W: get published. O: too many pubs

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W: get published. O: too many pubs

Postby Wolf Goddess » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:43 am

I have several articles and essays that I would love to send to publications. I have books with lists of publications and dozens of websites that have such listings. I even subscribed to an online version of a writer's book. Let's not forget the magazines.

All this is overwhelming. Finding the perfect place to submit your work is like the proverbial needle in a haystack. I have tried many times to go through these lists but It is too discouraging.

How do you writers get through this?

WG
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Re: W: get published. O: too many pubs

Postby Elaine Glimme » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:55 pm

Mostly, I can comiserate. Getting published is hard.

Good luck. As I write this, I'm thinking "don't listen to me - I haven't had much luck myself. But about ten years ago, I wrote a nonfiction story about my wedding. I submitted it to an group of writers and artists that put on a retreat I go to. I submitted it because I thought that they'd publish anything they got. It was free. It turned out that they don't publish everything they get, but they published mine.
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Re: W: get published. O: too many pubs

Postby Cest Moi » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:34 am

Hi, WG, You may have heard of these two reference books, or maybe not, but most libraries have them in the reference section: Writer's Market and Literary Marketplace. They both have handy lists by category of which magazines and publishers take what kind of articles and stories.

They have the names of the relevant editors in each department, too. And addresses. But it is very important to get the book for the current year, as editors move around a lot.

Of course, if you are writing with a specific mag in mind, say Redbook, or whatever, you can also get (or just peek at for free in the drugstore, etc.) the masthead page in any of them and copy down the Fiction Editor's name or the Feature Editor, or whoever you want, and the address of the editorial offices. I have been broke many times so could not afford to buy the mags and did it that way. ALso, libraries have most of the popular mags, too, to look at for free.

Sadly, with so much competition, it is very hard to get an unsolicited article from an "unknown" looked at, let alone published. The popular mags get thousands of inquiries weekly. If you write an appealing cover letter or letter of inquiry, that's a start. You might pique their interest with a new angle or topic. But I think it is wiser to send a synopsis of the story/article to them first, not the whole thing unless they respond favorably and ask to see it.
You waste less paper and ink that way.

Another route is to try for the lesser publications, ones that pay little or nothing for articles/stories, and, if they print you, at least then you can say to the next, better-paying mag you try, "I have been published in so-and-such magazine." It doesn't always work, but it's better than nothing.

I wish you the best of luck. As a strugging writer myself, I know how hard it is.
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Re: W: get published. O: too many pubs

Postby Elaine Glimme » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:23 pm

Is there any way for us to pool our resources, cheer each other on, or do something to help each other??????
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Re: W: get published. O: too many pubs

Postby Cest Moi » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:39 am

A good question, Elaine. So often it seems that the old maxim, "It's not what you know, it's who you know," seems to be true. I only got three of my 4 tiny part-time jobs because I knew someone who referred me in some way. Not as exciting as knowing someone really powerful, of course. But it fits the saying.

Sadly, I don't know anyone in publishing or any magazine or book editors. If I did I would gladly share the resource with people like Wolf Goddess. Nowadays, publishers are so reluctant to take on unknowns. I mean, they always were, but with the internet and e-books and a splintered market, I think it is worse than it's ever been. "Real" books are remaindered without being given a decent chance, and promotion seems sparse.

Wish I had a nicer answer for your good question. Maybe someone else who does know someone helpful will read this and lend a hand. Networking is so imortant. As our dear Barbara says, Isolation is the Dreamkiller. Perhaps Wolf Goddess or yourself might host an Idea Party on this topic? In numbers there is stength, to use another quote. :D
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Re: W: get published. O: too many pubs

Postby Unity1 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:10 am

You could pick one article and ask on a writing forum where to send it.

Or ask on here.

Alternatively go on one of the article writing sites for freelancers and see what publishers are looking. Maybe something you've written matches their request.

There is a site (can't remember name off hand) where you post your articles and essays (they can't be copied) and editors can pick what items they want to buy, either full rights or else reprint rates.
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Re: W: get published. O: too many pubs

Postby Wolf Goddess » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:57 am

As an update I sent one story to one of my writing groups for critique and asked the question of where to send it.

I got back a few suggestions and just today sent two stories to Flash Fiction Online. http://www.flashfictiononline.com/

Of course it will take a few weeks for them to get back to me but at least I submitted something. :)

WG
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Re: W: get published. O: too many pubs

Postby Cest Moi » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:36 pm

I applaud you,Wolf goddess, for submitting some work. Keep it up!
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Re: W: get published. O: too many pubs

Postby Elaine Glimme » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:05 pm

Three cheers, Wolf Goddess. That's one small step for a Wolf Goddess....
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Re: W: get published. O: too many pubs

Postby RubyDragonfly » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:09 pm

Dear Wolf Goddess,
I am dealing with the same thing right now. New Mexico, where I live, has a travel magazine, published by the State Department of Tourism. They have writers who write for them regularly, but being a new writer for them is not impossible. Same for the AAA magazine for this region. I have connected with the editors of both magazines to see what their writing guidelines are, after I carefully studied the mastheads, and sample articles. Now, I'm following through with proposals. A proposal, not a sample of writing is the first step, and following the guidelines for a particular magazine exactly. I happen to love to travel, and I love nature and ancient archeological sites. So I'm in a good part of the world for that. If you're good at digital photography and can illustrate your articles with high quality photos, it should make your submissions more interesting. Most magazines will want some clips of already published works, so to get past this obstacle, write an interesting guest editorial for your local newspaper or a regional news magazine or a publication for a cause, that's based regionally. Or write a really cogent letter to the editor, and save it, together with the name of the publication and the date, when it's published. That's how to start. For books, you need to go through an agent. Get the current year of The Guide to Literary Agents, and go through it with a fine tooth comb. You will have to have a manuscript all ready to go. Some agents don't take unknown authors. Some do. You select the ones for your topic, and go from there. Follow their submission guidelines to the letter. Don't send anything to a publisher. This never works. You go through an agent. And forget electronic publishing--it's a waste! Anything published electronically that wasn't really successful cannot be published later in book form. Go with a good agent. There's much information that's helpful in the Guide to Literary Agents about how to send query letters, how to write them, how to deal successfully with agents, etc. This book is a must every year. Always submit copies, never send the original. And be ready to pay for return postage. And finally, good Luck!
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Re: W: get published. O: too many pubs

Postby Cest Moi » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:06 pm

Ruby Dragonfly, that is great advice for Wolf Goddess, and others, too. You always seem to have good ideas. In Barbara's Club, too, if I read you right.

Anyhow, when I sent out sample column ideas to several newspapers some years ago, offering to do them for free for a trial period to see if they'd bite, none of them accepted me. But I still think it's a good idea that Wolf Goddess should try. I just didn't get lucky or to the "right" editor. Maybe she will.

I did, however, get a sort of bread-and-butter job out of it. (Well, maybe just a plain-bread-no-butter job. :wink: ) Someone at one of the papers saw my writing and hired me on a small, part-time basis to do various ad copy for a while, and later, human interest type stories.
It was (and is) very small potatoes money, but hey! better than nothing. And it provided good experience, including how to meet deadlines reliably.

Go check out that Literary Guide, too, WG. It's true that not many agents or publishers take "unknowns," but once in a while you find someone who is creative enough to consider a new voice. I do not trust online submissions, I must add. And when you do send out anything substantive, a return receipt or other certified guarantee is not a bad idea.

Good luck to you!
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Re: W: get published. O: too many pubs

Postby heater » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:16 am

I had this challenge with respect to finding a consultant. There were just too many options. I also did publish an article in a journal and I faced this issue (I did publish one).

The method I used in selecting the journal was the same method I used in selecting the my article topic of focus. I looked for an article that was the **closest** to what I would write. Who did I submit my article to? To the journal that published *that article.

Too many choices makes choosing harder.
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