Kristina Marie Darling of Tupelo Press Recommends...

At Tupelo Press, we typically receive anywhere between nine hundred and fourteen hundred submissions for a single slot in our production schedule. Writers will frequently ask me, “What can I do to make my manuscript stand out? How do I command an editor’s attention with such stiff competition?” The best advice I can offer is simple: Take risks with form. Do something interesting with the space of the page.  
Each and every time we open submissions, around 95 percent of the work we receive is left-margined poetry. This preponderance of formally conservative writing in the submission queue always strikes me as a missed opportunity with respect to craft. For poets especially, the page is your canvas; it’s a visual field. Be creative with how language is laid out on the page. Take risks with typography. Use white space as a unit of composition. You’ll discover that it’s liberating to make your own rules about what a poem can be. More importantly, you’ll allow form and how the work unfolds visually to tell part of your story. This will open up space for the language itself to do other, more interesting work than simple narration.

Kristina Marie Darling, editor in chief, Tupelo Press and Tupelo Quarterly