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Submitting Your Work

You’ve written a great story and now you want the world to read it. Ok, maybe not the world but more than your friends and family. So, what’s the next step? Finding the appropriate place to submit. This is going to take footwork on your part. You want to find the right fit for your story. If you wrote a short story about love and romance, you’re not going to want to submit to Sports Illustrated, but perhaps Woman’s World Weekly or Reader’s Digest. Your goal is to find an audience base. People that will want to read more from you. I write historical fiction. My research showed that mostly women between the ages of 45-64 enjoy historical fiction. Some magazines I would submit to are The Copperfield Review or Flashback Fiction. is a great resource.. This site offers all sorts of data to help you get started with your research.

Here are few more helpful tips:

  • Follow all guidelines. Even if this means adjusting your story, most magazines have submission guidelines that include comma usage (especially Oxford commas), number of words (many are 1200-5000 words) and take note of font, size and spacing.

  • Beware of submissions that charge. Yes, with the rise of submissions thanks to the internet, many places charge anywhere from $15-$50 for each submission. If you don’t have the money to spend on the chance of a submission, continue to look for free submissions. They are out there, but you have to look.

  • Read all contracts. Whether it’s a short story or a novel, if you are sent a contract read through it thoroughly. If need be, retain an attorney. Make sure YOU own the rights to your work. I was so excited that a publishing company picked up my novella that I signed the contract quickly. While I own the rights to my work, I was screwed out of royalties, meaning, I only earned 10% of each book sold. I’ve made some money, but not nearly enough to make back what I paid the publishing company.

  • Protect your work. Before you submit, make sure you copyright your work. This can be done by saving your work on a USB drive so it can’t be accidentally erased (yes, I’ve accidentally erased stuff and now I download on an USB drive AND/OR printing a copy). Once you email or send a hard copy, it’s out of your hands.

The biggest thing to remember is if your work is rejected, it is not a reflection on you or your work, it simply may not be the appropriate place for your work.

Next week, Settings and how to make them come alive.

Until next time…

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