The poems in this month's issue are by Jeremy Paltiel and Ellen Trottier. Jeremy is a Carleton University professor and Ellen is a recent graduate from Canterbury High School about to attend Carleton to study psychology. One of the things that Bywords demonstrates is that Ottawans are writing poetry today; they come from diverse backgrounds and have a range of life experiences. Bywords.ca is a grassroots publication and encourages poetry from the community.
That being said, we regularly receive submissions from people who haven't sent their work out to a literary journal before. To ensure your work is given proper attention, I offer the following advice: carefully research the site, read the guidelines and make sure you and your work are eligible before submitting. Write a cover letter and include a bio. Read over your work for typos before sending.
Treat rejection of your work equally professionally. I do sometimes receive angry e-mails from people who have had their poems rejected. It's a peculiar thing and disheartening. There are many avenues to pursue if you have poems rejected. You can submit them elsewhere, you can take them to a workshop and get feedback or you can publish them yourself. If you go to the news section, you will see a number of workshops with published poets who charge for their services or offer workshops free and also in the calendar of literary events there are several local groups such as the Canadian Authors Association, In/Words of Carleton and the University of Ottawa English Students Association offering writers' circles where you can get feedback on your work for free in exchange for your own feedback.
Finally I wanted to let you know that Bywords is now on Twitter. Please follow us to receive frequent updates about literary events happening in Ottawa, publisher news, calls for submission, information about our submissions and other literary tidbits.: http://twitter.com/bywordsdotca
Thanks to this month's selection committee
Claudia Coutu Radmore
Carol A. Stephen
If you have comments, questions or good thoughts to share, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.