At TLR we believe in Poetry, so much so that starting with this submission period we’re increasing the payment for published poems to $50.
We’ve also been working hard to find ways to reduce our submission fees, and when our reading period for issue 8 opens on Saturday, May 7, the fee for Fiction and Nonfiction will drop from $6 to $5. We know it’s not a huge drop, but it’s a step in the right direction.
The decision regarding Poetry was something all three of us endorsed. While we also plan to keep raising compensation for Fiction and Nonfiction, we felt the increase in Poetry would make the strongest statement about our commitment to fair pay for writers. Poetry is the least fairly compensated genre in writing, although its artistic value is as high as prose.
To make these changes work, we’ve moved the Feedback Option into its own submission category. Instead of free, as it’s been for the last year, the option will be an extra $2 for those who would like the editor’s personal assessment of their work, as well as an expedited response for fiction (usually 3-5 days). Keep in mind that the feedback is written by the editor who has the final say over a submission, not a first reader (we don’t use ’em anyway). It’s usually a few sentences, although Fiction Editor Joe Ponepinto has been known to write several paragraphs if he believes it will be helpful. If we criticize, we always try to be constructive. And it’s a heck of a lot of work, requiring close reading and serious contemplation of the work in question, so we trust you’ll understand the extra fee.
When we started TLR we wanted to combine both excellence in literature with attention to the needs of writers. We designed our business model with that in mind. Now, two years later, we’ve been honored to have our contributors recognized by publications like Best American Poetry, the Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, Best Gay Fiction, and many anthologies and collections. We’ve become, we believe, a journal in which writers can be proud to be published.
We hope you’ll support these changes with your submissions and subscriptions, and continue to follow us as we move forward.