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    Who Wants to Publish Your Short Stuff?

    Posted Posted by Guest Writer in The Submission Process     Comments 18 comments

    TL;DR version: We have a guest writer this week, Windy Lynn Harris, author of the new release Writing & Selling Short Stories & Personal Essays: The Essential Guide to Getting Your Work PublishedWindy has stopped by to share some of her wisdom on the topic, including where to find markets for your short work and how to match your writing to the right publications. In the comments section, she wants to hear about what you’re working on and what sort of target publications you have in mind.


    There’s plenty of information available about how to get a book published, but what about all of the other great things you write? What about those short stories and personal essays? Short pieces get published every single day of the week. How can you get in on the fun? One of the biggest hurdles for writers is answering the question: Who wants to publish a story like mine?

    Let’s start by looking at the whole market. Many types of magazines acquire short stories and essays, including literary, consumer, genre, and small-circulation magazines. Some newspapers print essays, especially travel and lifestyle essays. read more

    On Writing For Free

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in The Submission Process     Comments 2 comments


    Today we want to get you fine folks talking about an issue we receive a ton of questions about: writing for free.

    Last week I went to a panel at Kickstarter HQ titled “How to Pay Your Writers,” in which editors/publishers from BOMB, Guernica and Unidentified Funny Objects discussed when and how much they pay their writers, how they raise funds, and whether or not they get paid themselves. You can read my piece about the discussion at Publishing Perspectives.

    Of particular note was a comment made by Lisa Lucas, publisher at Guernica, who talked about angry contributors who complain to her about writing for free: “Writers actually need to check it a little because so many of these editors are making nothing. At what point is editing not art? The identification [of quality work], the nurturing—you would never tell a midwife that she should work for free because you’re the person giving birth.”

    The implication was that most, if not all, of Guernica’s editorial staff works for free, and that the magazine’s contributors fail to appreciate this fact. “We’re all exploited here,” Lucas said.

    read more

    3 More Cover Letter Don’ts

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in The Submission Process     Comments 13 comments
    Scout was afraid of bad cover letters, too.

    Scout, hiding from cover letter don’ts under a table.

    Last week we wrote about some cover letter don’ts, including the importance of doing at least a minor amount of research before submitting to a literary magazine. Today we’re offering a quick roundup of a few more no-nos.

    Because again, while you’re unlikely to be rejected based solely on your cover letter, a crappy cover letter leaves a crappy first impression, and you don’t want an editor, upon entering the world of your beautiful writing, to be carrying a crappy first impression.

    Equate your cover letter with the first few seconds of a job interview

    Your resume and bona fides, your verbal eloquence, your brilliant time- and money-saving ideas for the company–all of this can be undone before it’s even done if you show up late, unkempt, with a turkey ‘n’ pesto sandwich on your face and a string of TP stuck to your shoe. Your resume, communication skills, etc.–in our case, your writing, the submission itself–is what gets you hired, but if your first impression (cover letter) sucks, well, you ain’t gettin’ the job. read more

    Dear Sirs: A Cover Letter No-No

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in The Submission Process     Comments 21 comments

    Dear SirsDuring the five or so years I worked at Fringe Magazine I was the only dude on staff. Fringe was created by an immensely talented band of women who were tired of, among other things, the attention heaped on the writings of so many white male writers (particularly the dead ones).

    Fringe’s first theme issue was Feminism.

    So when a literary journal is staffed almost exclusively by women, and is particularly interested in matters related to gender, addressing a submission to “Dear Sirs” is like shooting yourself right in the ol’ onions.

    But that’s what many, many dozens of writers did during my tenure there. I don’t have hard evidence to back up the following assertion, but I’m fairly confident in saying that we accepted 0% of them. read more