George Guida and Kate Falvey, editors of “2 Bridges Review” and publishers of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction work held an informal question-and-answer session on Monday, instructing aspiring writers in the do’s and don’ts of being published.
The Q&A followed a lecture about Guida and Falvey’s experiences in publishing and editing. The Q&A covered topics including rejection by editors, being published and how to make submissions stand out to editors and publishers.
Submissions by poets do not need to be thematically and structurally similar, but writers should send their best samples, according to Falvey.
“We want to see what you think will showcase your best work, and if you have a few, send them,” Falvey said.
At the same time, she said writers should be cautious about sending too many poems or writings that are too long.
“You need to respect the rules — don’t be obnoxious,” she said. “You should send three or four, not just one though. We want a selection.”
Grammar is key in poetry, and it’s a necessity that very few poets can afford to ignore, according to Guida.
“Normally though, if I see some mistake in line two, it’s not good,” Guida said. “It’s a craft, I’m a writer, and I want all the tools. It’s my job. You have to do your job.”
To construct a bio, Guida said writers should stick to a few sentences and act experienced.
“Clever bios don’t usually make it,” he said. “We don’t want you to try too hard — just be modest and come up with a three-line bio.”
Falvey said she believes that editors should be nice about rejecting submissions.
“We don’t like to use ‘unfortunately’ — ‘unfortunately’ is so obnoxious,” she said. “It makes the writer think, ‘Well, that’s just unfortunate for you, Jack, that you didn’t want to publish me.’”
However, Guida said writers should refrain from asking for an explanation for a rejection.
As parting advice, Guida said that writers should never stop revising their works.
“A poem is never done, even after it’s published,” he said. “Writers go back and revise their poems after even 15 years, 40 or 50 times.”
The event was sponsored by the Binghamton Center for Writers and the Office of the Dean of Harpur College.