As I write this, I’m listening to short stories from Asimov’s Science Fiction on their podcast. I also discovered and have been listening to The CryptoNaturalist. I hope to have stories on both of them some day. Earlier today I enjoyed listening to stories, some read by the authors, over at Three-Lobed Burning Eye. I submitted a story to them this morning.
I have very exciting news. Yesterday, I submitted to three different magazines. It was the first day I have reached that goal. This morning, I did it again. I’m on a roll, but today’s submissions made me aware of another problem with my plan: sometimes the magazine or journal that appears to be the best fit for my story doesn’t accept simultaneous submissions. That means I may need to wait months before I can submit it again.
But wait! If I submitted the story to a magazine that is a good fit, I may not need to submit it again because they will publish it. So the only real problem is how I will come up with three submissions for tomorrow. There-in lies the importance of learning about all of the literary journals that I would like to publish stories in and learning when their reading windows are, so I can prioritize the magazines for which I’m willing wait.
For those of you who are hoping to achieve a three submissions a day habit, here are some tips for preparing your submissions:
Make submitting easier:
- Have a short bio written that you can cut and paste into your cover letter or submittable form when requested.
- Re-read, edit, and format (most journals ask for Shunn format, but you may also want to have a copy with no personal info on it because many journals ask for that) your stories so they are ready to go when you find a good fit.
- Try to find interviews with the editor to learn what they’re looking for and read stories from the journal. Find something you like or a story that is somewhat like your story, so you can mention it in your cover letter.
- Read and re-read the submission guidelines and follow them carefully.
The Planner Pages
I have yet to receive your feedback and fervently await some data other than my own for this experiment, but we are only two weeks into it and I’m already seeing personal results.
- I have already submitted more than I did all of last year
- I have a new outlook on rejections as accomplishments to work toward and they already don’t sting as much as they did before.
- I am becoming familiar with literary magazines so that I can choose the best fit for my stories and write personalized, informed cover letters.
- I have read a ton of short stories and poetry
- I have collected, reviewed and organized my poetry and very short stories.
- I’ve written a lot of writing prompts and come up with a lot of story ideas.
- I’m finding ways to improve my design in open office though this part of the project is time consuming and can be frustrating.
Not so positive results
- I haven’t found a daily routine yet.
- I’m obsessively researching the journals.
- There isn’t enough time in the day to read all the stories and poems.
- I’m not writing new drafts for my ideas, at least not as quickly as I would like.
These problems, I believe, will taper off soon. I did write a very short story rough draft this morning. I’ve gathered most of the journals that I plan to include in the planner. By the end of the month, I should have them organized into their planner months and be able to prioritize getting familiar with each one.
I was getting frustrated with the tools I had in open office, so I looked up loading new fonts. You can download free public domain, commercial use fonts at 1001 fonts. Having a selection of fonts I like made a lot of difference, but then I wanted borders and frames for my sections instead of just lines. This led me to the clip-art gallery. I downloaded frames and borders from public domain vectors.
This endeavor was not as successful as downloading and applying the fonts. Loading the clip-art into the gallery wasn’t particularly hard, I was just impatient and kept accidentally shutting down the program. Once I got the frames and borders into the clip-art, they didn’t look great when I resized them, so we’ll see if I end up using them.
While putting this week’s pages into one file, I discovered that the background colors that I had put with each day did not come along when inserted into the file. All of the days would have to have the same background color, so I decided to leave that for now. I think I’ll play around with using my photography for backgrounds. I would have to choose one that works for an entire season, if I choose to use a background.
I also changed the layout of the magazine section a bit. I didn’t like how the space next to the image of the magazine looked, so I moved the web address below the image and added info about the reading dates, pay/fee and whether or not they accept simultaneous submissions.
I hope you’ll click the link above and download the planner pages, so you can plan your week’s submissions along with me. I look forward to receiving your feedback and hearing about your journey to publication.
Happy Reading, Writing, Planning and Submitting!