by Lyndon Seitz
Eastern Student Representative, 2013-2014
Westfield State University, Westfield, MA
This is the first of a two-part post. Part two will focus on what to do once you find a journal you want to submit to.
Submitting your written work to journals is one of the most important things a writer can do, but it is a daunting task, especially for the inexperienced. That said, it gets much easier over time.
Here are a few tips to help you get started looking for a journal:
- Try to set aside a chunk of time to look, and remember to bookmark the website of any journal you are interested in. Setting aside a block of time will be much more efficient in the long run than leaving your search to chance.
- Your best resources may be the writers you already know who are submitting. Try to find a writers group either online or in your area (ideally both). You will be able to help each other with the many different steps of the writing and submitting process.
- A few websites in particular will help you greatly:
- Both print journals and online journals have advantages and disadvantages, but as a general rule the print journals are both harder to get into and hold more prestige in getting published.
- When you are looking at a journal, be sure to pay close attention to detail:
- Check to see if they have posted anything recently. A number of journals are inactive.
- They may have certain guidelines as to who can submit. It could be gender, your career, where you live, or other criteria.
- Most journals now have a way to submit online, but a few journals still want submissions only by post. Be certain to read the submission guidelines carefully.
- You’ll find that there are more journals than you can possibly submit to. Therefore, you’re going to want to find a journal best suited for your work. Some publish only poetry or only prose. Some journals publish non-fiction. Just remember to keep searching.
I hope this advice will help you to look or inspire you to start getting your work out there. You have to submit if you want to get published. And don’t forget that Sigma Tau Delta has publications specifically for its members, The Rectangle and The Review, so watch for those opportunities in the spring. Your region might even publish a regional journal or have one in the works.