A round of fiction submissions really is a beautiful beast: dense, overwhelming, intoxicating, and at its very best, delightful. At SAND journal, Fiction Editor Florian Duijsens and I make our way through at least 600 unsolicited stories each submissions period and are only able to publish around 8–12 of those. That means passionate pleas for our favorites and tough decisions once we’ve narrowed our selection down. But how does a writer get their work into the final rounds of editing? And how can a piece stand out among hundreds – or even thousands – of other stories?
Our previous lists of magazines that welcome submissions from new and previously unpublished writers (see here and here) have both received a huge amount of positive feedback. So, by popular demand, here are 15 more literary magazines that are happy to hear from writers who may not had their work published before.
1. The City Quill is a new literary magazine exclusively for previously unpublished writers (they won’t hold school newspapers or personal blogs against you but you shouldn’t submit your work to The City Quill if you ever had a journal, anthology or magazine). Fiction writers may submit up to two stories of 2500 words each, and non-fiction and poetry are also accepted. You don’t need to pay a submission fee but, for a small charge, you can have your work read and critiqued by a City Quill editor within two weeks.
2. Spry is a literary journal that features undiscovered writers, as well as the work of more established voices. The editors, two recent graduates of the MFA program at Fairfield University, seek work that is concise, experimental, hybrid, or flashy and all submissions are read blind. Submissions for issue eight are currently open. View Post
“Breakthroughs come from putting an inordinate amount of pressure on yourself and seeing what you can take and hoping that you grow some new muscles. It’s not really this mystical – it’s like repeated practice over and over and over again, and suddenly you become something you had no idea you could really be… .”
In this video produced by The Atlantic, acclaimed writer and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates provides an insight into his early struggles as a writer and shares the best advice he received in his early career.
We came across the following article by Stephen King a little while ago on a number of different websites. We believe it was originally published in a 1986 edition of The Writer magazine and republished in the 1988 edition of The Writer’s Handbook. We reproduce it here for educational purposes only.
I. The First Introduction
THAT’S RIGHT. I know it sounds like an ad for some sleazy writers’ school, but I really am going to tell you everything you need to pursue a successful and financially rewarding career writing fiction, and I really am going to do it in ten minutes, which is exactly how long it took me to learn. It will actually take you twenty minutes or so to read this essay, however, because I have to tell you a story, and then I have to write a second introduction. But these, I argue, should not count in the ten minutes.
II. The Story, or, How Stephen King Learned to Write
When I was a sophomore in high school, I did a sophomoric thing which got me in a pot of fairly hot water, as sophomoric didoes often do. I wrote and published a small satiric newspaper called The Village Vomit. In this little paper I lampooned a number of teachers at Lisbon (Maine) High School, where I was under instruction. These were not very gentle lampoons; they ranged from the scatological to the downright cruel.
Eventually, a copy of this little newspaper found its way into the hands of a faculty member, and since I had been unwise enough to put my name on it (a fault, some critics argue, of which I have still not been entirely cured), I was brought into the office. The sophisticated satirist had by that time reverted to what he really was: a fourteen-year-old kid who was shaking in his boots and wondering if he was going to get a suspension … what we called “a three-day vacation” in those dim days of 1964.
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 check 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 ownlist 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:View Post