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Literary Magazines: Why submit?
A Few of the thousands of Literary Magazines
So you've got stories, poems, essays and everything in between. You're happy with your hubpages account, your blog and your ebook, but, you're not getting the traffic you want--or need-- to make a living. Your words aren't being read by a wide enough audience.
What's next? How can you bring the seven billion eye balls around the world to your little website and your insignificant little book? What's going to attract those eyeballs to your work and not to the hundreds of millions of other books and websites available globally? You've Tweeted your little heart out, you've spammed your facebook page to tune of 30% of your "friends" "unfriending" you, you've Pinned until blood has been drawn, and you've Dugg until your muscles ached. You're a brilliant writer. you're the next Kurt Vonnegut, the next Dickinson, the next Capote. and no one knows who you are.
How do you change that?
There are numerous magazines throughout the world, some with extremely diverse content, others which are clearly niche (atheist Haiku, stories about cancer, zombie themed westerns, handwritten poems only, as a few REAL examples). Assuming you send one hundred submissions, you might get one acceptance. That one acceptance could be the one that launches you.
Furthermore, while their are some agents whom scour blogs and article sites for new writers, literary magazines are a great way to legitimize your work and put your work in the hands of like minded folks, namely, folks who want to read literature... including agents.
With all due respect, and as a blogger, anyone can have a blog. All it takes is an e mail address,a platform, and a little content. Not everyone can appear in a literary magazine. To appear in a literary magazine, you must submit your work and wait for an editor or group of editors to decide whether or not they want your work to appear in their pages. Most of the time, they say no. Sometimes, they say yes. In fact, in one week, I had FOUR magazines agree to publish my work. This was preceded by approximately two months with nothing but rejections. My work has been published in eFiction Magazine, the Bellwether Review, Hellroaring Review, Crisis Chronicles Cyber Lit Mag and The Rusty Nail. I have submitted to close to a hundred. Rejections don't mean you're a bad writer; it means your piece isn't ready or isn't right for that particular market.
At the risk of stepping on toes, literary magazines have more legitimacy and prestige, in the eyes of agents and "serious" purveyors of literature than a blog or other writing platform simply because of the exclusivity and apparent legitimacy. Fair or not, these are the rules of the game and to be seen as a serious writer, you must abide by those rules.
Not all literary magazines pay-- in fact, most don't and, if they do, it's a token payment ($20 or less). For awhile, I only submitted to magazines that paid. I soon realized that not only do magazines that pay reject more often, they were also few and far between. Did I want to be seen now and work to build a platform for future monetary and critical success or did I want to make a few dollars now? I decided name recognition was more important, and, while I've never been paid directly for my appearances in literary magazines, I have always had an uptick in blog and hubpage traffic, and in book sales, around the time of publication. My byline grows, my profile grows, my resume grows. These are all things that will help me succeed in my chosen profession. I now include my literary magazine publications in my portfolio which has help me to land numerous editing and ghost writing jobs-- good, honest work that helps me pay the bills until my creative career takes off.
In coming weeks, I will write a series of articles about how to select which magazines to submit to, how to submit, how to work with an editor upon submission and acceptance and even review some magazines you should consider submitting to and reading.
I am the managing editor for a literary magazine, eFictionHorror, and I have learned a lot as an editor and contributor through my experiences with the magazine. I want to share that wisdom with you and help you on your path to success.
It doesn't matter what you write or how long you've been writing... there's something for everyone in the world of literary magazines.
Until next time, tata.
Thanks for Reading.
PDXKaraokeGuy, also known as Justin W. Price, is an author with Sweatshoppe Publications, which will soon re-release his poetry collection, Digging to China. Additionally, the managing editor at eFiction horror and The New Bridge online newspaper.. Husband to Andrea, father to two dogs. writer.poet.baseball fan. tattooed. He is am amateur theologian with a rabid sweet tooth. He resides in a suburb of Portland, Oregon.He has a poetry book available for Amazon Kindle, and also maintains a blog, FirstBlog. His work has been featured in the Crisis Chronicles, efiction Magazine, The Hellroaring Review, the Bellwether Review, eFiction Humor, and the Rusty Nail. Please visit his profile page for more information. Thanks!
Check out the rest of the series.
- Literary Magazines: How to Submit
Once you know which literary magazine to submit too, what's the next step? What's the best way to do it to increase your chances of acceptance/
Duotrope. The Definitive Literary Magazine Listing
A listing of writing contests and literary magazines.