A Tale of Two Books

Recently I looked through my records of submission and publication (mostly submission!) and noticed some facts that might be of interest to others. My most recent book, Dragging the Lake, was published in February 2006 (not exactly recent, except perhaps in the poetry world!), and Bridge is coming out in October. But between those two books I wrote a third, The Garnet Hall, which has not (yet?) found a publisher. Here’s a comparative chronology:

  Garnet Hall Bridge
Begin writing Circa 2005 Circa 2010
First submit to journals January 2006 August 2010
First acceptances Sept 2007/Feb 2008 (thanks, Blackbird/Southern Review!) October 2010 (thank you, Gulf Coast!)
Further submissions Jan. 2006 – March 2012 Jan. 2012 – Jan. 2014 (not sure why I didn’t submit anything for over a year; nothing accepted after Oct. 2010 until Nov. 2012!)
Submit complete manuscript March 2008 – June 2012: over 100 submissions! (finalist 5 times, semifi 6) Sept. 2012 – July 2013: a dozen submissions, mostly to poetry editors of a book of prose fiction (mistake, duh!)
Manuscript accepted Not! Oct. 2013 (mega thanks, BOA Editions!)


  1. I worked on The Garnet Hall for over six years! (probably had a first draft after three).
  2. Maybe I submitted The Garnet Hall before it was ready, but it was a semifinalist in two contests and a finalist in two contests during the first year I submitted it, as much or more “success” than it had in any other year.
  3. Over a year and a half between first submission of poems from Garnet Hall to first acceptance; two years between first acceptance of a piece from Bridge to second acceptance! (submitting pieces from a lyrical novella to poetry editors, not fiction).