Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer


My blogging time with Poetry Has Value may have reached its end, but that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to share my poetry submission stats with you. So here’s the report for the month of April.

First, a prelude: I’m sorry to say that despite my most noble intentions, National Poetry Month was a generative bust for me. (I think I drafted just two new poems.)

Also, if you’re new to these posts, it may be helpful for you to know that I work very hard to submit my work mainly to paying venues that don’t charge fees for journal/website publication. If you’re similarly looking for paying calls and contests that don’t charge submission fees, you’re always welcome to check my monthly newsletter (and with my weekly “Monday Markets” posts on this blog). And if you’d like to know more about how, generally speaking, I choose where to send my work, this Literary Hub essay remains a good standby.

On with the April report:

Venues to Which I Submitted Poetry and Total Poems Submitted: (3) Frontier Poetry (5 poems), Islanded Quarterly (2 poems), Rattle (1 poem)

Rejections Received: (4) Frontier Poetry, Granta, Nashville Review, Rattle

Acceptances: (2) Jewish Journal, Manhattan Jewish Experience Poetry Contest

Publications: (2) “Fighting Words” (The Hollins Critic), “History Lesson in 210 Words” (Jewish Journal). (I also shared “Comforts of Home” [MJE contest win] and “On Syria, Sarin, and the Power of Peter Quinn” here on my own website.)

Money Spent: $0

Money Earned: $175

April TOTAL: $175

Total Money Spent in 2017: $0

Total Money Earned in 2017: $225

2017 TOTAL: $225

Total Submissions in 2017: 35 (“packets”)

Total Rejections in 2017: 24

Another Amazing Surprise

In keeping with last week’s post, I’m thrilled to share some news that came way way within the past few days. As I was able to report a week ago, I’ve seen my book of short stories on a(nother) course syllabus.

In this case, a professor who’d previously asked for an examination copy of Quiet Americans reported back that he’d taught the book this semester, for a class titled “Literature of American Minorities.”

I was bowled over when I saw the list of required texts (which I’m sharing with his permission):

Re: Jane, Patricia Park
China Men, Maxine Hong Kingston
The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
Make Your Home Among Strangers, Jennine Capó Crucet
Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
Quiet Americans, Erika Dreifus

How about that?


This past week saw the distribution of both the newsletters that I’m responsible for: the one that I produce for Fig Tree Books LLC, and the one that I send out to subscribers of The Practicing Writer.

8 thoughts on “Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

  1. Erika, I’m so glad to see that you’re continuing these posts. I looked forward to them each month and certainly missed them when Poetry Has Value ceased publishing them.
    Thanks for the inspiration to keep sending out work each month!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thanks so much for the encouragement, Barbara!

  2. ruth abraham says:

    Congrats on the discovery of Quiet Americans as required text. We need these surprise acknowledgement. I want to tell you in addition that you are incredibly generous with the information you give out. Particularly precious for those of us writing poetry looking for a home for our words. I too wait for them eagerly each month. Thank you so much.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Oh, Ruth, thank you! That means a lot.

  3. Ed L. says:

    I am surprised your submissions are rejected, with the high quality of writings that you create.But this is part of the industry.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      It is very much part of the process!

  4. What a terrific reading list to be a part of. Congratulations! You have a right to take great pride in this.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thank you so much, Petrea!

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