Does anyone know how hard it is to get published in a literary magazine?

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Thread: Does anyone know how hard it is to get published in a literary magazine?

  1. #1

    Does anyone know how hard it is to get published in a literary magazine?

    I've written the stories, done the countless revisions, bought the large envelopes and researched the publications. However, looking at these listings in the Writer's Market, these small university presses boast getting 500 submissions a month and accepting 5 new writers a year, in bold like it's a number worth having a positive jubilee over.

    Do these people exaggerate? Is it that hard to get into a small literary magazine? I have very limited cash right now, so spending money on high postage rates to be told I suck (if I even hear back) is a bit of a concern.

  2. #2
    its hard, sure. most journals get over a hundred stories per quarter and publish anywhere from one to four. the better journals (paris review, new yorker, zoetrope, etc if we're talking literary stuff) mostly publish stories passed on by agents. on the bright side, more and more journals are accepting stories electronically, so your postage concern shouldnt hold you back.

    submitting to magazines is a process. ive been doing it for something like 6 years. it took four to get an acceptance worth talking about, and im only now getting the exposure you hope to get from putting your work out there. still, if youre writing stories, you might as well get them out there. learn to accept rejection and so on.
    Writing cleaner than he lives.

  3. #3
    Member Ilasir Maroa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    On a pedestal of my own making
    Try submitting to some online markets. There are plenty of them, and many have good reputations. It can give you some credits under your belt, and show you were you are in regards to the quality of your work. They'll offer anywhere from nothing to pro rates, but the money you get isn't really teh point of submitting to literary magazines in the first place. Head on over to Duotrope Digest and run your criteria through their search engine. I'm sure a few good options will pop up.

    I just did a broad search, and 108 magzines with print or print/electronic publication and electronic submission popped up.
    "A plot-driven story is anything with a plot." ~BS
    All lines are arbitrary; otherwise, we wouldn't have to draw them. ~Nicholas Vesiri

  4. #4
    i agree. you need to get your work out there. i would stagger your submissions - send your best to higher end places, print mostly - and your not quite as sharp stuff to lower end venues. the world is rife with tales of stories getting rejected by faceless webzines only to get picked up by some classy, well-respected journal a week later. you never know, nor can you account for taste.

    bon chance!
    Writing cleaner than he lives.

  5. #5
    Yeah, you should try submitting your work to online literary magazines first. There are some really good ones out there like Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics that will definitely give you credentials. I saw a cool new one called LEGOMENON: What is the Meaning? | Online Literary Journal & Magazine that publishes non-fiction articles about the meaning of art, song lyrics, movies, etc. New online literary journals are looking for authors to work with, so if you're just starting out you might want to look at new publications first.


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