Are you a creative writer? Do you have work that you want to get published, but you have no idea how?
Here are a few tips to help you on the road to publication:
1. Get a Submittable account. Submittable is free, and allows you to submit work for publication online, which a lot of literary journals prefer. It makes submitting super easy and is very user friendly. Most publications have a website and in their Submission Guidelines, there may be a link to their Submittable. If you have an account, you can upload your work easily.
2. Check out Poets and Writers. Not only is it a great organization, but it is the easiest way to figure out where to send your stuff. Click “Tools for Writers” and you will find a whole bunch of great information. There is a search engine for publications and you can narrow it by what type of work you do in order to see who is looking for submissions of your type of writing. Be sure to check out “Grants and Awards” as well. Most literary journals don’t pay, though that should not discourage you from them. It’s how all the greats got started. But if you want to see if you can make some money, look into submitting to literary contests.
3. Get subscriptions or back issues. A lot of journals have a package deal where if you submit for something, or buy their new issue, you will get a back issue for free. This means that there will be a lot of great work to read, but also you can get a feel for different types of journals and what they like to publish. This is the best way to know if your work is right for someone. If you can’t afford this, look at their websites. Some have work up there that you can read.
4. Check for “simultaneous submissions.” Journals want to have exclusive rights to your work. But that doesn’t mean that you can only send one story, poem or essay to one place at a time. Publications that allow for simultaneous submissions allow you to send your work to as many places as possible, but you have to let them know if something has been accepted for publication elsewhere so that they can remove your submission from consideration. What this really means, though, is that you can send your work out to a lot of places at once and increase your chances.
5. Send out as much as possible as often as possible. While writing good work is important, making sure to put yourself out there is equally so. It may be discouraging because the more you send out, the more rejections you will get. But overall, you are increasing your chances of publication. And you are getting eyes on your work, which is a great thing.