Tag Archives: submissions

Wrap This Up, Too: Looking Back at 2017

We are now at the end of our first year of offering a print edition of Gyroscope Review and we thought, hey, let’s look at those numbers hanging out in our Submittable account. Just how many submissions did we get in 2017?

The answer: 1,854 submissions from 559 poets arrived on our virtual doorstep during the 2017 calendar year. No wonder our eyeballs need a holiday break. If we look at the percentage of what we accepted, an important bit of information for those of you considering where to send your work, our acceptance rate hovers slightly over 10%.

What about what we published during 2017? Those of you who ordered a copy of Wrap This Up: The 2017 Issues may already know the answer. We published 196 poems from 116 poets, 61 of whom were women. Poets published in our pages came mostly from the United States, but also represented Australia, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Nigeria, Sweden, Turkey, and the UK. One more fun little fact: our youngest published poet, as far as we know, was an 18-year-old high school senior. We have no idea who our oldest poet was; we thought it might be a tad rude to ask. We don’t collect personal statistics  when poets send us work, so these results are gleaned from bios and mailing addresses in our submissions system.

What’s on tap for 2018? We are still working that out. Here’s what we do know: we will continue to offer the best possible work in digital and print formats. We will add a new staff member in January. We will encourage the sharing of poetry far and wide as a reflection of and refuge from this world of ours. And we will keep the dialogue going with everyone who works with us to keep our poetry community strong and welcoming.

Our next issue will be available January 15, 2018. Submissions for the Spring 2018 issue will also open the same day. As always, please review our guidelines before submitting.

Happy New Year from Gyroscope Review.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com



With one month to go in our current reading period, we’ve received 229 submissions. Of those submissions, we’ve already declined or withdrawn 148. There are 63 pieces in process right this minute, and that will change by the time this post goes live.

Every reading period, we see some of the same trends, not all of them good trends. Since we want you to succeed as poets, want to get submissions that both make us honored to do this work and make you honored to be part of it, we thought it was time to talk about what makes us love our poets.

Submitting work is not always the fun part of being a writer. Okay, maybe it’s never the fun part unless the work is accepted. Acceptances are fun. Acceptances are what we all strive for.

When editors have the opportunity to say yes to a piece, they sometimes do a little dance.

When editors have to say no, for any reason, it makes them a little sad. Much of their sadness, and yours, dear submitters, could be prevented with simple attention to guidelines, details, and a respectful tone.

Is this an editor saying no? Is this a writer learning of rejection? Sometimes they look the same.

Let’s start with those guidelines. You’ve read it and heard it over and over: read the guidelines before submitting. It usually goes with the advice to read the publication to which you are submitting. This is really important. If you’ve read Gyroscope Review at all, you will notice that we publish contemporary poetry. We don’t publish work that sounds like it was around in Shelley’s time or harkens back to Beowulf. We seldom publish pieces that rhyme. We’re picky about pieces that have racist or sexist undertones, don’t care for gratuitous sex, aren’t fond of political rants even though those are tempting at this point in history. So, tone and form are something to study.

Our guidelines also point out some housekeeping items. Every reading period, we have someone who sends us a piece that we like, that we accept, and then we get an email that says, oops, someone else already accepted that piece. We take simultaneous submissions, but we want you to do your part. And what is your part? Tell us immediately if a piece you’ve sent us gets accepted elsewhere. We spend a lot of time reading, thinking, and Google-checking work. If we’ve done all that and made a decision only to learn you forgot to tell us that this piece is no longer available, that’s not respecting our time. Respect needs to go both ways.

While we are on the subject of knowing and sharing the status of your own poems, don’t resubmit something we’ve already rejected. Chances are pretty good we’ll remember the piece and wonder what you were thinking.

Another housekeeping item in our guidelines that someone ignores every reading period is when a submission contains more than one poem in a single document. We have our system set up for one poem in document = one submission. Why? Because when we vote on each poem, we need to be able to filter between accepted and declined. If everything is in one document, we can’t do that on a poem-by-poem basis. Therefore, multiple poems in one document means they will automatically be declined. And don’t think that you can submit one big document four times to make up for there being four poems in that document. One poem in one document = one submission. No exceptions.

Now, can we talk about appearance? We know you play with fonts sometimes. They can make writing something fun, shake things up a little but. We do it ourselves – on our own computers for our own amusement. When submitting, stick to a standard Times 12 pt font in basic black. A piece submitted in purple Comic Sans is distracting and takes us out of the piece. We sit there and wonder, why purple? Why Comic Sans? Just don’t.

And now a little bit about respecting our decisions for our own journal. Let’s say you send us a piece and we have to say no. Maybe our rejection has come to you on a bad day and you rapid-fire write a response telling us we don’t know good poetry from a hole in the ground. And then you hit “send.” When we open that email, are we likely to take pity on you and your submission? Nope. Are we likely to think, oh, that poet must be having a bad day and give you a pass on your rudeness? Nope. Are we likely to remember who you are? Oh yes. Yes indeed. And when we see your name in the slush pile in a future reading period we may not read your work with as much enthusiasm as someone else’s.

Now, if you had sent us a different email that asked us if we could give you more feedback on why your poem did not make the cut, would we be likely to answer? Yes, we would. There are hordes of reasons why pieces get rejected on any given day. Maybe we already have lots of pieces in the same vein. Maybe your piece, though wonderful, is better-suited to a different season. Maybe you’ve submitted four pieces, and we’ve already accepted three. Perhaps the subject matter just doesn’t fit with our vision for Gyroscope Review. And maybe the piece honestly could benefit from revision.

Consider doing revision work in a different space for a new perspective on things.

If you have a piece that gets rejected and you are going to revise it, give it enough time. A revision done within hours of a rejection is too fast. You know how a good stew slow cooks for hours so all the flavors can blend? Good poetry is like that: it needs simmering time for all the nuances and metaphors to come together into a delicious stew of lines that makes the reader want more. It cannot be rushed. If you try to shortcut revision, you will end up with an inferior piece lacking in essence.

And what about sending us something else if we decline your work? You are welcome to do that, but please take a moment or three to think about why we said no to your poems. Think about whether the next batch of work you want to send us looks just like what we’ve already rejected. Think about whether we are a good fit for you.

We should tell you that we have accepted a piece or two – or, well, 18, if you want exact numbers. We expect to at least triple that by the time we go to press; we expect just as many submissions during the last month as we’ve had up to now. So, you still have a shot if you like Gyroscope Review. Get writing. We’re waiting.

Still not sure? Ask us questions at gyroscopereview@gmail.com. We will answer.

Images courtesy of Pixabay.com.


The End of Another Reading Period

We hope everyone is getting into holiday mode! At Gyroscope Review, we are in get-the-lead-out mode as we go through the poems we’ve accepted for our January issue, organize files, create covers, write editorials, and, if we’re lucky, eat fudge.

This just-completed reading period, which technically ends at midnight tonight, had over 350 poems submitted and slightly over 50 accepted. Thus, our January issue is going to be packed with good stuff, which is just what we hope our readers want for that chilly time of year around here.

And now a special holiday poem/recipe, because a little silly does us all good sometimes.


(with apologies to James Pierpont, who wrote Jingle Bells)

Standing in the kitchen
wooden spoon in hand,
the roll of foil glistens
as it lines the pan.
On the stove I mingle
sugar, milk, and butter,
make it boil and jingle.
So much stirring, I mutter.

Oh, making fudge, making fudge,
making fudge for Christmas.
Oh what fun it is to cook
in a kitchen that is warm!
Making fudge, making fudge,
making fudge for Christmas.
Oh what fun it is to cook
in a kitchen that is warm!

After five whole minutes
I have to add some stuff:
chocolate and vanilla – shoot!
Forgot the marshmallow fluff!
Take it off the burner,
stir till things all blend.
The perfect dish for winter,
a great gift for my friends.

Oh, making fudge, making fudge,
making fudge for Christmas.
Oh what fun it is to cook
in a kitchen that is warm!
Making fudge, making fudge,
making fudge for Christmas.
Oh what fun it is to cook
in a kitchen that is warm!

Outside the ground is white.
Inside I lick a spoon,
warm fudge a tasty sight
in this lovely cooking room.
I’ll wait until it sets
then cut it up for all
their appetites to whet
at the Yuletide ball!

Oh, making fudge, making fudge,
making fudge for Christmas.
Oh what fun it is to cook
in a kitchen that is warm!
Making fudge, making fudge,
making fudge for Christmas.
Oh what fun it is to cook
in a kitchen that is warm!

(based on a real recipe from the back of the Kraft Marshmallow Creme jar)

(No, we would not accept this for our own journal, but feel free to sing it aloud.)

Happy Holidays to all and to all a big

thank you for your submissions this reading period.