Things To Remember When Submitting Writing For Publication
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Things To Remember When Submitting Writing For Publication

Don't give up.

8
Things To Remember When Submitting Writing For Publication
Lia Leslie

So, you've decided to submit a piece of your writing for publication. First of all, congratulations! This takes a lot of confidence to commit to. Whether it's an essay, short story, poem, or something else, preparing a piece of writing (and yourself) in regards to publication can be a very stressful task. As someone who has had a few works published in the last couple years, I'm here to share some tips for others who might just be getting their feet wet. I'm by no means an expert, but I have learned some valuable lessons so far, and I'd like to share them with you here.

1. Be Serious, But Calm

Sending your work off for other people to judge can be terrifying. It's a difficult choice to decide to put yourself out there like that, and it should be taken seriously. Try to make your work the best it can be before you submit it anywhere. If you don't believe in it, the editors of whatever journal or literary magazine you've reached out to will probably be able to see it. Have other people read your writing and give you feedback before you submit anything. Sometimes writers can get so involved in their own words that they can't look at them objectively anymore. And you really don't want to have a friend read a story you've already submitted for publication and notify you of a massive grammatical error that you completely overlooked.

All that being said, you can still take your work seriously while not letting stress and fear totally consume you. I remember practically shaking when writing out my first email to a publisher with my work attached, and constantly refreshing my inbox all day waiting for a response. Submitting work for publication is not the end of the world. You'll survive it. Achieving this balance between solemnity and peace might take a while, but it's important to find. Know that your work has value and is worthy of publication, but also know that the outcome, whatever it is, will not kill you.

2. Be Short, Sweet, and To The Point

When sending your work to publishers, most will request a cover letter or bio of some sort from you. In my experience, these do not have to be massive litanies of achievements, or memoirs. Most literary magazines receive a lot of submissions daily, and are just looking for basic information. Most don't want long explanations from you about what you've submitted. Let the work speak for itself, and simply provide them with the information they ask for. If they don't spell out everything in detail, it's best to stick with the basics--a short hello, a mention of what you've submitted (as in, "attached is a short story/poem/whatever for your consideration"), and a thank you. That's it. Unless they ask for more, following this template has worked for me in situations where I'm not sure exactly what to say.

3. Read Submission Guidelines

This might seem like an obvious one, but it needs to be stressed. READ. SUBMISSION. GUIDELINES. Not following the guidelines that the publication has specifically spelled out is the quickest way to get your submission deleted. Do they ask for a 50 word bio? Then give it, and not a word more. If they don't ask for a bio, don't give it. If they want one from you, they'll ask. Read the guidelines, then read them again. Follow them. Format your submission how they ask for it to be formatted. Give them all the information they ask for, and nothing they don't. Familiarize yourself with a publication's guidelines before you do anything else. This is for your own good.

4. Be Patient

Response times vary. Be prepared to wait. Be prepared to wait a while. Don't query asking what happened to your submission until the designated time (this information will likely be a part of the submission guidelines). Publications have a lot of work to sift through. Don't be like I was, and refresh your email 20 times a day every day for weeks while you wait for a response. It'll drive you crazy. Be patient and respectful of the publication's time. Write other things. Carry on.

5. Be Prepared for Rejection

It can be difficult to wait for six months for a response only to get a rejection. We as writers often can have our own personal sense of worth tied up in our writing. Having that one short story that means the world to you rejected is hard to deal with. But look at it this way--now you have more time to polish that piece, and to find the one place where it will be a perfect fit. It's not the end of the world. Rejection is just an opportunity to keep trying. Failure teaches us to persevere. Keep writing. Try again.

It takes immense strength to submit your writing for publication. But you can do it. Take yourself and your work seriously, but most of all, have courage, and don't give up.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

8 Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Your Long-Distance Partner

Looking for a gift idea for your long-distance Valentine's date this year? Here are some creative, thoughtful gifts for you!

10002
Photo by Ben Collins on Unsplash

As Valentine's Day approaches, I realized that it's the first Valentine's Day I have had with my boyfriend that we're more than 6,000 miles apart. Despite the distance though, my mind has been reeling over what to get him, as one of my main love languages is gift-giving. So here are some ideas that I've seen that I think would be perfect for any relationship, whether you're together or apart.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure how to write this article.

In the past, I've written about the lies we tell ourselves. I've written about how thoughts can be destructive, how they can have power over who we are.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Put Down Your Phone And Read These 8 Statistics About Texting And Driving You Wish Didn't Exist

We text all the time, so it's no surprise you may find yourself wanting to pick up your phone even when you're driving.

3615

You're driving to the grocery store when your phone buzzes in your pocket. You instinctively reach to check it, but it can wait until you park. These are eight statistics to read before you text and drive because they'll change how you view your time on the road.

Everyone's made the mistake of looking at their phone while in the driver's seat, but not everyone gets home safely afterward. Learn why it's better to avoid distracted driving so you don't become one of these statistics this year:

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Have An Eating Disorder And I Refuse To Let It Kill Me

Even at my lowest, the number on the scale never seemed low enough... but was it ever worth the risk of losing my life?

2435
Trigger warning: This article discusses topics that may be triggering for some readers.

I looked down at my thumb today. I know haven't been eating enough. I told everyone I would get all my vitamins and calories in. I totally wanted to eat more of the guacamole I bought the other day, but I counted what I had eaten and those numbers seemed a little too high. I decided I didn't need the extra helping, so I went to bed and the guacamole went bad.

Keep Reading... Show less

When pursuing a degree that most deem 'useless' or a 'waste of time' there happens to be a lot of self-doubt and fear, especially with the pending doom of graduation around the corner. I remember when I was about to graduate from college with a Bachelor's in Acting, I was absolutely terrified.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

TikTok Made Me Buy It: Flawless's Skincare Fridge

I bought and tested one of TikTok's popular products so you don't have to.

103050

I spend a lot of time on TikTok and I never know whether the products I see are worth it or not, especially when I'm looking at the price. For Christmas, my aunt got me a gift card to Ulta. I didn't know what to buy. I have way too many palettes and lipsticks. I have my essentials. What else could I need? Then it hit me that I saw a lot of people these past few months showing off their skincare fridges. So, the second I thought of it I went on the Ulta app and bought it. So, here are my thoughts.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

37 Cute And Unique Pinterest Board Titles

Let's be real, the hardest part about Pinterest is thinking of a cute title for your board.

54669

I don't know about anyone else but I have recently become re-obsessed with Pinterest. Like, I am spending a stupid amount of time on Pinterest daily now. While I have been binging Pinterest I have found that I love making cute and aesthetic boards but it is SO hard to come up with a name to match it. So, I scoured the internet and my brain for you. Happy pinning!

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

This Is What Type Of Person You Are Based On Your Favorite Cereal

Your cereal preference reveals more than you think.

34495
Photo by Nyana Stoica on Unsplash

Whether you eat cereal for breakfast or a late-night snack, you probably have a favorite. Little did you know that what you prefer says a lot about your personality.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments