If you answered “yes” to the question I put up in the headline, you’ve come to the right article. Being published online, let it be poetry or a short story, is one of the greatest feelings in the world. But, it’s also complicated if you’re just starting out.
I started sending my work to literary magazines about three years ago and I’ve had my fair share of rejections. At first, a lot of my rejections were coming just because I didn’t format my story to their specifications. Trust me, it is so annoying.
While magazines might have special ways they want you to format, this is the basic way to format your submission:
Use 12-point font in a basic font, such as Times New Roman or Ariel. Put 1-inch margins on edges of the page and put page numbers on the bottom of the page. Make sure to double space the document. Double spacing makes it easier to read, which is important for editors. On the top right-hand corner of the page, put your full name (the name you want to publish under), your address, your phone number and your home address.
This formatting makes it easy to read your work, which means the editor is only focusing on your story – not on the bunched up paragraphs or a crazy font. Also, putting your contact information up on the top gives them a way to contact you if they accept your submission.
But, before we get ahead of ourselves, we need to figure out one important thing – where to submit!
Go to google.com and search for “literary magazines fiction submit”. A whole array of options should pop up, but it’s important to read the fine print so you know what’s what.
There are magazines that pay big bucks, but charge a reading fee and only lets you submit every few months. A reading fee is a fee the submitter – aka you – pays to the magazine for them to even read your work. You need to be wary of these fees, but most of these magazines pay a lot of money if accepted. For example, narrativemagazine.com pays writers $50 and up, depending on the length and type of work. But this magazine’s reading fee is $25! While these types of magazines can be very rewarding, they’re a total bummer if you’re not accepted. I suggest that you only submit to these places if you have another secure, paying job.
Here’s some high-paying magazines with a reading fee:
Also, be wary of submitting times. For example, tinhouse.com only accepts submissions from September 1st to May 31st.
There are magazines that are free to submit to, but they can’t pay you for your work. These magazines are good for one thing – exposure! To start out as a writer, you need to build fanbase. Not really anything big, but it’s good if people remember your name based on a fantastic story you’ve written. The magazines I list below are read by hordes of people, so if you get accepted, BAM! You just got some fans.
Here are some magazines it’s free to submit to:
- The New Yorker
- The New York Times
The key is to find a magazine that makes you comfortable.
Well, let’s review. You know now not only where to submit but how to format your submission. I would say that you’re one step closer to being a published writer. You’ll get 9 rejections for every 10 submissions, but that one acceptance will make this whole crazy job worth it. So go on, go and write!