Yesterday (day 12) I sent in a personal essay called Giving Up False Notions to The New York Times’ Modern Love column. In the essay, I write about the pivotal moment when I learned exactly who my pattern man was when he confronted me about being his pattern woman. Talk about a recipe for symbiotic disaster—or freedom.
Day 13, today, I submitted a short story called Therapeutic Madness to literary magazine Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Contest. My story is about a woman who quietly slides into a spiritual meltdown, which I illustrate with ever-changing grammatical perspectives (i.e. first person, second person, third person).
The other day, someone asked me how I figure out where to submit my short stories and novels. I told them about my crystal ball and added that for $29.99 I could provide them with a list of submission targets. A writer has got to be creative about earning her living. Kidding. Knowing where to submit to prior to this 30-day challenge drastically reduces the time I spend each day on submissions, because it can be quite time consuming to do the footwork of finding an appropriate publisher, agent or magazine.
So here’s my go-to list:
The Writer Magazine
I receive a hard copy of the magazine in the mail each month because I am just that much of a luddite. Don’t judge me. Especially if you are over 40 because that makes you a goddamn hypocritical millennial sycophant. You do so know what a typewriter is.
This magazine is a great resource for all kinds of articles about writing, writers, reading, rhetoric and any other words that fit into this alliterative rant. Besides the articles, however, each issue (or the entire website, for you technophiles) comes with a handy-dandy list of resources, from literary agents to publishers to magazines. Check out The Writer Magazine here.
Writer’s Digest Magazine is very similar to The Writer, and I also subscribe to the paper version. After a mailbox filled with bills all month, seeing this glossy magazine wedged in there is like getting a present in the post. This publication also is filled with great resources, including writer or editor interviews, New Literary Agent Spotlights and several contests. Check out Writer’s Digest here.
This 18-pound tome is the telephone book (how we looked up people’s numbers and addresses before Google) of writing resources. You can purchase the thick book, which also comes in handy as a stepping stool, or for a small monthly fee subscribe to the online version. I subscribe to the online version. Why this and not the two magazines? I don’t have an answer for you.
Here you can look up magazines, publishers, agents, etc., which not only list editors’ names and emails, but the specifics of what they’re looking for and their submission guidelines, too. They also have a whole section on sample query letters, non-fiction proposals, advice on freelancing, and Q&As with published writers or editors. Check out Writer’s Market here.
Freedom With Writing
I recently subscribed to Freedom With Writing, a free subscription that delivers a variety of submission resources into your inbox every week. I tell you, it’s a nice change from all the penis enlargement or “hot sex now!” emails that I’ve been getting non-stop since 1996. This guy does all the research for you (I’m talking about Freedom With Writing again, not penis enlargements) and compiles it into a handy list with a brief description of what the publication is looking for, how much they pay, and a direct link to the submissions page.
And of course I’m always open to other people’s suggestions and recommendations.
So there you have it.