Tools Every Writer Needs
Getting published is the goal of any writer whether it's a poem, short story, play, essay, piece of non-fiction, or novel. It's also one of the hardest goals to have. The writing world is highly competitive because everyone thinks they're a poet or a short story writer. The world of slushing for literary journals is more difficult than you'd think because, well, most of the pieces are crap. Seriously.
So I'm going to give you a couple of tips and tricks to get published in this world where luck is pretty much your best friend.
1. Use Duotrope.com. If you don't have an account there, register now. It's the most useful resource for any writer looking for publication. They have a very large database of literary journals in print and electronic forms. You can search, browse, weed out publications that are not open for submissions, etc. It's a powerful tool and the best part: SUBMISSIONS TRACKER. Use this. It'll tell you where you've submitted to, what you submitted to them, how long it's been out, etc. It's a really great tool and it's helps add to the site's statistics on acceptance rates, how long it takes publishers to respond, etc. It's a fantastic tool and if you don't use it, start now.
2. Edit. Please edit. Send it to your friends to edit it. Do everything you can to have a polished, beautiful piece. Make it the best you possibly can. No one wants sloppy metaphors and typos. Edit edit edit!!!!
3. Title. Title your pieces. Titles should serve 2 purposes: a.) To serve as a hook to make your reader WANT to read your piece and b.) To deepen the overall meaning of the piece. Make your title work for you, not against you. Using a cliche title is not going to make your publisher want to read your piece and it's probably not doing anything for your work either. Put some thought into it. The title is really important.
These were just a few simple tips for getting published. It's not even close to everything you need to know but it's basic things that people forget or don't know about. Good Luck!!!