Learn to Submit

submission envelopes wrapped with a bow tie and gray pencil underneath, ready to write more

How do you know when your writing is ready for publication or where to submit? Perhaps you’ve written a few stories, poems, or essays and want to know where to send them. How do you choose from among the deluge of submission opportunities? How do you make sense of submission guidelines?

Since 2015, I’ve earned:

  • 500+ submissions,
  • a growing collection of rejections,
  • acceptances online, in print, and in anthologies
  • publications ranging from six-word stories online to fiction in print markets with national distribution

Below are the tools and resources that helped me on my journey:

Rejected little boy, black and white photo

The Rejection Whisperer

Interpret your writing rejections from editors of literary journals and magazines so you can nod and let go.

Letter and ink pen

Cover Letter Template for literary journals

A cover letter template:

  • can be customized to each submission
  • includes helpful placeholders for important information
  • provides an example of a writer’s bio 
  • gives guidance for what not to do
Submissions tracker spreadsheet

Submissions Tracker

A spreadsheet template for tracking past, pending, and future submissions: 

Finding Quality Submission Opportunities

Market – a literary journal, genre magazine, or other venue that regularly publishes short writing like short stories, flash fiction, poetry, essays, or creative nonfiction (often combined in the same issue).

Curated submission opportunities

Automated lists of submission opportunities

I’m less reliant on these resources. They surface many opportunities as large lists of links, but make you do all the work for evaluating if it’s a fit for your writing. The curated resources above show more helpful information upfront about what exactly a market is seeking.

  • Submittable Discover – free, searchable list of opportunities, organized by deadlines and includes other creative media
  • Duotrope – subscription service, includes searchable list of markets and weekly newsletter
  • The Submission Grinder – free, searchable list of markets

Continue Learning About Submissions

Quick Reads

  1. Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year by Kim Liao (2016)
  2. How to Write an Author Bio When You Don’t Feel Like an Author…Yet by Anne R. Allen (2012)
  3. (archive) Writing with a Checklist: Submission Guidelines by Arthur Klepchukov (2017)
  4. How Writing and Submitting Short Stories Improved My Novel by Arthur Klepchukov (2018)
  5. What it took to earn my first & latest publications – Arthur Klepchukov (2017-present)

Detailed Reads

  1. Get Published in Literary Magazines: The Indispensable Guide to Preparing, Submitting and Writing Better by Allison K. Williams (2016)
  2. The Bulletproof Writer: How To Overcome Constant Rejection To Become An Unstoppable Author by Michael Alvear (2016)

Further Classes

  1. One Story – Hit Submit! class – paid, seasonal as of 2017
  2. (inactive) Literistic – Literary Submissions 101: Email Course – free as of mid-2019
  3. How to Submit Short Writing for Publication – 2020 workshop

Attend My Online Submissions Class

I’d be happy to elaborate on the material above in a future online class. Subscribe to be notified when enrollment opens.