So many people tell me, I want to get published, tell me how. I give them the link to Part 1 of my series on Poetry Submissions (which also works for stories). Often it boils down to this: the right time, the right place, with the right poem or story. If you are rejected it might not be because it wasn’t “good enough,” but simply because it didn’t fit that particular issue or the theme of that issue. Some things to check to make sure you get it right:
- Read a previous journal or sample if available. This will give you a feel for the style they prefer–rhyme, free verse, spoken word, confessional, etc…
- Also check the genre–such as fantasy, dark, experimental, or general.
- Make sure you follow the guidelines. Sometimes editors are very picky about this and will throw out a submission that did not follow their rules.
- Obviously you should check when the issue for which you are submitting will be published. For example, don’t submit a poem about winter when the issue is coming out in July, unless the theme is on winter.
- If your work is not accepted, read it again to see if there are any mistakes. Submit somewhere else suitable using the guidelines above. If it is rejected 3 or more times consider revising it, remembering to “cut it ’til it bleeds,” and “show don’t tell.”
- Finally, don’t give up! You’ll eventually hit the “write” time, the “write” place, with the “write” poem or story!