So here we are. June is upon us. We’re looking at the midpoint of the year and the days keep flying by. How are your submissions going? Are you finding ways to use the daily planner to stay motivated?
Last week I admitted I was having trouble submitting and hoped that I would find that original energy again and I think writing it here really helped. I finished the month strong, entering two contests and submitting to ten magazines.
I received a wonderful, personal rejection with feedback from the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. You couldn’t ask for a nicer rejection. In other words, keeping with it is paying off. As a friend of mine recently said, “You keep pounding and pounding at that wall, eventually you’ll break through.” I can see cracks forming in the mortar.
As I mentioned, I’ve started looking into how contests fit into my submissions goals. I entered three short story contests last month, paying a total of $47 in entry fees. I won’t know if it’s a good investment or not for a while, but I am still focused on learning more about how to select contests, so I did some searching and found 30 contests with deadlines in June. At an average of $20 each, if I entered all of those contests, that would be $600 in entry fees for only one month of contests! So how am I going to choose?
One way to quickly sort through is by type of writing. Many of the contests ask for manuscripts: poetry chapbooks or story collects, novelettes, or full novels. Since I have stories in contests and all of my stories are out looking for work, I thought I might focus on poetry in June. I saw that one of my favorite poets, Ada Limón, is judging a poetry book prize. The deadline is the middle of the month and I have been wanting to create a poetry manuscript of my work, so I plan to use this as a deadline to get that work done. Then I can adjust that manuscript to fit other contests.
Another way to choose contests is by researching the judges, the journals or organizations having the contest and previous winners. Researching all of these aspects of a contest will give you information about which contests will be the best fit for your work.
When I was reading advice from contest winners in the last issue of Poets & Writers, one of the winners said to look at what else your contest entry fee gets you. Will you get feedback and critique? Will you get an issue or a subscription to the magazine? Will all entries be considered for publication?
All things to think about when trying to select which contests to dish out for.
Getting In On The Ground Floor
Submitting to the first issue of a literary magazine can be a bit of a gamble–you can’t read previous issues to see what they publish, and they may not last long–but it can also be rewarding. My first publication was in the first issue of Five on the Fifth and I enjoyed the experience and created relationships with the editors.
This morning, while looking over my wordpress reading feed, I came across a brand new ezine from Writer Shed Press called Writer Shed Stories. This is a brand new paying market ($20). I felt like I had a story that might fit, so I submitted. We’ll see how it goes.
In researching this month’s magazines, I also came across The Blend a paying market out of Australia. Their first issue comes out in July.
Today, I’m only posting the June month planner page with deadlines and these first couple days. I will update the deadlines as the month progresses. I noticed plenty of errors in last months deadlines, but some of them may have been changes that happened during the month. As I’ve said before, it’s better to submit as soon as the window opens, or in the case of Submittable submissions, at the beginning of the month.
I’ve planned weekly compounding writing prompts for each week in June which will start on Monday, so check back again tomorrow night, or Monday morning.
I look forward to hearing from you. Are you submitting to the magazines in the planner pages? Tell me about your submission experiences.