The other day, Ellie from Crossed Eyes and Dotted Tees asked me how I find magazines/journals where I can submit my writing. On the chance that maybe what I do might help someone else, I thought I’d share my haphazard method for finding good places to submit short stories (both fiction and nonfiction) and poetry.
First, though, Kana says hi.
My list items are effective by themselves, but I also think that there is a synergy that develops from doing them all or a large portion. Kind of a 2 + 2 = 5 result. Some journals show up repeatedly, and I’ve learned more about them in this way. Then a new name springs up, and I check it and wow! a wonderful new mag for writers and readers to discover.
- Let’s start with social media. I have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, my blogs, and a website. For the purposes of finding journals and magazines, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are arguably the most important.
- On Facebook I joined writers’ groups and engage at least occasionally. I also “like” the pages of journals that are mentioned. When Facebook gives me suggestions to like journal pages, I either “like” and check out later or check out before I decide to “like.”
- On Twitter, I follow lots and lots of literary magazines and journals, as well as writers. The more you follow, the more suggestions for journals you discover and, hence, the more you follow.
- On Instagram, I follow “suggestions” for journals to follow.
- I’ve taken writing workshops in the past where I met writers. I stay in touch with many of them.
- When I find journals and have a chance to read and check them out, I keep track of them. I used to bookmark them on my computer. But the other day I deleted most of them because this method had become unwieldy. I also found that I have reached the point where I didn’t need it as much any longer.
What else do I do?
- Search Twitter and Facebook for submission calls. Sometimes that search can produce a request for submissions from a journal you have never heard of before. Or maybe a themed issue that fits well with something you are working on.
- Use the Poets & Writers literary magazine list as a guide.
- Check out Clifford Garstang’s Pushcart ratings lists. They are invaluable for seeing which journals have published Pushcart-selected pieces (doesn’t predict the future, but looks at the past). Here is the 2020 list for Fiction. You can look around for nonfiction and poetry once you’re on the site.
- Search for submissions through my Duotrope membership.
- Read Allison Joseph’s site. She used to run CWROPPS, a valuable Yahoo group. When they shut the groups down, she started posting on her blog: Creative Writers Opps.
- Read Trish Hopkinson‘s site for poets only.
- Read collections of stories or poems. Then I check out the acknowledgements and see where the writing was first published. That gives me a solid list of journals.
- Every time I encounter a journal new to me that looks promising, I read at least a good portion of an issue. Try it. See the bios of the writers published in that issue? They often give names of other magazines that have published their writing. Go check those out!
You can see that this process is extensive and symbiotic, but not exhaustive. I certainly don’t do this all perfectly. But I’ve done it for a long time, and I don’t stop going through the process: the literary journal world is ever-changing. It’s important to keep up. Many journals have closed up shop in the last year or two, but many more are publishing their first or second issue.
If you have other ideas for finding places to which you can submit your work, please share!
This cactus flower was a little slower to bloom than the others. It’s nice to have one open now while it’s so stinken hot.