5 Tips for Submitting Pieces to Literary Magazines

by on November 28th, 2014
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Many writers consider submitting their works to literary review magazines and other publications. However, a lot of people are a bit fearful of the submissions process and the quality of their own writing. Such a combination can prevent many from actually submitting a piece to one of these publications. It is an issue that every writer must tackle, but the best word of advice is to just send in those submissions! With that in mind, here are some tips for anyone thinking about sending in short stories, poems, or anything else.

1. If you are in college, then always check out your college’s literary magazine!

College students are lucky because most universities have their own literary magazines that take student submissions. In most cases, only students or faculty at that school are allowed to be published in the magazine. A person will have a much better chance of being published here rather than a national publications. Also, this is a great place to start for anyone that has the opportunity. Without a doubt, having a piece accepted by one of these outlets is a tremendous starting point.

2. Always submit as many pieces as possible.

Most outlets will allow you to submit multiple poems, short stories, and other writings with varying caps. On that note, it is always a good idea for writers to send in as many pieces as possible. However, you should only do so if you already have the writings available. Creating a bunch of rushed works is not smart by any measure. If a magazine will take up to five short stories or five poems, then you should definitely send in that many should the material already exist in hand.

3. Keep short stories, poems, etc. on hand that are ready to submit.

For some reason, a lot of writers find out about literary magazines and then create different works to submit. It is a much better tactic to already have pieces written and prepared to send in. This involves a lot less time and can work as often as any other method. So then, keeping poems, short stories, and whatnot already handy can save a lot of time and effort. Plus, it could end up accepted and published.

4. Always look for feedback from publications.

Typically, a literary publication will receive too many submissions to really give many writers feedback. Some do not even give accepted authors any response as far as criticism is concerned. Still, writers should actively seek feedback from these outlets if it is possible. In some cases, an editor or whoever screens submissions will go out of his or her way to give someone a response when constructive criticism is requested.

5. Be careful about submitting the same piece to multiple publications.

Some writers tend to submit the same one work to more than one publication. That can be a smart tactic in the event that it is accepted by one outlet and rejected by all the others. However, many places will just publish a poem or short story without asking the writer much about it. Of course, this can be problematic if something is approved for publishing by multiple magazines or anthologies. They will be pretty ticked off if that particular poem or short story shows up in multiple places when it is supposed to only be published with them.

What are you waiting for?

In reality, you will be doing yourself no favors by waiting until you are comfortable submitting a piece or two to some outlet. Waiting means that you will not be getting any acceptances, rejections, or feedback. That is not good for a writer by any means. To be honest, submitting works to literary magazines and similar sources is a great way to create some name recognition and gain some great resume boosters. For hardcore writers, the gratification and success is a plus too.

For more information, visit Submitting Your Work for Publication.

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