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Leading Poetry Journal Finds More Diverse Voices Along With Time to Expand

How does a full-time staff of just six carefully review almost 10,000 literary submissions a year? With a powerful and intuitive submission management platform.

Poetry magazine, published by the Poetry Foundation, is one of the leading monthly poetry journals in English. Since 2011, Submittable helped Poetry collect, organize, and review submissions to their magazine and annual Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships.

I can’t imagine how we ever did things before Submittable. Using Submittable for the magazine allows us to expand in other ways... Without the extra time Submittable saves us, this wouldn’t be possible with a full-time staff of only six people.

Holly Amos, Assistant Editor at Poetry

Receiving and tracking mountains of submissions

Founded in Chicago in 1912, Poetry has been an active publication for over 100 years— publishing the early works of T.S Eliot, Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath, and more. With such a prominent reputation, Poetry fields thousands of submissions every month, requiring an organized and effective workflow.

Before Submittable, Poetry tracked submissions using Filemaker and spent hours manually inputting contact information and marking submissions. On top of that, they also had to notify submitters with a hard copy letter at the end of the process. With Submittable, Poetry is able to easily collect, track, and make decisions on submissions from the comfort of one, centralized platform.

Since starting their account in 2011, the magazine has received submissions from 99,392 submitters. “It's just so easy to look up a submission, even an archived one, to see what happened. We get a broader story about each submission if we need to look at previous submissions,” says Assistant Editor Holly Amos.

Discovering new and diverse voices

In addition to Poetry’s running list of more established, well-known authors, the magazine also prides itself on featuring new voices in every issue. Since adopting Submittable, the magazine has seen a significant surge in submissions, creating a wider pool of authors to choose from and a more promising chance of discovering new ones. Holly also noted that Submittable’s popularity makes them even more discoverable and easy to submit to.

More time to find quality submissions

Moving away from a process with manual computation and hard copy letter-mailing saves Poetry more time to manage volume and identify quality submissions. “Opening all those hard copy submissions, logging them, even reading through them—it all took longer before,” says Holly. “Submittable helps us receive, track, and respond to submissions, which is how the whole of Poetry is curated and assembled.”

Submittable’s customer service team makes the process even more effortless for the magazine. “I can't say it enough. I'm constantly impressed and thrilled by how quickly Submittable responds to questions/issues. Also, issues are few and far between,” Holly says. With a streamlined workflow and a support team that services both organizations and submitters, Poetry has the extra time to continue discovering new, diverse voices and delivering as a leading poetry journal.

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