Even if the Winter Solstice doesn’t arrive until December 21st, I can’t shake the feeling that it’s officially Winter. The Christmas trees are up, holiday music plays through every radio station imaginable, final exams approach our calendars quietly, and the time to write is far and spaced between. It is difficult to write at such a hectic time of year, and although I encourage you to do so despite it, I understand that, under the circumstances, it can be near impossible. But hey, don’t lose hope. Fall and winter are the prime seasons to submit your already-completed pieces to publishers– calls for submissions are reverberating from every direction, and literary magazines are starving for new, original work. So, ’tis the season! Why ignore it?
Local poetry and short story competitions have opened up in chain reactions, and organizations such as Scholastic are accepting submissions from students across the nation. With so many opportunities at hand, it’s imperative that both experienced and inexperienced writers take advantage of them. However, submitting work can prove to be difficult for those who view their artistry as inferior (I explain the “Am-I-Good-Enough?” phenomenon in a previous post, which you can find here). If you’re one of those people, I encourage you to realize that the magic of submitting to different publications is not about stressing over the responses; after all, the worst they can do is say no. The feeling of trying is much more potent and uplifting than the feeling of not trying at all. Your primary goal should be to get your work noticed, whether it is rejected or accepted into a publication. Want to know the best advice I can give you? Always keep trying.
The key to submitting is organization. Keep the guidelines of each publication separate and in order; if you have to use folders to help you with this, by all means, do what works for you. Before you send out your pieces (whether via email or snail mail) make sure that the requirements for submitting to each publication are met. For example, some publications prohibit your name to be printed on the front page of the piece as you send it out. Other publications require a cover letter. If you do not meet the requirements for the publication you are submitting to, your submission will most likely be dropped and disqualified.
I am always available to answer your questions and provide advice. As always, my very own submissions page on this website accepts your submissions year round. Simply complete the form, and I will give you meaningful feedback, as well as the opportunity for your work to be displayed on its own, designated page.
Keep writing and let’s get published!