This article by Kim Winternheimer published on The Masters Review blog is an excellent discussion on how to strategically submit your work and includes great tips. The article is divided into 6 key sections, including:
- Top-Tier Publication Goals
- Staggering Submissions
- When To Call It Quits
- Submitting The Same Story To A Lit Mag That Already Rejected It
- Submitting to The Same Magazine With Different Work
- The Right Fit
“So it's hard. The New Yorker hasn't gotten back to you. Maybe we haven't gotten back to you, and there's that nagging question again: am I tackling submissions the right way?”
I appreciated Winternheimer’s approach to this article, which recognizes that there are indeed many submission strategies and many types of writers. And yes, submitting is hard–a lot of decision making, a lot of risks, some regret, lots of learning, tracking, and often, disappointment–but also, rewarding! There’s nothing like opening your email to an acceptance, and of course, there’s nothing more dull than sending withdrawals to all the markets simultaneously submitted.
I’m not a prolific writer, so I often wish I had more to submit. I do start with my top-tier/dream literary magazines and journals; and I do try hard to make sure the poems I’m sending are along the lines of the work I think they’d publish. Right now, with all the deadlines coming up, I’m dying of impatience, because I really don’t have anything to send out that hasn’t already been sent a bunch of times to publications at the top of my list, and I know from past experience, if I send to a mid-tier or lower-tier market and get accepted, I’m risking that one of those higher tier lit mags might have said yes. I am forcing myself to wait. I try to stay out of my Duotrope and Submittable accounts, and I’m trying to focus on writing new poems rather than obsessing over when I think I might hear back.
It’s almost the end of the year, so I’ll post my submission and blog stats soon–I pushed for top tier this year, which means my acceptance ratio is likely going to be way down. If you’re interested in seeing my previous year stats, you can find those here: 2017, 2016, 2015.
Click below to read the complete article and feel free to post in the comments below on your own submission strategies, what works or doesn’t work for you.
“The Masters Review is an online and in print publication celebrating new and emerging writers. We are on the lookout for the best new talent with hopes of publishing stories from writers who will continue to produce great work. We offer critical essays, book reviews by debut authors, contest deadlines, submissions info, and interviews with established authors, all with the hopes of bridging the gap between new and established writers.”
And they are a paying market for fiction. Their New Voices series is open year round with a focus on emerging writers. This category is always free to enter and pays up to $200 for selected stories.