The Beauty of Submissions by Raquel Silberman

The greatest part about submitting my work is the suspense and excitement that overtakes me when waiting for a response. If my teachers do not urge me to check my emails more often, submissions sure do. Every marking period, CW students must submit to three places—journals, magazines, etc.—to showcase their writing voices and possibly get published. My first submissions took a great deal of courage. Reading poems to my classmates was one thing, but sending my work into the world for everyone to see was terrifying. After a year of monthly submissions, I take pride in saying I am a published writer. Submissions have become one of my favorite CW assignments because they give me a chance to extend my voice and share my annoyingly long poems I cannot burden others to read aloud. Another joy I have encountered through submissions was my first bilingual poem. CW has been notably helpful in strengthening my poetic voice, but it is not often I get the chance to read or write my work in another language. Last year I decided to submit a poem in both English and Spanish and to my surprise, it was published. 

The first person I sent the poem to was my grandma and while it may be a stretch to say submissions brought me an inch closer to my family, I like to think she was not exaggerating when she said: “I’m your number one admirer. Besos!” Now, I submit a piece in Spanish every other marking period for good luck, I call it my besos! 

Last night I got a package from a writing magazine which happened to contain a book with my besos poem. I’m proud to say my grandma still admires it.

These moments of joy happened separately from CW but they all link back to one assignment. Without the requirement to submit, I would have never known my work was submittable. Submissions are more than just a slight ego boost, they are an empathetic sort of encouragement in the form of a text message that always seems to come at the right time.