A Quick Guide for Submitting
By: Kori Marshall
There is no way to encompass all of the best advice into a single document when it comes to submitting your work for the first or second (or 54th time) to a lit mag. This post is quick, easy, and good advice for when you first begin your journey to submitting to magazines – one of the first necessities on your journey to fame.
- Read journals frequently.
I mean f r e q u e n t l y. Find a journal whose style you like, obscure journals, journals that post works of a specific writer/audience interest. You need to be reading journals and other’s works as much as you’re writing, if not more. The app/website, LitRagger, brings journals to the palm of your hand.
- Submit often.
No matter how often you’re getting rejection letters, keep submitting. Rejection hurts but it makes you better. There are somewhere around 3,000 journals out there. One of them will post your work. Keep trying.
- Join websites to help you.
For example: Submittable and The Grinder exist virtually just to help you get published. Submittable sends out weekly emails with journals who are looking for something specific – and it’s likely that when you do submit, they will have you submit through the Submittable webpage. Just join, trust me.
- Keep a spreadsheet.
In Excel or in your favorited, tattered notebook. Make a chart that shows the date you submitted, when the deadline is, the work itself, where you submitted to, and leave a space for whether or not it got accepted. You may have a lot of no’s here, but I mean it when I tell you that first yes! of publication will make all the work worth it.
Okay, seriously. I’m sure your plate is full, don’t get me wrong. But sending an email to your favorite journal, your dream publication journal, or a local journal and offering your services as a reader, an editor, a social media anything. Getting your foot in the door, reading the submissions they’re getting and what they’re accepting, this helps.
Journals are getting SO MANY SUBMISSIONS a day. Send something interesting, a strange subject matter or an excellent cover letter, do what you can to stand out in a good way. Take your rejections in stride. If you ever receive notes or a “soft” rejection, make sure to take note. You’re getting closer. The editors sending notes likely know more than you do. Even if you keep your original, make the suggestions they offer and give yourself time to process that. The process of submitting may be painful and it may hurt your feelings, but I promise you that getting published for the first time or the fifth time or the 25th time is worth everything that goes into it.