Submitting Your Work to a Literary Magazine

Literary magazines will always have a pile of submissions to deal with. So, what they’d really want to do first is to get rid of the unnecessary ones. About 90 percent of the literary works that are submitted to these magazines are rejected in this process.

Let’s say submit your work to a magazine accepting unsolicited writing. The first thing that they’ll do is look for reasons to reject you. Now, this surely seems quite unfair, but writers have made some fundamental errors in the past which led to this. So, make sure that you don’t make such mistakes.

Choose the right magazine

There are hundreds of publications out there. This makes it absolutely essential to pick the right ones for the submission of your work. If you’ve never sent your work to a publisher before, choose the lesser-known magazines. Although this looks like a good start, do check out their previous issues.

As your works get published in such magazines, you’ll build a good portfolio. This will give you the confidence to send your work to the renowned magazines.

Check for the magazine’s genre or style

Never waste your precious time submitting your works to places where they don’t belong. Every literary magazine will have its own editorial focus and style. Visit the website of each magazine and go through their mission statement and previous issues. See whether your style of writing matches their preferences and ethos.

There are some who may state very clearly that they’re only looking out for a particular genre or style. Believe what they’re saying and move on to a different publication. Never be under the impression that you can change the publishers’ minds with your writing.

Go through the submission guidelines carefully and follow them

It won’t be a good idea to simply collect email addresses of publishers and send them your works. There are certain instructions that the publishers have for writers sending their submissions. All these instructions will be mentioned on the publishers’ websites.

If you don’t follow these instructions, there are high chances of your story not getting read. It is, therefore, absolutely important to follow the submission guidelines. Following them will be a sign of your professionalism. It also gives the impression that you respect the magazine’s publishers.

Submit only completed works

There are many new writers who make the mistake of sending stories that are not yet ready for publishing. They do this in the hope that one of the magazines might give the story a chance. By doing this, they’ll be simply wasting their time. The editors of magazines get a lot of submissions in a day. So, it’s quite unlikely that they’ll spend time reading your story and making changes to it.

This is why it’s very important to send a work that’s complete and reviewed properly. This is a painful process and needs to be done without haste. Your final draft must be polished and make for a good read. If you go through your finished work and see that there’s room for improvements, it isn’t ready.

When sending your work to the magazines, it’s crucial to keep certain things in mind. First is to submit a carefully-prepared draft to one literary magazine. This will be much better than submitting unprepared drafts to many magazines.

It is also essential to prepare yourself for rejections. Getting rejected doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a bad writer. It only means that you’re one of the other writers on their journey.

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