07 October 2020

Fall term, a rejection letter, and first book contests

Monday started the second week of the fall term--my teaching is all online this fall, but I have about 90 students across four classes, and I am spending a lot of time answering emails and explaining assignments to students, many of whom did not want to take online classes. For the time being, what can be taught online is being taught online--because our writing and literature classes are already established online, at least I'm not trying to build entire course shells while I teach.

I received a rejection letter yesterday on a submission of three poems--just a brief form letter, with no invitations to submit again. The work is still being considered by a few other journals, so I'm not in a rush to turn the poems around and send them out again. I have a variety of work out at a few dozen different places, so I have a nice cushion while I get my fall term under control a bit. 

I started to pull together a manuscript last weekend, and of course, I've been obsessed with the task since I started. I have been revising and reading daily, and I'm feeling pretty good about what I have. The manuscript is about 60 pages long, and it has about five informal sections or suites of poems. 

I am submitting to the APR/Honickman First Book Prize is being judged by Ada Limón this year, and I hope that my submission can make it through the screening process. I admire her Limón's work a great deal, and I hope that I have a decent chance. 

I also submitted to the Persea Books/Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize--which selects a winning manuscript from women who have not yet published a first book. The prize includes an all-expenses-paid six-week residency in Umbria, Italy, so that's pretty incredible, too.

I have been waffling--do I have two chapbook manuscripts, or do I have a full-length book here? I think it could probably go either way, but I'm going to try to stick to the full-length manuscript and send it out to a total of 3-4 first book contests this winter. 

I feel good about having that sizeable body of work out in the world, though!

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