For a $10 fee we will read your submission, while still considering it for publication, and we will respond back with a full set of MFA style notes and suggestions.
Right now we are predicting it will take a month or less to respond to submitters who request notes, but that time frame may change depending on volume.
I know from personal experience that it is hard, almost disenfranchising, to put so much of yourself into your poetry only to get the cold impersonal form rejection (or sometimes acceptance!) back. We send them out, I know, it’s the business sadly. I wish we could give everyone notes on every piece, but time and practicality prevent that from happening. This new option will hopefully bring some of the personal back into submitting.
And yes, there is money involved. Straight Forward has always run in the red, no way around that fact. We do it for the love of poetry, but if we could ever climb our way into solvency then we would be able to do so much more for our writers. We’ve got big dreams yo, and most of them involve you.
Submitting with a request for notes helps you get some honest feedback on your writing, it helps us pay our bills, and it helps us find bigger and better ways to promote and support those who we publish. Basically it makes everyone more awesome . And awesome is good.