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More people are reading publications on mobile devices, so literary journals are following their readership and moving online. At Writer’s Relief, we know even well-respected, established print journals are publishing exclusively online to reduce costs. By submitting your writing to online literary journals, you have the best odds of getting your work in front of the largest audience. Here are more great reasons to submit writing to online literary journals.
13 Reasons To Submit Writing To Online Literary Journals
- More trees are saved! Online publishing is eco-friendly! No paper means no need to harvest trees.
- Your writing will be searchable. Once you’re published in an online literary journal, you’ll show up in Google search results—so readers, editors, and literary agents will be able to find you easily. It’s a great way to build your author reputation and online presence.
- Online publications are linkable. When your writing is published in a print journal, interested readers will have to buy that journal and wait for its arrival. But with an online publication credit, you can put a live link on your author website and make your work immediately accessible to a wider audience. You can also include a live link in your social media posts to bring your writing right to your followers’ fingertips.
- The benefits of working with editors. Whether the journal is print or online, you still get the benefit of working one-on-one with an editor. This is especially valuable for writers who are working to hone their craft, because any type of feedback from editors is a rare gift, no matter how long you’ve been writing!
- Great self-promotion opportunities. Many online journal editors are willing to link to your author website, or even other publications featuring your work. You’ll be able to use your bio info to cross-promote your published writing to an entirely new group of readers who are more likely to become fans and followers!
- No publishing history? No degree? No problem! While all literary magazines will be interested in a well-written piece, online literary journals tend to be more open to work from any writer—and more likely to judge the writing based solely on its merit. There’s less need to reserve space for better-known writers in order to justify subscription prices.
- Less expensive subscription costs—or totally free! Print journals can be pricey (they need to recoup the cost of printing and mailing), but online journals are often free, or only charge a nominal fee. Your writing will have the potential to reach a much wider audience when it’s available online at no cost to readers.
- Better longevity. An issue of a print journal usually has only one print run, and back issues may go out of print, while an online publication often stays on the Internet indefinitely. Your writing will be readily available to readers no matter how long ago it was published!
- Connect with fans. Many literary journals allow readers to comment on individual pieces—so if someone reads your writing and loves it, it’s easier for them to let you know! You can also engage with other writers who may have questions or want to discuss your work further. And for writers, building a community of peers is always a good idea!
- Availability. Sadly, many bookstores simply don’t carry literary journals anymore. Unless your potential readers are also subscribers to the journal publishing your work, they’ll never get a chance to read it. But work that is published in an online literary magazine is available to anyone who has access to the Internet! Since they’re not limited by printing budgets, online literary journals can publish more issues per year—which offers you more opportunities to get your work accepted.
- Awards and accolades. Online literary journals nominate for the same prestigious awards and prizes as print journals. If you receive a Pushcart Prize nomination, it isn’t any less of an honor if it came from an online journal. Insider tip: Since not every writer is savvy to the benefits of online literary journals, you may have less competition for their awards!
- A bonus when querying literary agents. A publishing credit in an online literary magazine is definitely worth mentioning in your query letter—especially if it’s for an excerpt of the book you’re querying! You can also easily provide online links to any literary agent interested in reading more samples of your writing.
- Boost your self-published collection. When self-publishing a collection of poetry, short stories, or essays, you’ll want to acknowledge all prior publications for the pieces in your collection. Online journals allow you to include links to these publications, and may even promote your collection in return—one of the many benefits of cross-promotion!
Easy Tips For Vetting An Online Literary Journal
Use a trusted service. With such a wide array of journals available, it’s a good idea to get some help in vetting these outlets—especially if you’re new to sending out submissions! At Writer’s Relief, our research experts carefully vet every literary journal so that our clients are sending submissions to reputable publications that are well suited for their work. Check out this free list of some of our favorites!
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of spending hours sifting through literary journal websites to find the ones right for you—and to eliminate all those that are NOT right for you—Writer’s Relief can help! We track thousands of literary journals and can quickly pinpoint those that will offer you the best odds of getting an acceptance. To be considered for our client list, send your writing sample to our Review Board today!
Check out the editors. If you’re wary of submitting to an online-only journal, research the editors to learn about their experience in the publishing industry. Have they been published themselves? Did they work at another prestigious journal? Do the editors demonstrate a passion for writing?
Read the journal. Before submitting to a journal, you should always read a few issues to see whether your style will be a good fit. If you don’t think the work is high quality, cross that journal off your list.
Look at the website. Spend some time reviewing the online journal’s website. Is it easy to navigate? Do you like how it looks? Do all of the pages and links work?
Check for award nominations. Literary journals—print or online—must meet certain stringent criteria in order to nominate pieces for awards such as The Pushcart Prize or Best New American Voices. If you see that an online journal is able to make these nominations, that’s a great sign.
Get Help Finding Reputable Online Literary Journals
At Writer’s Relief, we know researching online markets can be tricky and overwhelming for many writers. If you feel like you’re in over your head, Writer’s Relief can create a targeted submission list based on your writing style and genre. Submit your work to our Review Board today and boost your odds of getting published!
Question: Which online literary journal is your favorite?