Friday, January 22, 2010

Writer’s Block: Submitting Polished Work to Literary Magazines

In yesterday’s post, part of a series about what to do when you experience writer’s block, I recommended that you keep track of authors, publishing houses, agents, and editors that you like in order to prepare yourself to submit to have your book published.

The first step is to submit to literary magazines, publish and build your list of publications. I recommend starting at an independent bookstore. This will help you to find the local and major literary magazines.

Here are some additional online and print outlets that will help you to better find and research literary magazines. I can’t stress enough the importance of reading a copy of the magazine (online or in print) before submitting. You’ll have a better sense of what the publication is looking for and whether or not you’d like your words to appear there. A good time to focus on this task is when you are feeling a dip in your creativity, writer's block.

Start with New Pages. This online portal reviews literary magazines, lists calls for submissions and more.

Duotrope’s Digest is a search engine that allows you to search for publication outlets by genre, payment, submission type (online or print) and more.

When you find a literary magazine that you like, read through the entire website. Click on the links to other magazines that they recommend. This will help to broaden your knowledge of the options.

Poets & Writer’s Magazine is the trade magazine that I recommend you read regularly. Their website also has a very complete list of literary magazines.

The Writer’s Chronicle, produced by AWP, also offers publishing opportunities. This magazine focuses more on the craft of writing than the business of writing.

As I described recently, The Yahoo Creative Writer’s Opportunities List will email you regular calls for submissions.

Be aware of publishing opportunities that charge you to publish. Research each opportunity fully. It is common, for example, for first poetry book publishing contests to charge a fee. In this case, you will often receive a year’s subscription to the magazine or a copy of the issue with the winners. You should beware of paying a fee to automatically have your pieces or manuscripts published. I will blog more about this in the next few weeks.

Good luck! These websites are just a few places to start. There are many, many other possibilities. What are your favorite sites for submission opportunities?

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