This is the final installment of my four part series, The Nuts ‘N Bolts of Story Submission.
In part one I discussed the reasons for submitting, in part two I talked about pre-preparation, in part three I talked about getting your game plan together, and now in part four IT’S TIME TO SUBMIT!
The most convenient way to find publications is through online search engines.
DOUTROPE’S DIGEST is my favorite. It has a great search engine with many criteria options. It’s extremely convenient and the search results are listed similar to a data sheet so there’s a lot of info. Numerous publications are on the same page. As with all the online search engines there are links to the publications included.
The link is: http://www.duotrope.com/
POETS AND WRITERS - Not as convenient, but Nearly 600 Literary Journals Are Listed. The link is: http://www.pw.org/ look under their Tools For Writers menu.
NEWPAGES.COM – Again, not as convenient as Doutrope, but it’s geared toward university and indie publications, and indie publishers. The link is: http://www.newpages.com/
CRWOPPS: Creative Writer’s Opportunity List - Allison Joseph’s yahoo group. Emails are sent to members daily. It’s mostly geared toward fee based contests, and occasionally submission requests. To join go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CRWROPPS-B/
WHEN SUBMITTING ALWAYS CHECK OUT THE PUBLICATIONS WEBSITE FIRST – make sure they are what they say they are.
If you’re looking for a print publication, check to see if they have a subscription page. If they don’t they’re probably online only. Make sure their version of print is your version of print. I don’t count a downloadable PDF file as a print publication. Some of them do. Check when the last issue came out to make sure they’re active.
ALWAYS READ THE PUBLISHER’S GUIDELINES before you submit to them. If you don’t, you may be rejected for not following the rules. You may be accepted in a publication that you’ll regret later.
SUBMIT TO A PUBLICATION THAT’S APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR STORY. You may have a great story, but if it’s not the type the editor is looking for you’ll be wasting your time.
LASTLY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY…
ONCE YOU GET INTO THE HABIT OF SUBMITTING IT’S IMPORTANT TO MAINTANE: make submitting part of your writing regimen. The best way is to put together a weekly routine or goal. DON’T MAKE IT STRENUOUS.
Maybe devote an hour a week to it. That’s less than 10 minutes a day.
Maybe have a number goal instead: six submissions a week: that’s less than one a day.
IT’S VITAL TO KEEP THE BALL ROLLING. Don’t get discouraged. I went nearly a year from my first fiction acceptance to my second one. Remember that it’s a subjective process. What doesn’t work for one editor may work for another, but you have to get it to them so they can make that decision.
Submitting – done properly and routinely – is your best bet at achieving success in finding a home for your stories. Good luck, get to it, and take that leap into the pool. It’s not so cold. Stay in, don’t give up, and eventually it’ll pay off.
ALWAYS REMEMBER IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU’RE TOLD NO, ALL THAT COUNTS IS THE ONE YES.
I hope you found this series useful. I look forward to reading your work online, on my eReader and/or in print!