Submitting poetry or fiction to magazines

Yesterday I wrote about the huge number of poetry and fiction e-zines on the internet. These now number in the thousands and more are being added daily. Before this trend on the internet began there were already many thousands of print magazines that accepted poetry and fiction for possible publication. This creates a dilemma for the writer just starting out.

Where do I send my work?

For the inexperienced this can be daunting task indeed. There is so much to chose from. How do I go about it and how do I decide where to send my precious writing? Let me suggest some simple steps to follow. I acknowledge Graham Catt’s article (click here) for many of these ideas.

How to Submit to E-Zines

  1. Research: do your research first. Find or make a list of e-zines and study the list for potential markets for your writing. Make a short list.
  2. Read: read several issues of the e-zines which interest you. This is relatively easy as most are available free on-line.
  3. Check: the credentials of the editors; are they qualified to be editing a magazine or are they just enthusiasts doing this as a hobby?
  4. Analyse: be really objective about the style of the e-zine. Would you feel comfortable having your writing in that magazine? Does the style match your style of writing? Does it have a particular theme or aim? As a silly example, it is useless sending your lovely poem about a cat to a SF magazine (unless the cat is from an alien world).
  5. Frequency: how often does the magazine appear? It may be hard to have your work accepted if there is only one issue per year.
  6. Guidelines: Before sending off your wonderful writing (which you’ve spent many hours rewriting, editing and checking) the last step is to check the Submission Guidelines. These vary from magazine to magazine. If you can’t find the guidelines on the web site, send an email to the editor requesting a copy. Follow the guidelines carefully; ignoring them is a sure way to have your writing rejected.

Submitting to print magazines:

The process outlined above is largely applicable to print magazines as well. It is harder to find back copies of these online so you may have to raid your local library to read them or even subscribe to a few to get a feel for their style. My local Writers’ Centre also has back copies of a wide range of magazines.

It has been said that if everyone who submits their writing to magazines in Australia subscribed to just three magazines, most editors would be able to pay their contributors. I subscribe to nine that are directly related to writing.


2 Responses to “Submitting poetry or fiction to magazines”

  1. Roger Gordon says:

    Sensible well written advice,keep up the good work.

  2. Trevor says:

    Thanks for this valuable feedback, Roger. All I have to do now is to follow my own advice!