)



But the longer you sub and the more pieces you have to sub, the more you’ll need a digitally searchable system you don’t have to dig through. There are probably a hundred ways to digitally track your subs. You can use one of the pre-designed online sites, like Duotrope, The Submission Grinder, or Submittable. You can buy submission tracking software. Freelance Writing Jobs and the SFWA both have useful articles comparing the software out there. Any digital software will give you the advantage of searching your submissions without reading through hand scribbled notes or cross comparing folders. You can also submit “on the go” from anyplace you have computer access. And since they’re already created and used by thousands of writers, you can start quickly with a pretty short learning curve.

Why then, you may ask, would I use NONE of those convenient digital goodies? Why for the love of haiku would I take the time to make my own laborious spreadsheet system?

No, I’m not totally bonkers. Because none of them have all the little idiosyncratic fields that I want. Sure most of them have fields to log whether the rejection was personal or whether a piece was shortlisted. But where do I note that the form rejection letter the publication used had SIX typos? (Salve to my ego- hah!) Where can I record that the editor is obsessed with hamster cosplay? (Future writing prompt?) Not to mention places for actual interactions with editors after acceptances. Was the contract problematic? Did the author copies arrive promptly? Do we both love sushi-flavored toothpaste? You know. Important stuff. You’ve got yours, I’ve got mine. So, yeah, I make my own. Don’t judge me. (grin)



Ye stars and little pixies! You’re right, I’ve been doing a LOT of talking. Feel like taking a turn? I’d love it if you jump into the comments and share your own favorite places to submit poetry. Feel free to tell us your thoughts and opinions on either part of our Submission Shuffle posts. Or let us know, gently, if we’ve got something wrong. (Gulp. Embarrassed foot shuffling.)

Then get out there and get subbing. As my mom said all the way through my high school years:  “Nobody can publish that poem until you let them read it.” And as usual, Mom knows best.

Bon chance to all of us! May our submission responses be filled with:


 See you all in print!


Wow! Thanks once again, Carrie, for all the wonderful tips, resources, leads, and encouragement. Now look out you hot mess of pending submissions future acceptances—here I come! 

Carrie L. Clickard is an internationally published author and poet, with books published by Simon & Schuster, Holiday House and Flashlight Press.  Look for her latest rhyming picture book from Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt: The True Story of the Quest for America's Biggest Bones, on January 1, 2019. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals as well, including Spider, Muse, Highlights, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Havok, Myriad Lands, Clubhouse, Spellbound, Penumbra, Haiku of the Dead, and Underneath the Juniper Tree.

Browse through all of Carrie's posts on Today's Little Ditty HERE, or if you're specifically looking for her Rhyme Crime Investigation series, you'll find those posts collected HERE.


We're halfway through September already, and halfway through our DMC challenge to write what I'm calling a #QuestionPoem. Read Naomi Shihab Nye's Spotlight ON interview for more information about this month's challenge. Daily ditties featured this week were by Heidi Mordhorst, Sherry Howard, Brenda Davis Harsham, and Robyn Campbell. Read more poems (and post your own) on our September 2018 padlet.


Children's author and writing teacher Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup at The Poem Farm.





Thursday, September 13, 2018

DMC: "Questions, Questions" by Robyn Campbell




Questions, Questions

curious questions.
Can I really love so much
as the sky is big?
To eternity and back?
Around the world a million
times?
Can I touch with the same
sensation as a brand new babe?
A new wife?
Can I see love the same as two
mockingbirds?
Two doves?
A wife who has just lost her mate?
I will ask these things
for the rest of my days.
Are there really answers? I don't know.
I only see that I have truly loved and
truly lived and
truly tried to do my best.
Questions, questions beautiful questions.


© 2018 Robyn Campbell. All rights reserved.


Click HERE to read this month's interview with Naomi Shihab Nye. Her DMC challenge is to write a letter to yourself in which you ask some questions that you don't have to answer. (Please keep in mind that your poem does not need to be in standard letter form.)

Post your poem on our September 2018 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up presentation on Friday, September 28th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her latest collection of poetry from Greenwillow Books:






Wednesday, September 12, 2018

DMC: "September, When the Heat Finally Breaks and We Open the Windows" by Brenda Davis Harsham




September, When the Heat Finally Breaks 
and We Open the Windows

Rain pounds as sheer
curtains dance a damp minuet.
My husband’s shoulder
moves up and down,
under the tightly-gripped blanket
but the scent of rain
takes me back to camping
in a crowded tent, my children
fidgeting and sighing
around me as frogs croaked
and cicadas hummed, until
I thought I’d never hear my
own heart beat again.
The tent roof was green
and dark with seams from
front to back, moving with breezes.
My bedroom ceiling is cracked
from window to window, a dark
fine-lined pathway
with one dark spot. What is it?
A spider perhaps, frozen there,
wondering the same thing as me:


Why can’t I sleep?


© 2018 Brenda Davis Harsham. All rights reserved.


Click HERE to read this month's interview with Naomi Shihab Nye. Her DMC challenge is to write a letter to yourself in which you ask some questions that you don't have to answer. (Please keep in mind that your poem does not need to be in standard letter form.)

Post your poem on our September 2018 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up presentation on Friday, September 28th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her latest collection of poetry from Greenwillow Books: