Being published in literary magazines and journals is a common goal for freelance writers. It helps to spread the word about yourself to bigger players in the writing industry. It helps to build an audience, helps you learn, and, if successful, can give you a feeling of accomplishment and validation. It also allows you to gauge where your writing skills are in relation to your peers. These are a few simple and straightforward tips to help you along the way.

Rules and Guidelines

There are specific and detailed instructions for submitting to any literary journal. If you don’t perfectly follow these guidelines, then you’re sabotaging yourself. It doesn’t matter how wonderful your piece is if you get immediately rejected out of hand. Take the time to be sure that you are presenting everything correctly.

Finding the Right Publication

Some writers will submit anything anywhere. This tactic can gather some success, but it’s wildly inefficient over time. It’s much easier to do a little research to help find an appropriate and correctly tiered publication. Choose a writing piece that relates to the theme of the magazine that you want to submit to. Also, you need to be honest with yourself regarding your current skill and experience as a writer. For example, you would have an uphill battle if you were to submit to a technical journal, but you didn’t have the proper technical background.

Submit Something That you Love

Focus on the pieces that you are most proud of. Editors can tell if something is written with excitement or not. It can also feel a bit hollow if you get a piece published that you know doesn’t reflect yourself as a writer. Getting anything published is an accomplishment in and of itself, but wouldn’t you much rather take chances on the projects you enjoy?

There are countless other things to consider when submitting your writing, but these three are some of the most important. So remember to follow the submission guidelines, choose the best fit for your writing style, and submit your favorite pieces of work. It’s a broad generalization, but it’s a good starting point for most writers.