If you are new to submitting, here’s another thing I learnt the hard way: keep track of everything you submit – either in a large notebook (my method) or in a spreadsheet. Make sure you enter the name of the publication/competition. Each individual piece should also have a separate listing.
For example, if I was sending three poems, ‘Faint’, ‘Hello’ and ‘Not today’, to a magazine called ‘Submissions’, I would enter ‘Submissions’ under ‘S’ in my spreadsheet or notebook, and list the 3 poems. I would then turn to ‘F’ and enter ‘Faint’ and that I had sent it to ‘Submissions’. I would do the same for ‘Hello’ and ‘Not today’ (hmm think I might use that title!).
Don’t forget to note the date next to each entry.
If you get a rejection, it helps to note not just the rejection, but also the date of the rejection – this will be a useful guideline if you want to submit to the same publication again, and can’t remember how long they took to get back to you the previous time.