Searching for The Holy Grail for Writers

I thought that there was a Holy Grail for writers: a list of all the “good” lit journals.  Once I found that list I could just cross off each journal as I sent them a manuscript.

You can find out if that list exists in my article, “From Creation to Publication: Finding the Submission Strategy That Works for You, published by The Review Review. In this piece, I describe how I changed my approach to submitting to magazines and journals.

Photo by Marisha

Photo by Marisha

I realized that I had forgotten to tell you about The Review Review. You can check out my article and the other helpful advice in the “tips” section, and you can read reviews of lit magazines and interviews.  You can also sign up to have the newsletter with links to articles sent to your email. I’ve been reading the newsletter for a while and have found a lot of magazines that interest me. Sometimes I print out the articles so I can read them later, when I’m less inclined to want to sit at the computer.

When I discovered The Review Review, I added the link to the toolbar on my computer!


Filed under Creative Nonfiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Research and prep for writing, Writing, Writing goals

42 responses to “Searching for The Holy Grail for Writers

  1. That was a good write-up, Luanne, and very informative. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for sharing the info – attempted to sign up for their mailings w/ no luck 🙁

  3. Good stuff, Luanne…thanks!

  4. Thanks very much for this helpful info Luanne 🙂

    • Sherri, welcome back! I hope it saves a few others from some of that wasted time that I went through!

      • Thanks so much Luanne, and it certainly will! You share a treasure-trove here, so very kind and generous of you. I’ve just submitted some poems to my first competition but I’ve not heard anything yet. Two of them were recently published in a poetry anthology but I’ve not had any other poems published. I’ve yet to submit some to a literary journal but feel greatly encouraged by you to do so now. You have given me the shove I needed 😀

  5. I keep talking about sending off to journals so now it’s time to actually do so!

  6. Thank you for this useful information, Luanne. 🙂

  7. Hmmm. Can’t access the link for some reason. Will try again. You’re a thoughtful blogger, Luanne.

  8. Fantastic article, Luanne! I especially like your honesty in this piece. I think we all start out just sending our work to anyone we can think of, which is the SLOWEST way to success. Thank you for showing us how to do it right!

    • Thanks so much, Windy. I agree: it is the slowest way to success. When I figured this out I decided to write something for River Teeth’s Beautiful Things feature: wrote it, sent it to them, and heard within a week that it was accepted. I was targeting and knew piece and place were a good fit.

  9. Headed over, Luanne. Congrats on publication.

  10. Awesome! Congrats! I will check it out.

    • Thanks for checking it out!!! And thanks for the congrats: it’s the first piece I’ve written about the process (other than blogging), so it feels like it’s one of my babies ;).

  11. Reblogged this on Quillfyre and commented:
    Such a timely piece for me to come across right now, when I am bogged down in the uncertainty and self-doubt that plagues me every time I try to get going on a plan of submissions. Today, I was trying o find places to submit my third chapbook. I could publish it myself, no problem. But I thought I might try an outside publisher. And that’s when the trouble starts. Here, Luanne Castle posts a link to her article dealing with strategies for submissions. Well worth the read, and the reblog!

  12. I tried to comment over on The Review Review. They think I am spamming. So, just to let you know, this was such a timely piece for me to read and consider. I realize I am stuck in the safety zone, mostly only submitting to places where I’ve been either guaranteed publication or where I’ve had success more than once before. Thanks, Luanne. I’ve printed off your article for future reference.

    Carol A Stephen

    • Carol,
      I will let them know about you not being able to leave a comment! Thank you so much for letting me know that the article is helpful to you! That is so good to hear! My best to you in your submission challenge to yourself!

  13. You are always so generous with your suggestions and helpful reading choices, Luanne! I appreciate this, may not get to reading many journals so may not add this to my own list of choices. But I do see the value in submitting to magazines and journals. I also see the benefit to learning what learned sources give as their suggestions, too. Oh, I found a few new memoirs to check out, quite unique styles and I just looked at the summaries, “Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?” by Roz Chast, who is the cartoonist for domestic scenes in the New Yorker magazine. She is featuring the later days of her life, taking care of her parents in the memoir, honest and light-hearted in style. Then another one, which really captured my interest was by Brando Skyhorse, “Take This Man.”
    While 3 years old, being a Mexican-American child, his mother decides to ‘re-invent herself as a Native American, name of Running Deer.’ Then, she went even farther with her pretense, taking her son when he turned 5 to a prison, where he was told his father was Native American political activist, Paul Skyhorse Johnson. Doesn’t this sound like quite a wild memoir? Where he needs to ‘straighten out his own life?’ Luanne, I took up a lot of room, I won’t feel badly if you take my ideas (or not) and delete this part of my comments, that is the advantage of the edit button! Smiles, Robin

    • Ooh, those sound great, Robin! The one by the cartoonist is akin to the memoir review I am getting ready to schedule for the morning. It’s a memoir by a cartoonist (sort of)! The one about the child whose identity was hidden, forcing him to live out a new identity is definitely wild! I love your suggestions, Robin!

      • Thanks, Luanne! Our library has various shelves and tables that include ‘Staff’s Picks’ and then, subject related topics. They had a whole table of ‘new’ memoirs, I grabbed up these two and wrote their titles, after I read their descriptions… to let you know… Smiles, Robin

  14. A really thought-provoking and useful article Luanne, thank you.

  15. This was a very informative post, Luanne. I read your great tips in Review Review and although I don’t write poetry I think much applies to other genres as well. Good luck in the publication of your poetry books. I know what you mean about having published a poem in one magazine but a collection is a very good idea.

    • Yes, it definitely applies. I would have talked about creative nonfiction as well, but the editors had asked me to focus on poetry for this article. I’m glad I did because it kept it from meandering too much ;).

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