I am challenging myself to send some creative work out to publishers, so yesterday I sent out four pieces, and it took me most of the day. Here’s why….
1) I had no idea where the best place was to send each story.
All the pieces I sent out yesterday were short short (flash) fiction, which has a less traditional market. I have been reading many of the online journals who publish Flash, but felt like I needed to read more to work out the best fit for my stuff. And there are so many really good ones, so it took a lot of time.
I found my favourite stories, and looked up where those writers were sending their work, and followed their lead. I got a bit bogged down in some of their selection criteria, but looking at the actual stories each one published made it much clearer.
Finally, I chose Seizure (Flashers), Wigleaf, Monkeybicycle (I had one very short one for their one sentence stories) and Smokelong, as my top four for these particular stories, but I could have easily chosen others.
I am not sure how I will go sending to the American ones. I would prefer to start closer to home, but the choices here are limited.
Some of my choices were also based purely on who was accepting submission at the time. Kill your Darlings will be open for fiction in September; The Lifted Brow is going through some changes, so no submission right now. But I will try these ASAP.
2) This could get expensive.
I’m going lateral with the images today
There are the traditional high-end publications here in Australia, like Overland, The Griffith Review, and Meanjin and Southerly who publish literary fiction, with big name writers, as well as newbies. Anyone I have met who has any sort of recognised career here has published in one of these. These are the foot-in-the-door, people-are-taking-me-seriously big guys. But I have read their stories and my work doesn’t seem to fit here. So, I am a bit scared.
Also, another stumbling block right now is the expense. They don’t charge a reading fee for submissions, but subscribers get preferential treatment, and this is a bit more money than I have spare at the moment. So I’ll just read them at the library and dream of a future when I will have my subscription, and the right kind of story to send them.
So, for now, I have made the decision to send only to those that do not charge anything. I am testing the waters, to see if my stories are really of a publishable standard. If I get a few hits, I may change my policy (a form of problem gambling in my future, maybe?) but for now, I will back myself in a non-financially draining way.
This also means I have accepted the fact that there is no chance of getting paid for my writing at this point.
Fingers crossed gets a bit scary on google
3) Do I send out one piece to multiple places?
For now, I have sent just one piece to my number one preference for that story, in the vane hope that they pick it up.
But, next week, I will send another piece out to a few different ones, to see how that feels too.
Just check that the ones you are sending to are happy to accept pieces submitted to multiple places. It will state it clearly on the guidelines usually. I don’t want to piss them off this early in the game.
So now I sit back and wait, anywhere between a few week and six months apparently. I’ll let you know how it goes.