You’ve just finished writing some material which you think is pretty good, but you’re not sure where to send it. Consider submitting your articles and stories to places who don’t offer financial gain in the short term – or to exchange articles with another writer or to guest write. Look at the opportunities these things may offer your career in the longer term.
Most writers begin their path with submitting their work to printed magazines, e-anthologies (ebooks or pdfs available online) and e-zines style sites (online magazines or newsletters) where there is no payment when the piece is published. These places not only form a valuable learning ground for emerging writers, but can offer a community of support and great networking opportunities.
The thrill of seeing your work on a site other than your own is reward enough for most writers. However, having your work accepted and published by outside agencies also reinforces the belief that your work is of a certain quality and standard, exposes your work to an audience outside your immediate circle, boosts the ego and may pave the way to paid work in the future.
Consider following these steps to assist you on your journey towards being published.
1. Ensure your piece has been
- Checked for grammatical and spelling errors
- Beta read by at least two other people. (Beta readers are people outside your immediate family or friend circle who are more likely to give you constructive feedback. Their role is to give an impression of how your piece will be received by the audience your piece is targeting. Beta readers don’t edit or correct your piece.)
- You’ve acted upon or at least considered their feedback.
- Handed over to an editor to ensure the piece flows smoothly.
- Rewritten or redrafted at least once (more is better).
2. Craft a cover letter and a short (up to 50 words) biography. (Consider the steps above for these as well!)
3. Have a publicity photo (clear head shot) of yourself in electronic format. Most publications include this in your byline at the end of your piece. Having a professional pose – rather than one that is obviously cut out of your wedding photos or from a night out with the girls is going to set certain standards and expectations in the minds of those looking at it.
4. Write a goal for yourself with a specific date attached to it. (What’s important to you? To be paid? To be published? To be recognised? By when? By whom? How much?) Write this either as a letter to yourself or a short, punchy statement and pin it somewhere prominent in your writing space.
Armed with these things, you have set yourself to a basic level of being a ‘professional’, ready to explore some of these markets with your work. Listed are only a handful – there are endless sites and opportunities once you start looking.
Databases of markets – these sites compose lists of sites and markets which are open to emerging writers.
Worldwide Freelance http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/
Fiction Writing Markets http://www.writerswrite.com/fiction/markets.htm
The Short Story http://www.theshortstory.org.uk/prizes/
Writers Weekly http://www.writersweekly.com/markets_and_jobs.php
Womagwriter http://womagwriter.blogspot.com This blog highlights magazines that accept short story submissions across several countries. They also provide writers guidelines and the blog will keep you up to date with what is happening in the market.
Open for submissions
Untitled http://www.untitledonline.com.au Fiction of any genre – 350 words to 5000 words.
Ether books – http://www.etherbooks.co.uk/ – open to any genre in fiction. Specifically looking at short stories or serial stories. This platform publishes to mobile devices and are available through itunes.
Global Short Stories http://www.globalshortstories.net – all genres all themes – short stories under 2000 words.
Noble Romance – https://www.nobleromance.com Sweethearts (no sex or sexual overtones) and Erotica (more saucy)- Short Stories– 3-10K words. Novellas 10,001-29,999K, 30+K words and up for novels
Wet Ink – http://www.wetink.com.au a magazine of new writing – open to fiction (including genre fiction), creative non-fiction, poetry, memoir, essays and opinion pieces
eFiction http://authors.efictionmag.com/ online monthly magazine – all genres
Red Asylum – http://theredasylum.webs.com/ quarterly online magazine, devoted to the discovery and publication of dark and twisted stories.
Lyrical Press http://www.lyricalpress.com seeking erotica, romance, and urban fantasy short stories (15K) through to novels
Ezine http://EzineArticles.com/ are open for articles and how to tips on just about anything. Ensure you read their submission guidelines carefully.
Got your stories posted on your site and want some readers? These sites are community-run listings of online fiction where you can post a link to your stories and go and check out other writers work. This is particularly handy in order to get feedback from other writers and build your own support group.
Always research the site before sending your work off, especially when there is a fee involved. Generally speaking, reputable publishers and magazines do not ask for payment to receive articles and stories. Sadly there are a number of scams involving writers, so its best to check all the details before submitting.
Before committing your work, ensure you have read all of the rules and regulations. Some are only open to writers of a certain country or area. Many have content, profanity and violence guidelines. Editors are very particular as to how the story is to be submitted, the font and layout of the piece. Make sure you follow the submission guidelines carefully – and good luck!