Submissions, Decisions and Decisioning

One thing we’ve found over the last few weeks since we embarked on SS Arfur is that there is very much a lot of ‘making it up as you go along.’ Not that we hadn’t spent months (and in truth, years) thinking about all of this, but once you are ‘on the ground’ the world looks a lot different from the adrenalin-free blue sky perspective.

The most obvious case of this is probably the one that we had thought was the simplest – how you go about dealing with the problem of Maria submissions?

Now we did worry about this up-front;

Would we get enough?

Would they be any good?


Would there be too many for us to deal with, as we found ourselves buried in them?

And luckily none of those has been a problem, but we are well aware that despite the fact that we were more than happy for people to submit their work elsewhere whilst we also held on to it, it doesn’t seem fair to hang on to work that maybe isn’t for us.

All of which is a long way around saying that we have started sifting the poems that have already been submitted and that whilst we haven’t definitely chosen any yet (actually that isn’t true, there are a handful that I know will definitely be in the first issue – not least because one of them made me cry) but we are definitely getting to a position where we can start a longlist and then, over time see which poems that subsequently arrive replace those on it.

So, whilst not hearing from us doesn’t mean that you are definitely going to see your work in Arfur#1, there are still some poems we haven’t read at all, we will now be starting to let people know if their work wasn’t for us this time, as it seems the fairest thing to do.

The truth of it is that we are really only looking for 40 poems, or rather forty-ish poetry-filled pages, and from there it is only  matter of taste. And as my reflection in the bathroom mirror regularly asks me,

‘What the hell do I know anyway?’

Submissions are still open – HERE – until the 15th January, and every poem will be read and right up to that deadline we will be comparing and finding which are the ones that talk to us most. So please do submit your work if you fancy what we are trying to be about.

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