Do you ever wish you had a crystal ball that could predict which literary magazine editors will love your creative writing submission so much they’ll be thrilled to publish it?
Well, friends, Writer’s Relief knows that the only surefire way to find out if a literary magazine editor loves your writing is to send a submission! Here are a few key strategies that can help improve your odds of connecting with literary magazine editors who will not only love your writing but—more important—be more likely to publish it!
5 Strategies To Help You Connect With The Best Editor For Your Short Stories, Poems, And Essays
Learn the rules of the game. The publishing industry has its own etiquette. Literary magazine editors “read between the lines” of submissions and they can often hear the things writers don’t realize they’re actually saying. (Read: 5 Things Your Writing Submissions Say About You Without Your Knowing.) The only way to get an insider’s view of the industry is to immerse yourself in it. Reading this blog is a good place to start; joining a writing group, taking a class—these are also good options. To connect with the right literary journal editor, cultivate your own professional sensibilities as a writer.
Submit a lot. We mean a LOT. Connecting with a literary journal editor for a given poem, story, or essay is a lot like connecting with the right person on a dating website. The only thing is, there are fewer literary magazine editors looking for writing than there are singles looking for love. So that means you have to be prepared to submit waaaaay more vigorously than you ever thought possible. Here at Writer’s Relief, we recommend our clients submit to at least 100 markets before going back to square one for a given submission.
Don’t preempt your submissions. Give an editor a chance to see it first. You may be tempted to think: This editor might not like my setting; that editor might think the submission is too short. But thinking like that will make you miss out on a lot of great opportunities. Leave it up to the editors to decide whether or not to publish your writing. Remember: Editors are editors because they want to read submissions from writers like you!
Take a chance. You might not believe the poem you’ve written is a 100% guaranteed shoo-in for a given literary journal; in fact, you might be convinced that the editor will likely send you a rejection letter. But you never know who is reading behind the scenes at a literary journal on any given day. Mastheads regularly change; interns and volunteer readers come and go. You may not know who exactly will be reading your work, so don’t make assumptions.
Call in reinforcements. A rigorous submission strategy—one that gets results—is a HUGE investment of time, focus, and energy (not to mention deep emotional resources!). Add to that all of the time, focus, energy, and emotional resources you need to actually write—and you might find yourself on the brink of writer burnout at the day’s end.
If you find that maintaining a strong submission strategy is too much to handle, don’t beat yourself up. You’re not alone. Help is available.
Check out the different submission assistance programs at Writer’s Relief available to suit any budget. Our submission experts have been helping writers make effective, ethical submissions since 1994.
Question: What element is most challenging to you on our list?