How To Find Calls For Submission - Anthologies, Publisher Lines and Magazines
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How Do You Find Calls For Submission?
If you're at the point of your writing career where you're starting to look for places that're looking for work like yours - or you like to have some sort of brief to work to - you're probably on the look out for calls for submission in your genre.
If they seem thin on the ground, it might just be that you're not looking in the right places! This page offers some hints and tips for finding calls for submission in whatever genre or format you write in, listed in order of efficiency (at least, as far as I'm concerned!). Try the ones that seem most accessible for you and enjoy having a wealth of calls to choose from!
Subscribe to a Writing Jobs Aggregator
This is the easiest method. No one aggregator is likely to catch everything, but if you're following a couple you should get a good selection. See below for links to a few general ones that I've personally found useful.
Links to Writing Job/Calls for Submissions Aggregators
- Write Jobs
Write jobs is handy for both fiction calls and calls for freelance article writing, so if you're looking for both, don't hesitate to grab their RSS feed.
A Note on Looking for Calls For Submission Via Social Media
Aside from convenience and immediacy, following magazines and publishers that you're interested in working with on social media allows you to interact with them and show that you're engaged and really interested.
When it comes time to submit, it might just give you the edge over the competition if you seem like someone who's really interested in the publisher or magazine and switched on in the writing world.
This is especially important when submitting longer pieces, as you'll often be expected to do some promotional work of your own, and if you look like you're equipped for that, it'll improve your chances of being picked over someone who might be equally talented, but not seem as ready to do their part in helping the success of the finished product.
Following Publishers/Magazines on Twitter
Are you on Twitter? If you're serious about a writing career, you probably should be! The writing community there is vibrant and active, and as such a lot of publishers post their calls to Twitter - sometimes exclusively! Especially if you're in a niche genre, Twitter can help you connect with other like-minded folk and, just as importantly, the people who publish like-minded folk.
The really handy thing about Twitter is this, though: when you follow one or two publishers or magazines that you're interested in, you'll get an email a couple of days later that'll tell you about other, similar accounts you could follow! These recommendations are usually pretty accurate and useful, and they can help you expand your horizons with regard to the kinds of publishers and magazines you're looking to place work with.
Plus, you'll make a bunch of new writerly friends! The writing community on Twitter is very friendly.
Liking Publishers and Magazines on Facebook
Facebook - and I'm sure you use Facebook - is another great way to keep apprised of new calls for submission. 'Like' the fanpages of the publishers and magazines you're interested in to be kept up-to-date on calls and themes and everything else that's going on for them.
Because so many people use Facebook, very few businesses in general lack a Facebook page, and the writing business is no exception.
While you're there, set up a fanpage for yourself - after all, your new fans are going to want to find you!
Literary magazines and other magazines that publish pieces of fiction/themed articles often have blogs where they post their themes and calls for future editions.
Finding Calls Directly From Publishers
This is probably the most obvious way of finding calls for submission. If you're willing to regularly monitor the websites of the publishers you're interested in, and you know which publishers you're interested in already, then it's a good, simple way to go. Some points to consider using this method:
- Are you aware of all the good publishers in your genre? A good way to find more is to pay a visit to your local bookstore and check out who publishes the books that are like the stuff you write/want to write. Add those publishers to your list of places to check out so you'll have more choices, more often.
- If you have friends that are signed with publishers you're interested in, get them to watch out for calls for you. Publishers often have internal mailing lists where they announce calls first to their in-house authors. It could give you a head start and a better chance to finish a piece on time.
- Do the publishers you're interested in have a blog? They'll often post calls there. Grab the RSS feed and save yourself the trouble of checking manually all the time.
Finding Calls for Submission Through Word of Mouth
This method can be hit-and-miss, but if you have a lot of writerly friends or are willing to put in the effort of old-fashioned networking, the kinds of calls that will be brought to your attention by people you have things in common with are more likely to be the sort of thing you're looking for.
A lot of people will post these things to show their friends without having to be asked (I certainly do) but it also can't hurt to ask someone you know well to look out for things for you. Just like job hunting, really!
The benefit of this method is that while it yields less calls over all, you're more likely to be interested in more of the ones that come to your attention. If you're more interested in finding homes for pieces you're already working on than writing something from scratch, though, this is a great way to do it!
Finding The Method That's Best For You
Bear in mind that these are just general tips and things that have worked for me. You may find that all or none of them are suited to you, and you shouldn't follow them religiously if they're not helpful!
If you like reading writing blogs and keeping in touch with other writers and editors, great! Do that! If you're a social media butterfly, stick to what you know! If you're more the shy and retiring type, there's no shame in only looking at publisher's and magazine's websites and submitting based on what you find there. There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to looking for calls for submission. Try out a few options and keep what works. You might even discover something I haven't thought of!
Good luck for when you do start submitting things! I believe in you.