Archives For Publishing

Why Your Rejection Letter Means Nothing

Dan Burgess, editor-in-chief of literary magazine Firewords, shares an editor’s perspective on the loathed but unavoidable reality of rejection letters.

At a recent book fair, we were talking to several writers about their experiences of submitting to literary journals. It was surprising to hear that they had all given up trying after receiving rejections.

We were aghast and quickly reassured them that they shouldn’t take rejections personally. We know (first hand!) that rejections are hard to take, which is why we try to give personal feedback to every single submission we receive, even though it makes our job infinitely harder (we’ll go into our reasons for giving feedback in a later blog).

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Opportunities for Writers May and June 2016

Each month we aim to provide a helpful round-up of writing competitions, fellowships, publication opportunities and more for writers at all stages of their careers. 

For new writers, or for anyone seeking a refresher, we highly recommend reading How to Submit Your Writing to Literary Magazines.

Deadlines and details do sometimes change, so please check the relevant websites (linked in bold) for all the latest details. For more opportunities and regular updates follow Aerogramme Writers’ Studio on Facebook and Twitter.

The O. Henry Prize Stories
is an annual collection of the year’s twenty best stories published in American and Canadian magazines. Entries must be submitted by the magazine’s editors and should reach the series editor, Laura Furman, by 1 May. The 20 stories selected for the 2015 O. Henry Prize collection are available here.

Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Poetry Award
is currently accepting poetry from emerging writers worldwide. No more than 3 poems per submission (multiple submissions welcome). Entry fee comes with one-year subscription. A prize of $1000 will be awarded to one winner. The deadline is 1 May.

Prairie Schooner
was established in 1926. Its intention is to publish the best writing available, both from beginning and established writers. Submissions close 1 May.

10 Days to a Daily Habit
is a new Skillshare course taught by  novelist, essayist and bookseller Emily Gould. This self-paced creative writing challenge is aimed at helping you unlock your creativity and kickstart a daily writing habit. Enrol using the link above to access this course, and hundreds of others, for three months for just 99 cents.

David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction
is only open to writers who have not yet published a book of fiction, either a novel or collection of stories. The winner receives US$1000 and publication in Southwest Review. Stories can be up to 8000 words in length and all entries will be considered for publication. The deadline for entries is 1 May.

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Opportunities for Writers April and May 2016 Image

Each month we aim to provide a helpful round-up of writing competitions, fellowships, publication opportunities and more for writers at all stages of their careers. 

For new writers, or for anyone seeking a refresher, we highly recommend reading How to Submit Your Writing to Literary Magazines.

Deadlines and details do sometimes change, so please check the relevant websites (linked in bold) for all the latest details. For more opportunities and regular updates follow Aerogramme Writers’ Studio on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Granta
is accepting unsolicited submissions until 1 April. Granta publishes fiction, non-fiction and poetry. There are no strict word limits, though most prose submissions are between 3000 and 6000 words and the editors advise they are unlikely to read more than 10,000 words of any submission.

Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award
is open for entries until 1 April. Entries must be between 1,800 and 2,000 words in length and there are no restrictions on the subject matter. First prize is €1000.

Pennsylvania State University
Altoona Campus English Program is taking applications for a one-semester teaching residency in poetry and playwriting/screenwriting. The program is targeted at early career writers, preferably without a published book.

Quotable
is a quarterly print and online publication. Submissions are now open for its 21st issue on the theme ’Finale’. The editors are seeking flash fiction (up to 1000 words), short fiction (up to 3000 words), and creative non-fiction (up to 3000 words), as well as poetry and art. Submissions close on 1 April.

Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony
offers Summer Fellowships for fiction, nonfiction and poetry writers at the Ucross Foundation located on a 20,000-acre ranch in northeastern Wyoming. Six applicants will be chosen and receives full tuition and housing for the entire three-week period of their stay. Applications close on 1 April.

Grain Magazine’s Annual Short Grain Writing Contest
offers prizes for both fiction and poetry and is open to writers worldwide. A total of CA$4500 in prize money is on offer. Entries close 1 April.

North American Review’s Torch Prize for Creative Nonfiction
offers a first prize of $500. Writers may submit only one piece of creative nonfiction, no longer than 30 pages. Entries close 1 April.

Headland
is a New Zealand-based international literary journal of short fiction & creative non-fiction. The journal is accepting submissions until 1 April for its sixth issue and the editors are encouraging writers from all over the world to submit their work.

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The Matador Review

The Matador Review is a new online literary magazine based in Chicago. We contacted co-founder and editor-in-chief JT Lachausse to find what this new publication has in store for 2016 and beyond.

What made you decide to establish the Matador Review?

I had been interested in the literary magazine communities for a while and felt that there was something my team could offer. I won’t say that there was anything missing, because the online and print culture is vast and diverse; however, we wanted to dig a hole – welcomed or not – into both the literature and art world. There are great publications out there, namely The Adirondack Review and Bat City Review, that are unquestionably doing the Magazine Lord’s work; we are just cocky enough to think that we could have a place behind them, if not beside them, or somewhere upon the landscape of what they do and represent. We sat at a little glass table in my apartment and began tapping out questions, ideas, hopes, issues, things like: “What if we were The Paris Review’s ‘evil, rotten twin’?” That’s what really started it. Yes, there are countless houses for alternative art and literature, but we wanted to build something really special of our own. We wanted a style for our magazine akin to the recognition level of, say, The New Yorker or Paper Darts; we believed and believe that there are not enough characters in the magazine world. It’s difficult to really go on about all of the conversations we had during the conception phase without sounding all jumped-up – and maybe that’s because we really are jumped-up about this project – but that’s the nature of this team. We saw enough big and beautiful dogs in the fight that we wanted to jump in with our own scrawny, overweening chihuahua. But enough of the caveats and metaphors; in summary, we want to assemble a publication of “alternative” art and literature, both forms represented equally in quality and attention, and we want the magazine to be of real significance to the communities we are working with.

You describe yourself as being an ‘alternative art and literature magazine’: why alternative?

For every piece of quality art or literature, there is a home. Some “homes” include work that is regionally or culturally inspired, and some are reserved for particular genders, sexualities, or ethnicities. This sort of exclusivity creates an environment for distinct voices, and due to its distinction, these magazines are considered “alternative” (syn: “different”, “nonstandard”). What we wanted to do was to open up a home for art and literature that is, in every capacity, unconventional; this could mean a “fresh” voice, or perhaps a peculiar style, or maybe a bizarre subject that would otherwise struggle to find a place willing to parade it. As stated in our “About” section: “…our purpose is to promote work that is thought-provoking and unconventional; we want the controversial and the radical, the unhinged and the bizarre; we want the obsessive, the compulsive, the pervasive, the combative, and the seductive.” The Matador Review wants all of your redheaded stepchildren, but we want them on a damn good hair day. And they better not behave.

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Mistakes Writers Make When Submitting to Literary Magazines
In this guest post Eva Langston from Carve Magazine shares ten of the most common mistakes writers make when submitting their work.

1. Not reading literary magazines

This seems obvious, but if you want to get published in a journal, it’s helpful to read the types of pieces they publish. Most literary magazines suggest you read a few back issues first to get a sense of their aesthetic. In an ideal world, you should do this, but chances are you don’t have time to read multiple back issues of every single journal you’re going to submit to. Instead, make it your goal to simply read more literary magazines than you currently do. Subscribe to a few each year. Get your friends to subscribe to different publications and then trade. And of course, take advantage of free online journals, such as Carve. Read a story whenever you have a spare moment, even if it’s on your phone while waiting in line at the grocery store.

2. Not submitting your best work

Instead of finishing a story and submitting it immediately, let your piece rest for a few months then go back and revise. Workshop it, or let a trusted writer friend read it and give feedback. Print it out and triple-check for grammatical and spelling errors. Read your piece out loud at least once. Only submit when you think the piece is the best it can possibly be.

3. Not following guidelines

Double check all guidelines before submitting to a magazine. Is there a word count requirement? Should your name be removed from the piece? Should your document be in Word, PDF, or rich text format? If it’s an email submission, do they want the document attached, or pasted into the body of the email? Do they accept simultaneous submissions? Don’t risk getting your piece being tossed out because you didn’t follow the rules.

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How a Cover Letter Can Help You Get Published

Canadian literary magazine PRISM international aims to publish the best contemporary fiction, creative non-fiction, translation, drama, and poetry from around the world. While its pages have featured such luminaries as Margaret Atwood, Jorge Luis Borges, Raymond Carver and Seamus Heaney, most of the work it publishes is unsolicited, and many writers whose first publication appeared in PRISM international have gone on to critical acclaim. PRISM’s Prose Editor Christopher Evans explains how your cover letter can play a role in you being published or not.

Writers often ask if a good cover letter can improve a piece’s chances of getting published, and the short answer is: sort of. Of the thousands of submissions PRISM receives in a year, a minuscule percentage – well under one percent – arrive flawlessly executed and ready to be published without any editorial effort on our end. A slightly larger percent of work submitted is very close, and needs only a few small edits to lift it to exceptional. There’s another ten to fifteen percent at the other end of the spectrum that never make it past our first readers – work that doesn’t even come close to our guidelines, is riddled with typos or unintentional tense shifts, or is basically porn. This leaves a substantial volume of submissions in the middle, and this is where a cover letter can help or hinder a piece’s chance of being given a second, third, or fourth read-through.

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No Poem Starts Perfect: A Q&A with Pelorus Press

Pelorus Press is a new literary magazine based in New York City. The magazine asks contributors to submit their work in a unique way. We got in touch with editor Cahaley Markman to find out more.

Why did you want to establish your own literary magazine?

I started this magazine with my friend and co-founding editor Dylan Debelis. We both really love poetry and wanted to play a role in getting more poetry out into the world; however, it was very important to both of us that this magazine bring something different to the table. There are already so many great literary journals out there, I wanted to make sure that if we were going to enter the publication world it would be because we were doing something different than a standard journal. I thought it would be interesting to bring the focus to the writing process.

What makes Pelorus Press unique?

Our focus on the writing process rather than the product sets us apart from most literary magazines. We do this by publishing several drafts of each poem along with the final draft. The reader gets to see where the poem started, and how it grew over time. It’s also really cool because some of the poems we published have hand written revisions and notes. It feels very intimate to read. As if you get a sneak peek into the poet’s thought process.

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