Would you like to start submitting your work to literary magazines but don’t quite know how to even begin? Or perhaps you are unsure if you are making the right first impression with editors. This wonderful guide for writers seeking to get their work into print comes from the editorial team at Neon, a UK-based literary magazine published every quarter.
If you are looking for places to submit your work to be sure to get out our latest Opportunities for Writers post or see our list 9 Literary Magazines for New and Unpublished Writers.
This article is designed to be a complete and thorough guide for anyone who is interested in having their short story or poem published in a literary magazine, but doesn’t know where to start. You’ll probably find it most useful if you’ve never sent out your work before, or if you’re just beginning to try and get published. This guide is also quite specific to literary magazines. If you’re looking to publish an article, interview, review or feature then the process is quite different. If however it’s a short story, poem or other piece of creative writing that you want to publish, read on!
Step 1: Find A Suitable Publication
The first step is to find a magazine that you’d like to be published in, and which publishes the kind of thing you write. There are thousands of different literary magazines in the world, and each has its own unique tone and style. Familiarising yourself with a magazine by reading a few back issues greatly increases your chances of being able to publish your work there – and also helps support the magazine itself! If you can’t afford to buy a copy of the magazine, many have samples available to read for free on their websites.To help you find the right magazine for your work, there are a number of resources available. Duotrope’s Digest is by far the most comprehensive – for a small monthly fee you get access to a searchable database of over 2000 different literary magazines. Ralan.com,
PoetryKit and Neon‘s own list of UK-based magazines are also worth browsing.
Step 2: Read And Follow The Guidelines
Once you have found a magazine that publishes the kind of work you write, you should look for the magazine’s guidelines. These will usually be on a page on the magazine’s website, or printed in the magazine itself. By reading the guidelines you can find out things like maximum or minimum word counts, and the format in which the editor would like to receive your work.There’s some language which might be a little unfamiliar to you that crops up often in guidelines pages. Here’s a brief glossary: Continue Reading…