The news led to an interesting dilemma — I had to withdraw the poem from consideration to the few places I’d sent it. Luckily, I’d kept track of where I’d sent it. Otherwise, that could have been embarrassing.
It also raises the question — Should you submit your work to more than one source at a time?
The answer: Maybe.
I’m new to poetry, but I’m not new to publishing and protocol. Each publication has specific guidelines for submitting. Some pubs allow for simultaneous submissions, others don’t.
When I was first starting my writing career, I would send simultaneous submissions out. I was almost hopeful for that sweet dilemma of two places wanting the same article at the same time. It never happened, but I had it worked out in my head how I would approach that.
I would write two similar, but different stories from different angles with different focuses.
Just try that with poetry. Go on. I dare you.
You can’t really change a poem. What you offer is what’s in front of you. And God help you if you decide to pit each publication against each other. The clear loser won’t be either of them, but you. Who wants to work with someone who thinks their work is that special?
What’s your feeling about simultaneous submissions? Do you mention in your cover letter that you’re sending it to other places or are you just winging it?