I let Facebook ads influence my career (Take 2)

For those unaware of what this series is about, please look here. I give a detailed overview in a previous post, but basically I’ve decided to chance it and start clicking on stuff Facebook advertises to me, because the ads have gotten so much better. They’re about more than commerce or consumables, but jobs, education, and publications now.


The ad I viewed directed me here for Tribute Calls. Their upcoming issue’s theme is unpublished poets, which would be me (well, unpublished as adults, at least, not that I was ever officially published as a child either). It’s based in Los Angeles, which seems unusual for a literary mag. I’ve found most noteworthy are based in the Northeast or Midwest, though I digress. Unfortunately, I missed the deadline to submit for Fall 2018, but there is still plenty opportunity to submit on a rolling basis. They are also on Submittable, which is perhaps the easiest way to keep track of publication prospects. Give ’em a follow!  I suppose you could put pending submission receipts in an email folder (or color-coding–any Microsoft-owned address seems to have that, but I’m not sure of Gmail and others). Of course,  I haven’t the spare time for either method.

Rattle also doesn’t have submission fees, and for that, I strongly endorse it! Though they do try to give an edge to emerging poets, quite a few contemporaries whose names you recognize have been featured as well–Billy Collins, Gregory Orr, Naomi Shihab Rye, Li-Young Lee, Yusef Komunyakaa, etc. A few of them were folks my classmates presented for our poetry class. Facebook must have seen me looking up poets in Google searches for that class. Our professor occasionally links us a few recommendations via email, and I’ve wandered around Poetry.org for a good selection to imitate or recite, and Facebook has seen all that. A little creepy, but it’s effective.

Craft Literary

I get why this was advertised towards me, but why did they pick such a prestigious category? Of all things, the Short Fiction Prize. The deadline for this one hasn’t passed yet, it’s actually in a week. However, I don’t know how quickly I’ll be able to think up 6,000 words to fit a fictitious narrative that will interest Jim Shepard. This guy mostly writes short stories, hence why he is overseeing this, but he’s written a few novels thus far. He’s been published in a few places whose attention I crave as a possible home for my own work–New Yorker, Atlantic, Ploughshares, Paris Review, Esquire, Playboy (yeah, some men won’t be encouraged to read unless you add a dash of softcore porn; but the hardhitting stuff is often republished elsewhere so traditionalists can stay enlightened). He teaches at Williams College in Western Mass, so he’s somewhat local…at least on a grand scale.

To me, it seems like a pipe dream for your first published thing to be the $2000 prize, and the $20 reading fee is a little steep. Still, I did give them a follow on Submittable, so I’ll dig through my computer for some stuff they may enjoy for a normal submission. They pay about $200 for general publication, which isn’t too shabby. Also, this is an online-only mag, though if the Firefox extension Country Flag and IP Whois is any indicator, they are based in Virginia.


This is a little weird. They’re promoting a poetry contest through crowdsourcing. Then what is editorial staff supposed to do? I get that the brainstorming and approval of peers or any “fresh set of eyes” can be quite beneficial, but…how much am I going to trust any old schmuck to adequately read the text and subtext or other kinds of stuff that I’d imagine an editorial board is more accustomed to? It seems cool in a way, but also like citizen jurors, which are utilized in many Western legal systems. Should this really be a decision I make? You can still make money from your work here, but…maybe I’m just a snob and don’t expect everyone else to have as refined taste as my own. I don’t know.

The concept is sort of cool. These journalists sought knowledge from elderly Canadians across their country. They concluded each story fell into at least one of 54 themes, which are listed at the bottom of the site. So, they came up with this crowdsourcing platform encouraging others to use one of these themes in their work. They also accept song, fiction, art, audio, and essay contests. I’m not sure the exposure you’ll get is that wide though. The site isn’t really a magazine, since it’s all contested submissions, they also host forums, and content from other sites, like NatGeo and TED. Based in perhaps the greatest city in British Columbia…Peachland. No, I’ve never been there, I just think that name is awesome. If they aren’t already, they should become the sister city to Pearland, Texas. That’s where Grav3yardgirl lives. Not sure if it’s a city in the Greater Houston area or a borough of Houston.

I’m going to continue my adventures in Facebook ads at a later time, but right now, I’m going to finish off this post. Arrivaderci, belli!


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