Submitting to Journals

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Thread: Submitting to Journals

  1. #1

    Submitting to Journals

    I feel the need for repeated written rejection, so I have decided to submit some of my work to journals. I have poked all over the interwebs and found many pieces of good advice about how to do this:

    Follow the submission guidelines for the journal in question. Actually read the journals you are submitting to so that you can send each piece to a journal well suited to it. Be succinct in cover letters. Don't be a jerk. Don't be shocked when you get rejected, and don't be a jerk.

    I have started down the road on pretty much all of those pieces of the process, at least as best I can. Some of the more fancy-schmancy journals that I need to read on dead trees are temporarily not available to me, as our extremely good local library has been open in only reduced form or (more recently) closed entirely as they move into a drastically remodeled and expanded space to be even more extremely gooder. That is fine, as I am wanting to proceed diligently I am not in any need to hurry. Reading in August and submitting in September (and getting rejected in, like, March of next year, as I understand the process) won't really cause me any problems.

    I know that many here have submitted to journals, and some have even gotten published in said journals. I searched for a thread devoted to this topic, but I didn't find one (which doesn't mean it isn't there). Does anyone have any thoughts, experiences, or suggestions on the journal submission process?

    BTW, while getting paid vast sums of money by journals would be nice and all, I gather that is not a likely outcome here. My objective is to start slowly building a reputation and a body of work, so that when I am ready to shop or self-publish a novel or some such thing I can have a track record of greater than zero in writing.

    Thanks!
    Wisdom is seldom boisterous.

    -- a guy I know --

    If you're into hillbilly themed pornography (and, really, who ISN'T these days?), check out Hidden Content and Hidden Content . There's no pornography, but everything IS written by a hillbilly.

  2. #2
    I've been submitting for nearly a year now. So far I've collected 11 months of continuous form rejections. Getting published is hard work.

    But, I'm not giving up. I keep writing, and I keep submitting, and my stories seem to be taking longer and longer to get rejected—which is something I consider a good sign. Hopefully, it means they're at least making it past the first round of slush readers.

    Duotrope is a search engine with a listing of thousands of short fiction markets out there. I use it every day to find what publications I want to send my stories to. Though, you do have to pay a monthly (or yearly) membership fee to use the services.

    If your objective isn't money, but building credits, you might want to start at the lower-tier publications. These are the non-payers, the token payers, and the semi-pro mags. They tend to have higher acceptance rates and can be a good way to build publishing credits for yourself.

    The pro-rates publications are really hard to get into (at least for me). Most of them average a 95% rejection rate, or higher.

  3. #3
    Thanks, Kyle!

    My tentative approach is to take two or three pieces that I think have a 3% (as opposed to a 1%) chance of acceptance at a top tier journal and send those out to outfits nearish to the top of the pyramid. I figure that I can then blanket some of the lower tier journals with my creative ramblings.

    Oh, and congratulations on your 11 months of rejections! That is much further down this road than most of us make it. One of the lessons that I have learned in life is that most success comes from sticking around.
    Wisdom is seldom boisterous.

    -- a guy I know --

    If you're into hillbilly themed pornography (and, really, who ISN'T these days?), check out Hidden Content and Hidden Content . There's no pornography, but everything IS written by a hillbilly.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by InstituteMan View Post
    Thanks, Kyle!

    My tentative approach is to take two or three pieces that I think have a 3% (as opposed to a 1%) chance of acceptance at a top tier journal and send those out to outfits nearish to the top of the pyramid. I figure that I can then blanket some of the lower tier journals with my creative ramblings.

    Oh, and congratulations on your 11 months of rejections! That is much further down this road than most of us make it. One of the lessons that I have learned in life is that most success comes from sticking around.
    this is a free version of a duotrope type of site. duotrope has more, as far as detailed help in the process and record keeping...but as far as
    a search engine on submitting to journals, magazines, and such.....this works and it's free......

    http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/Search.aspx

    there's also sites like this one that may help.......

    http://www.pw.org/literary_magazines
    "Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.”

  5. #5
    Hi InstituteMan,
    Sounds like the advice you've already received is good, and I don't have a lot to add. I think the part about reading the journals to which you're submitting is key; fit is just as important as quality. The good journals receive huge numbers of submissions and have to reject good stories all the time, so don't get too discouraged. Just send the stories back out and keep writing new ones.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Thanks, Dale. Those are useful links.

    lasm, thank you for the encouragement. I have received enough encouragement here to think (hope?) that I have enough fortitude to withstand the inevitable rejections.
    Wisdom is seldom boisterous.

    -- a guy I know --

    If you're into hillbilly themed pornography (and, really, who ISN'T these days?), check out Hidden Content and Hidden Content . There's no pornography, but everything IS written by a hillbilly.

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