Uncategorized On Submitting work

On Submitting work

Don’t let procrastination, hesitation, lack of marketing experience or fear stop you from submitting your work! (and be careful of those exclamation marks!!!)
We’ve all got good intentions. We’ve all see seen countless talented writers postpone their way all the way to the alley of failure. Some people never get their ideas on paper; yet others write and rewrite, and then revise again, but never get their submissions in the mail. And those that do sometimes fail to follow the EXACT requirements, so their work goes directly into the slush pile. Those that do, get discouraged by rejection!  Well, welcome to the real world of writers.
Set aside one day of the week for the BUSINESS, not writing —say every Friday you’re going to send out at least one piece.  My mentor, John Dufresne, said, No it’s not creative, nor fun, and yes, it eats your time and day, and is mind-boggling, but if you want to see your work published, guess what? You gotta pay the piper and just DO IT. 
Oh, and a little secret—a dear writer friend, Leonard Nash, author of the short story collection You can’t Get There From Here, (www.leonardnash.com) told me years  ago—if you want something to get picked up, then make sure you have at least twelve to twenty pieces circulating at all times. Got those numbers?
Read the instructions carefully in the GUIDELINES before you submit—5 poems, a short story, a short-short, flash fiction, an essay, a whatever, etc. REMEMBER that it’s 5 poems, not 6, and 2000 words, not 2045! If that’s what they want, give them precisely what they want.
Okay, now for the actual submission.  RESEARCH the review, literary journal or magazine and if you think you have a piece that “fits” then GIVE them what they’re asking for, nothing more and nothing less!
If you’re asked for a cover letter—write one.  Be brief.  Doesn’t have to be fancy–a simple introduction and what you’re enclosing.  If you don’t have the necessary or requisite publications for your author bio, write a different letter—say who you’ve studied with, mention conference, and /or workshops you’ve attended and with whom you’ve studied.   Mention your degree, if you have one or an interesting job.  If you can’t say anything with regards to the writing world, call yourself an idiot savant! Whatever you do, keep it short and succinct—no one wants to read three pages before they get a look at what you’re actually submitting.
Send this material to the editor—if you know the person’s name—use it.  And send it to them the way they want it: by Word attachment to an e-mail, by an e-mail with the work in the body of the mail, or by snail mail with SASE.
Don’t change or invent your own method.  Just stick to what the editor or publication WANTS.
Oh, and, here’a biggie—get over yourself—you’re going to get rejected.  So what?  It’s all subjective anyway—what one person hates, the next reader/editor will adore!  Just pop that rejected piece in another envelope and send it off to some other editor. Of course, if the piece is man-handled and a mess, have the courtesy and good sense to make a fresh copy.  Also make sure to change your cover letter’s heading to the proper person.
Good luck. Don’t wait.  DO IT NOW!