As I noted last week, I recently participated in a submission binge with other playwrights. Throughout the month of September, fellow writers and I shared submission opportunities as well as advice, support, and cautions.
I chose to focus on submitting only short pieces: monologues and ten-minute plays. I did so because I knew I had one monologue and two short plays ready--in my opinion--for submission, unlike the longer pieces I have written. All of these different pieces are older, not written recently, and because I didn't really plan ahead, I hadn't read and "rid up" the longer pieces. And I thought that with only a few short pieces I'd be more able to determine what I should send where: only short pieces, with certain styles or subject matter, or number of actors, or minimal set.
What happened was a surprise, on several levels. First, I ended by submitting one monologue and eight different ten-minute plays to a total of thirty-nine different sites, with a total of 54 submissions. Since my goal was 30 total submissions, this was far and away a success.
Second, although I started out planning on submitting only one monologue and two plays because they were "ready," I ended by making minor and major fixes on six more plays and sending those out, too. In one case,only to one site, but still: that's one play to one site more than I had done in August.
Finally, this was good for my writer's morale, since I hadn't felt much like a playwright in some time. I'd been concentrating on the novel and the conference papers-turned-articles, and mutli-tasking as a writer is difficult, as I've learned. It's not the writing itself that is difficult, but keeping the energy of the different genres and subjects focused and moving forward, as well as finding depth in each piece when you're splitting your attention. But now I've thrown out 54 submissions into destiny's wind, and I'm waiting for the results.
Of course, it will be two to six months before I hear from most of them, and up to a year for a couple. So being ready to send more submissions as they roll across my desk (and I'll be checking every Friday and Saturday among various sites)... which they certainly will.