|Once upon a time, few literary journals managed submissions electronically. Consequently, we writers knew that before depositing a submission in the mail, we needed to enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) to receive an editorial reply.|
But sometimes, editorial staffs were so backlogged that postal rates increased before those SASEs made their way back to us. And sometimes, those same editorial staffs were so budget-strapped that they couldn’t cover the difference. These days, electronic submissions have become widespread, but occasionally we still find ourselves sending poetry or prose via postal mail. Thankfully, in 2007 the U.S. Postal Service made our writing lives just a bit easier with the release of the first “Forever” stamp, providing first-class postage that remains usable even if the rates increase.
In June, this picture will grow even brighter when a new 44-cent, first-class Forever stamp bearing the image of author Mark Twain (1835-1910) will be released. Also the 27th stamp in the Postal Service’s Literary Arts commemorative series, this stamp adds Twain (born Samuel Langhorne Clemens) to a circle of honorees that includes Richard Wright, Julia de Burgos, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and many others.According to the Postal Service, the stamp will feature a portrait of Twain based on a photograph taken about 1907, and its background will evoke “several of Twain’s works set along the Mississippi River of his youth.” Let’s hope that, affixed to our SASEs, the Twain stamp brings us good tidings about our works, too.