Thursday, November 2, 2017

Literary Submission Guidelines Differ and Matter

Maybe you’re the kind of creative cook who skips the recipe and the measuring cups and the dish comes out great. Wonderful! Invite me over! But sorry to say, disregarding the recipe won’t work with sending your work in for publication.

Every literary journal and magazine has different guidelines. No matter how high the quality of your writing, it might not even get the chance to be read if you don’t follow each publication’s rules.

It may seem like a lot of extra work and aggravation. But remember that most journal editors and first readers are overwhelmed, overworked volunteers, so you can think of it as a kindness to meet their submission requirements. Your effort will be rewarded by more thoughtful consideration.

No doubt sending your writing out is your least favorite part of the whole process. If you want instant satisfaction of sharing your work, start a blog. But if you want it to be seen and valued by editors who can include your work in their esteemed publications for the furtherance of your writing career, then you will need to play by their rules.

Of course it would be nice if they all had the same requirements, so you could easily duplicate your submissions, formatting all your pages the same no matter where you send them. And then when you receive a rejection, you could just turn around and send that same piece out right away, just as it is. But each journal and magazine is operating in its own little world, unaffiliated with a big conglomeration that would set standardized guidelines. So there’s just no streamlined way to do it if you are really serious about seeking publication.

Over the years since founding Writers’ Wings I have learned the various submission requirements of about 500 publications where I regularly submit my clients’ work. I enjoy the process of matchmaking writer to publication, and I’ve become adept at making necessary adjustments quickly and assuring that all rules are followed to a ‘T.’ My clients’ work is important to me and I take every care to assure that it will be given the most consideration.

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