Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Where to Publish?

The bitter morning is bright with sunshine and so the day feels better. Am grateful for each nice January day….and February…and March…

Today I have submitted, followed through on some things, and edited a short story. Maybe it is finished and ready for publishing, which brings up the issue WHERE. How do my fellow writers choose where to publish? 

A member of the local writing guild always stresses that a writer should know where she aiming and what she is writing for before starting. I think that is good advice, but hard to follow. I have stories I want to write that defy definition first. Sometimes I have to write the story to see where it goes.

Also it is hard to find a market with magazines anymore. Magazines do publish articles, but gone are the days of poetry, fiction and personal essay in so many publications. When I look at lists of possible markets I am knocked out by their wanting specific topics related to myths, witches, or the paranormal. Or maybe they want work generated by only Black or Jewish or California or Egyptian authors.

No one wants a previously published work; editors want all fresh and new. It is hard to produce so prodigiously each day when one doesn’t know where it will land or if it will be wanted. Yet to write for only certain (and sometimes boring) markets is limiting.

Everyone is writing a novel. I have a novel idea, but I don’t know where to begin and am intimidated by the size and scope of such a work. Thinking about writing a novel makes me feel like starting to climb Mt. Everest in flip flops!

So writers, how do you choose where to submit your work?

What are your favorite venues to read?


Linda O'Connell said...

I peruse the internet everyday for markets, sometimes successfully, more often, not. It is sad that nobody wants personal essay anymore. Those markets have shrunk considerably. I received a lengthy response today from an editor of a magazine I submitted to in Oct. She apologized for overlooking my work accidentally, then wrote three paragraphs about why I should not get my hopes up because they only chose one of ten submissions from excellent writer, and they are backlogged until 2018. But don't give up hope. WHAT?! This is what we are up against. Keep writing and sending.

Donna Volkenannt said...

Hi Claudia,
I agree that it's frustrating and disappointing there are only a limited number of markets for personal essays. Also frustrating is the payment for personal essays.
Not so sure I agree entirely with the member of your local writing group who writes only with a particular market in mind.
While I do agree writers should research publications to find out what editors are looking for, I try not to write only for the market. As a writer, I believe if I limit myself only to "what the market wants" that wouldn't give me the freedom to stretch myself creativity to write what I want. I guess what I'm trying to say is I seek balance between self-expression and publication. That philosophy won't get me rich, but it's more satisfying than writing only what some faceless and nameless editor wants me to write.
Ok. I'll step off my soapbox now.

Susan said...

Rarely do I write with a specific market in mind. It's difficult to determine where to send stories, etc. It's kind of like thrift store shopping. You just never know what "treasure" you might find. In the writing world, you never know what market catches your attention. But the most important thing is to just write. If your submission finds a home, great. If not, at least you have it to leave behind when you leave this world. Susan

Sioux said...

Claudia--I can't be of any help, because I'm in a rut when it comes to submitting... I only submit to a couple of markets.

But good luck to you finding different markets.

Patricia A. Laster said...

Ladies, I'm coming to your aid: CALLIOPE: A Writer's Workshop by mail, takes poetry (I'm the poetry editor), short stories (3,000 word limit) and essays on the writing life--process, etc. Go to the website that is something like (I'm new and they've changed it lately, but you can find it. In each issue (quarterly) there is a markets section for both submissions and contests. Tell Cynthia (non-fiction/ general editor) or Sandy (fiction editor) that "Pat sent me." Good luck! And Claudia, writing a novel isn't that hard. One word/sentence/ paragraph/ chapter at a time. The characters will probably "tell" you where to go next.