What Small Press Editors Want and Why You Should Care

Here’s a great insight into the process of a small press editor. Much of this holds for any kind of manuscript submission. It also applies to readers, if you are selling to them directly.

What Editors Want; A Must-Read for Writers Submitting to Literary Magazines | The Review Review.

Visit the Literary Magazines Database at Poets and Writers

If you write poetry or short stories, you should check out the Literary Magazines Database on the Poets and Writers site. Here’s an example of a possible publisher for your work.

The Faircloth Review | Literary Magazines Database | Poets & Writers.

Write a Poem About Birth

We are nearing the end of the Poem a Day challenge on Robert Lee Brewer’s blog. It has been an interesting experience. I will either continue with my own prompts or find another community. You are certainly welcome to join me by posting in the comments.

Today’s prompt at PAD is to write a poem about giving birth. Click on the link to add your own. You can join in any time.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29 | Birth Poem | Experience | WritersDigest.com.

Here’s mine:

I kept telling

myself that

the Queens of England

did this

as I lay on the table

under blazing lights

coming undone

the most

private places

in full view

of strangers,

And then, the doctor

said, “He’s going

to be smart.”

A nurse said,

“What a pretty

little face.”

It was like

the blessing

in a fairy tale,

especially when

eyes still blue

as heaven

cast their

virgin gaze

on me.

Linda Armstrong, 11/29/2012, All rights reserved.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26 | Collection Poem | WritersDigest.com

Today’s challenge is to write a collection poem. Not everyone collects things, but a glance around our house would tell you that my husband and I do. He does it in a more organized way. My gatherings are distinctly haphazard.

Click on the link to go to Robert Lee Brewer’s blog and read the contributions of others. Then, add your own.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26 | Collection Poem | WritersDigest.com.

Here’s mine:


They fill

the silvery

surfaces of

computer disks,

the hidden


of external

drives, cloud-tops

from long flights,

footprints in snow,

drifting gold

leaves, glinting

sun on summer

lakes, blossoms

in spring orchards,

baby faces,

smiling friends,

all of them

held in virtual

memory, formatted

in universal jpeg.

Like Midas, I run

them through

my fingers,

longing to

hold on.

Linda Armstrong, 11/26/2012. All rights reserved.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 23 | Deep Poem | WritersDigest.com

Yesterday we were lazy and I got caught up in creating a special Christmas gift for my husband on Zazzle, so I am catching up on my poems this morning. The Day 23 poem is deceptively simple, but absolutely lovely. Write a “deep” poem. It can be anything deep. Click on the link to read the responses on the Poetic Asides blog.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 23 | Deep Poem | WritersDigest.com.

Here’s mine:

Deep Space



past the last

clumps of ice

gas, rock,

and God only

knows what

else at the fringe

of the solar system,

Voyager, a

miracle wonder

of my younger

days, swings

out into the

more thinly

populated reaches

of deep space,

just as each day

I dive further


Linda Armstrong, 11/24/2012. All rights reserved.



2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 8 : Poetic Asides • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Robert Brewer’s poetry prompt today is brilliant. It could inspire a whole book.

Write an answer to a question or provocative statement posed by a dead poet. 

Isn’t that great? Because posting comments to his blog can be challenging (a nonsensical error message pops up), he is setting up a separate thread for each day’s poems on the WD forum.

Forgive me, but I am really proud of the one I came up with today! You can find it, and responses from other members of our community by following the link below. Don’t forget to post your own, too. I’ve posted my poem below the link here if you want to read it without clicking.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 8 : Poetic Asides • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com.

Mar-ga-ret, Gerard Has Just Forgotten

the man has
been inside
too long
to remember
the joys
of running
barefoot in dewy
July grass
under the long
sun or swimming
in a mild pond
with laughing
friends who
don’t want anything
but fun. He
sees you crying
as leaves
fall down
and tries to stop
your tears
with a flood
of verbal invention,
but he even
makes your name
fall a syllable
at a time
like leaf-meal
flutter. Go ahead
and grieve, child.
Then, stand
outside, open
your mouth
catch snowflakes
on your tongue.


2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1 | Matches Poem | WritersDigest.com

OH! Mr. Brewer is having his Poem a Day November chapbook challenge after all! I thought he had moved it to April. Poets, take heed, do not feel left out of the NaNoWriMo fun. Zip over to the poetry blog at the Writers Digest site and check out the fantastic daily idea. You can catch up on the previous ones, too. It’s not too late. At the end of the month, you will have a chapbook, which you can submit. See you there.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1 | Matches Poem | WritersDigest.com.

Poems from Previous Challenges

This collection of poems has been forwarded from my Posterous blog archive.

I I warned you that I have too many interests. I have been writing poetry as long as I can remember. Every year I find myself drawn into National Poetry Month. I didn’t write a poem a day. The weather was too beautiful at the end of the month. If you want to see the great prompts by Robert Lee Brewer, visit http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/default,month,2011-04.aspx.

From minute to minute
I move, like the destiny
of a dragonfly from
penetrated egg, through
wiggling nymph into the
blue summer sky, skimming
lakes of possible futures,
but moved, inexorably, by
ancient tides within
my blood; the multiple eyes,
the segmented soul, the
fragile, beating wings.



Like a curtain pulling back
for an anticipated performance,
first light creeps down from
the juniper-fringed rim of the
Colorado National Monument,
spilling into canyons where
eagles nest and bighorn sheep
rest in blue shadows. Subtle,
at first, as if in imagination,
it intensifies, like a rising
overture, until the full face
of the edge of centuries is
lit. From power lines along
the road, rows of birds watch,


If I had never been born,
my father would have painted longer,
and might have been known
before he died, rather than after.
If I had never been born,
my husband might have married the dancer
who studied French at the Sorbonne.
But if I had never been born,
my daughter would not be the same,
and that one change could shift
the course of stars.


He lays out colors
along the edges of an
enamel tray, feeling
an electricity across
the empty center that
nobody else can sense.
(18 words)

Don’t Speak, Listen

Walking the canyon trail,
We fall silent,
After so many years
We have heard all the stories
And know the refrain of opinions.
Off to the right, on top of a rock,
Poised against the storm-darkening sky
A bird lifts his head and sings out,
Beckoning a prospective mate.
He pauses and a grumble from the distant
Interstate fills the stillness.
Then, he sings again.

What if I had awakened late
and joined the registration
line at the end? Then, the
art class would have been filled
and we would never have met.
Then, I wouldn’t have taught
and we wouldn’t have bought
that house in the mountains
where we spent so many happy summers.
We wouldn’t have slept in the back
of the jeep or rocked our child
in the house on Lincoln. You wouldn’t
be you and I wouldn’t be me
if I had awakened late and joined
the end of that registration line.



Blow up
the balloons.
the candles.
Sing the
familiar old song.
all the gifts.
Or just
Open your eyes,
And give thanks
Yet another day.

(16 words)

Eleven Eighteen

Outside the window, rain is falling,
giving shadows color on the silent
street. Washed clean, a cool breeze
brushes the young pine in the front
yard, and also the tall cottonwood
that has become too hazardous to keep,
creaking ominously in spring winds
that just died down. Inside, I have
been downloading poetry from rich
centuries for the magic tablet I carry
to read on future trains and planes.
A wind chime plays. A sweet bird sings.

Never Again

Will I tell a friend
who has started to annoy
me that she has
and how and why.

Never again will
I go to that one last
dinner, or walk, or concert
Just to be sure.

Never again will
I try to rescue
a connection that
never really was.

Instead, I will be
as busy as I always am
Wishing things weren’t the way
they are, but are.

Maybe I’ll Be Better

Maybe tomorrow I’ll
follow all the resolutions
I make with so much sincerity
as I slip between the covers
and pull up the blankets tonight.
Maybe I’ll walk a few miles
in the morning, write dozens
of pages, and after dinner
skip the cookies.
Maybe I’ll be kinder, wiser,
and more beautiful tomorrow,
or, maybe, I’ll wake up
and be my same old self
for yet another imperfect day.

In the still orchard
peach blossoms unfurl petals,
soundless firecrackers.

…………..in the blue……………..
………..April sky, among……………
…….soaring larks, a dragon…………
…………writhing in the……………
………….shifting wind…………….
(10 words)

Do not stash your soul away.
Do not shackle it to clocks.
Let it fly and sing its say.

Don’t insist that it make hay.
Never keep it darning socks.
Do not stash your soul away.

Go to meet it every day.
Undo knots and open locks.
Let it fly and sing its say.

Never try to make it pay
or use it to outwit a fox.
Do not stash your soul away

like a winter coat in May
buried in a cedar box.
Let it fly and sing its say.

Let it, like a wild wolf, bay
and bound among the mountain rocks
Do not stash your soul away.
Let it fly and sing its say.