I started knowing nothing, and if you have read my past blog post, you’ll know this led to me losing my poem to a vanity press. I don’t want anyone else to fall into the same traps I did. So, if you’re a writer and starting to garner an interest in publishing small projects, here is some advice and links to help.
1. Get a submittable account.
A lot of literary magazines and anthologies use submittable for their process (even The New Yorker). It’s free to sign up and a great way to keep track of your submissions.
2. Sign up for Freedom With Writing.
Freedom with Writing is a free mailing list that sends you weekly emails, full of publishers with open submissions, writing contest, literary magazines, and overall writing advice.
3. Know your Writing and Your Rights.
Look through places like Writers Beware for publishing scams. If someone isn’t paying you, there is no reason they should hold the rights to your work forever. Ask what rights they plan to take upon publication. Usually, it is First North American Serial Rights, which simply means they have the right to be the first to publish this piece in North America. Once published, all rights revert back to the author. Make sure to do your research if it says anything else.
4. Sign Up for Twitter.
I’m not kidding, the entire writing community is on twitter. Agents, Publishers, writers, editors. They’re all there!
5. Learn How to Properly Format Submissions.
Unless stated otherwise, most literary magazines like the same standard format. I’ve seen multiple literary magazines specifically ask for this format. Don’t get rejected because you didn’t make a nice cover page.
and last but not least…
6. ALWAYS FOLLOW THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES!
As a literary agent intern, I see a lot of submissions every day. If someone doesn’t follow the submission guidelines, I don’t even read their work. No one has time for that. Don’t get rejected because you didn’t read the guidelines.