I'm making a list of all the contests I'm entering this fall and spring. Yes, you read that correctly. I'm finally sending out my manuscript to the contests. I fear for my baby. But anyways, while I was reading up on deadlines and judges for the fall cycle I realized that a judge and I have had some marginal interaction: She took one of my poems for a journal she guest-edited this summer. She sent me a brief note thanking me for my submission and for my sexy knuckles. Just kidding about the knuckles. But let's be clear: I've never been a student of this judge, or taken a conference workshop with her. Though I did meet the judge once at ASU. She gave me hug! But that's it.
I refuse to get my first book published through connections. I don't play that game. I won't enter contests in which the judge is a former teacher. But I'm kinda of unsure about this situation. The poem she took for the journal is in my manuscript so she might remember me. Am I being too cautious? Am I crazy for even thinkng about this?