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Bill "Papa" Lee

An issue with the "Ensign Magizine", and old one.

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Many years ago after receiving a complimentary letter from the First Presidency concerning my poetry, I decided to send a number of them to the Ensign staff. While cleaning I found the letter from the First Presidency, as well from the Ensign. I was reminded in the letter, where I was informed that they no longer include poetry in their publications. At that point, I let it go, since I had poems in LDS Bookstores. Then two months later, three poems appeared in the Ensign. Maybe they felt my poetry was not up to their standards, but I would have preferred the truth. But maybe they were just being kind, who knows, I have experienced the same thing with Church News, with short stories. Again wondering if it was my writing ability, I had someone who had a story published to read mine, and he could not understand the problem. 

I later tried after having an English major proff read, still had the same response. Has anyone here experienced the same rejection. I love Church News and the Ensign, and have them delivered to my home. 

 

 

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sunstoned    796

I am not really qualified to comment directly on your questions because I have never worked for the church and because I have absolutely no talent for writing, poetry or anything to do with the arts.  But, here is my two cents anyway.  I have thirty years of experience working large organizations, both in the business world and in academia. It has been my observation that inconsistency in policy and communications is more of the norm rather than the exception. The reason for this (and once again this is just my own observations) is that organizations are made up of departments and groups that are often siloed when it comes to inter-departmental communication, or even communication within the departments.  Also, polices can and do change and re-change, and are often times not followed.  The bottom line is that you cannot look at an organization as a monolithic entity that provides consistent communications and follows a consistent decision making process.  I would not take your experience with the Ensign personally.  It is their loss.  

Edited by sunstoned

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Jane_Doe    323

It could have been that there is lag between when things are accepted and published.  So if in January they decided to quit accepting poetry and told you that, but the stuff for Jan-Apr ensigns were already decided to the change wasn't seen till May.

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10 hours ago, Bill "Papa" Lee said:

...I later tried after having an English major proof read, still had the same response. Has anyone here experienced the same rejection.

Similar experience. A few times. Church publisher(s) and magazine(s). Long, long ago. 

Helpful friends/distributors/editors explained that with millions of members, and with only a few publishing slots available each publishing cycle, it is *beyond* rare to ever see something published through such channels, even if others might deem such drafts lovely, praiseworthy, or of good report. .The chances of seeing one's own work in print in such a venue are *very* slim. Editorial teams are swamped with submissions, and one's submitted material might not even match the themes they're working on that month.

An editor telling you that they weren't accepting poems could simply mean they already had many poems to choose from, and therefore weren't considering anything new. (The poem you later saw may have been among entries submitted months earlier..)

In such a cluttered landscape, I learned to avoid dead ends. It was otherwise too easy to get offended over wasted time/energy/resources. So I did a polite end run around the roadblocks.

For me, that involved carving out a couple of small distribution channels. (Carving out a couple more this summer.)

For you...?...that might mean digging yourself a similar channel. Or floating your poetic license down one (or more) of my little streams...and/or someone else's.  

Edited by probablyHagoth7

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Kenngo1969    4,649
17 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

It could have been that there is lag between when things are accepted and published.  So if in January they decided to quit accepting poetry and told you that, but the stuff for Jan-Apr ensigns were already decided to the change wasn't seen till May.

Indeed.  If I remember right (and there's certainly no guarantee of that :rolleyes:), issues are planned a year in advance of when they are published.

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rpn    1,233

Some time in 2010 or before, I was in a class discussing the story of the ten virgins.   When I got home, I wrote a poem about my new insights (my first since elementary school, I'm not a poetry fan).  I sent it to the Ensign.   I never received any response until late June 2015 when I was informed they were publishing it in March the following year,  if I agreed.  I made a few tweaks (one of which I still didnt' get it correct, so the version I hand out is not the same as the published one).   

I suspect that they were not accepting at first because their files were full on every topic.   And I know for sure that their lead time for publications is quite long.

Edited by rpn

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The Nehor    13,851
21 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

It could have been that there is lag between when things are accepted and published.  So if in January they decided to quit accepting poetry and told you that, but the stuff for Jan-Apr ensigns were already decided to the change wasn't seen till May.

This is almost certainly the reason. You could check and see if poetry showed up for more then a few issues afterwards. If it stopped then they had already filled the issues they still were planning to publish poetry in.

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