By Arthur Klepchukov
Hi, I’m Art and I love to submit my writing. In the past three years:
- I’ve made over 300 submissions (135 in 2018 alone),
- earned publications in short fiction and nonfiction—in print and online,
- started publishing my rejections, and
- begun a deeper dive into a literary community awash with ideas that may not fit into traditional publishing.
Do you remember walking up to the magazines section of a cozy bookstore and seeing the literary journals for the first time? They’re too thick to be magazines, hold too many words to skim or flip through, and the covers aren’t even trying to sell you the latest gossip!
I didn’t know where to start.
That’s why many talented folks with great drafts don’t bother. It seems intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some fundamentals I picked up.
- Where do you submit? Wherever you want to be published. How do you decide that? You read for submission—which isn’t reading everything, but being picky, like a slush reader—until you find yourself reading for pleasure.
- What do you submit? Your absolute best and challenge yourself to write better.
- How do you submit? Make submission guidelines into a checklist, write a brief cover letter, and track everything you send out.
- When do you submit? Twenty-four hours before the deadline (time zones hurt).
- Why do you submit? You have to answer that one yourself.
- Why do I submit? Because trying to break into markets run on breadcrumbs and out of love will put you in touch with people who share words they believe in with everyone they can reach. Because short stories, poems, and essays have so much to say and novels take so long to write. Because reading what others are writing today shouldn’t be relegated to critique groups. And because I want to be read.
If any of this is surprising or you want to dive deeper, see everything I’ve learned on my Learn to Submit page.