Well, an artist friend shared a publishing resource over the weekend that details an exhaustive list of book awards for poetry. I am reluctant to share it here, because the creator has intended it to assist women and non-binary writers who do not have the time or access to research this level of information themselves. And, while I certainly am aware of some of the opportunities she has included, there are many presses (and several first book awards) that were not on my radar. I am appreciative for the assistance that this resource has provided for me, and if you want more information, feel free to email me.
Through this resource, and from my own list, I was able to submit to seven first book contests over Spring Break, and I sent a sample of work to an eighth publisher, Acre Books. I am exhausted, but very excited that I had a little bit of money set aside from tax returns to cover the cost of submissions.
My manuscript Faster Than Hares and Rabbits is now under consideration at the following additional presses:
Birdcoat Quarterly's 2021 Book Contest
Tupelo Press's Berkshire Prize for First or Second Book
Trio House Press's Trio Award for First or Second Book
Switchback Books's Gatewood Prize
I hope that some of the smaller/less publicized awards may provide a greater opportunity for success; I am confident that my manuscript is strong, but it's difficult to put oneself out there.
There are a few other presses that have open reading periods this summer, and Milkweed Editions and BkMk Press have reading periods coming up, too, so I will probably wait until the end of April and submit to 3-4 more opportunities, as well.
Spring term begins this morning, but I started to paint the living room ceiling yesterday. LOL--I'm hoping to get the whole living room done this week or next, so that I can rehang the art and start planning my next project.
I have blueberry bushes and a lilac to plant, and several perennials to transplant, so that should happen this week, ASAP. The back yard beds are going to be expanded 2-3 times the size they are now, if only from making space for the transplanted lupines. Grass is already high, and it's going to be 75 on Wednesday, so I think I'll be in the yard for a good chunk of the day.
I've also decided to start a new perennial from seed--I picked milkweed, which can take up to three years to mature and bloom. Like the lupines, they will pay off eventually. (I've also tried to start poppies and echinacea from seed, and neither one made it through the first winter.) I also bought seeds for foxglove and cleomes (which i LOVE), but they should mature and bloom this year. I'm eager to add more flowers to the back yard that will attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.
The bathroom could stand to be painted, too, but I will have to move the washer and dryer out of there, so it's a huge hassle. The kitchen walls and ceiling need painted, too, but I have to buy new kitchen lighting. I'd also like to paint the exterior doors eventually--I have a deep fuschia color picked out. I'm hoping that those projects will happen over summer. It's time to focus on the garden--and to take some time to teach and work on the tattoo project, so my aching joints can heal a bit before another paint job.
So, I'm back into the waiting game regarding submissions--my work is now out at 64 different presses, if I count small submissions + the manuscript.