September 2020 Announcement of New Schedule
As of September 1st, 2020, Anthony “Uplandpoet” Watkins will no longer be involved with BTS in an editorial capacity. He will continue as the journal’s publisher, however, and from time to time might make a guest appearance in the journal’s pages. Suzanne Robinson also will be retiring from her editorship. Please join me in wishing them both all the best in their future endeavors. We’ll miss you both greatly. Your generous and invaluable services have been indispensable in shaping the journal’s unique character, in keeping it fresh and different, and we are very happy to know you’re not really gone!
In 2016, Anthony decided to revive an earlier publication of his, which was reincarnated as Better Than Starbucks. I joined as editor of Formal & Rhyming Poetry later that year. I was happy with the journal’s refusal to ever charge fees and fully embraced the concept of offering as many different genres and styles of writing as possible.
In January 2018 I took over as editor-in-chief and also started a print version of the journal. We then created a style guide for editing, set length limits for bios, and agreed the journal should not be used by its editors for self-publishing. As well as holding our first sonnet contest that year, we shifted from monthly to bi-monthly publication.
20 issues later, we are making changes again. There will be a short hiatus (one issue) during which we’ll do some redesigning, and we will become a quarterly, to be published on February 1st, May 1st, August 1st, and November 1st of each year. Our next issue will be published on February 1st, 2021. It will include the winners and honorable mentions of our 2020 Sonnet Contest. Submissions to the Sonnet Contest will open at the end of September.
Regular journal submissions will reopen in September. If you have a poem accepted for our November issue it will now be published on February 1st, 2021. Haiku acceptances will be re-scheduled as well, and emails will be sent to all contributors in the fall. If you have an outstanding submission, it means that your work either has not been read yet or was not selected for the current issue but was long listed and held over. You may choose to wait, withdraw, or replace your submission, and please feel free to query.
We remain unfunded and all volunteers. Costs are paid by small donations from faithful readers and print sales. Our goal remains paying contributors and we are now up to offering an honorarium to six contributors per issue.
The wonderful editors who will continue on with us into the next chapter include Tom Merrill, Kevin McLaughlin, Susan McLean, and Robert Schechter. Elaine Wilburt, with assistance from Christy Burbidge, continues to provide the eagle eye required for copy editing.
We will continue to publish free verse poetry, haiku, formal poetry, poetry translations, African poetry, international poetry, experimental and form poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction, and will also continue poetry interviews.
We welcome volunteers who would like to join our team in every area. If you love poetry and creative writing enough to want to make a contribution, email us. Anyone with some background in editorial work or publishing might contribute, and possibly take over a section. If you aren’t able to devote the time, know that everyone who has ever purchased print copies or made a donation however small has provided invaluable support to our dedicated enterprise, and that we remain in their debt.
May we continue collecting and publishing the best of, and the widest range we can find of, poetry and creative writing for many years to come.
— Vera Ignatowitsch