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.
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 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.
A big thank you to editor Susan Solomon who has published my poem “How They Fall” at Sleet Magazine.
The poem is an important part of the themes I’m working with in my new collection: flight, falling, the ups and downs of life. It’s also very cool that all of the very few poems in the issue feel connected with each other.
I haven’t mentioned the pandemic too much lately because it’s so much of the same-old-same. And I know when I mention anything on social media or Facebook to friends that some of them get depressed at any covid talk. But I thought about not posting because it’s all I wanted to talk about today–and I didn’t want to muzzle myself. Except with a 3-layer face mask, of course.
Arizona numbers are way up, and this is after I’ve been hibernating for over three months. The appointment for my daughter to look at bridal gowns is Friday, and I am supposed to go with her. It’s so so hard to develop much enthusiasm at this point.
So in the interests of our mental health (there is so little of it available currently) I will mention covid negatives that turned into positives only.
Following Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I started this program last fall and joined a local group for moral support. The group is still meeting once a month (by Zoom now), but the only thing I am writing in my morning pages is what I made for dinner each day. I have over 3 months of menus, but nothing else since the pandemic began. So what’s good about this? I like writing our dinners down. Maybe it will come in handy some day. HAHAHA And I am glad the meetings are still being held because it’s wonderful to consort with other women artist types.
I have pandemic brain. Very fuzzy and not very smart. I had to look up “consort” to make sure about the meaning. Yup. It means to “habitually associate with (someone), typically with the disapproval of others.” A lot of artistic women have experienced the disapproval of others throughout their lives, so we’re there (here?) for each other. So what’s good about this? Recognizing that we have each others’ backs.
I can’t/won’t travel, see my mother in Michigan, go out to dinner. Yes, we are being very careful. So what’s good about this? More time with my cats, especially with the oldsters, Pear and Tiger, who just want me near them all the time.
Although I wrote a few poems near the beginning of the “lockdown,” I no longer even want to write a poem. Or if I do, it’s a little tiny flicker, not a flame. Certainly not enough to sustain me through a whole poem. So what’s good about this? I took the time to organize my poems into one chapbook, then another chapbook, then I put both chapbooks together into a full-length collection. It might still keep morphing, but at least I feel like I’m doing something! I’ve been working on titles, too ;).
Because of the pandemic I am beyond exhausted and have way too much work to do. This happened because 1) I have way more work-work than I did before, 2) I have no occasional help as I did before, and 3) all that damn cooking. So what’s good about this, you might ask?! OK, this is a little convulated. Maybe I’m pushing it. But I think it’s true. I don’t want to give up on my genealogy research, no matter what. But I really am too pandemic-brained and tired to do anything mentally taxing. So instead, I am doing a mindless fill-in-the-gaps project for my direct ancestors (I think I’ve mentioned this before) AND I am organizing my genealogy documents on my computer. Um, they were a mess. So I am pretty happy that I am making some structure out of chaos.
I miss hugging my kids. You got me there. Nothing good about that.
This probably doesn’t have much to do with covid, but I am only one journal away from meeting my publication goal for 2020! There are still four due to publish throughout the summer. Waiting on that one more acceptance . . . 🙂
Wear your masks, please. Wash your hands. Carry sanitizer with you. And if you need to travel and you’re female, get one of those pee funnels. If you’re male, get one of those portable urinals. That will save you from some restroom covid germs. I guess since I can’t hug my kids, I am trying to “mom” everyone else!
“Finally Going to Tell You about the Staircase Ghost” was published today by editor Lisa M. Hase-Jackson at Zingara Poetry Review. This poem relates a couple of the “super”natural experiences I have had.
As befitting Mother’s Day, one of them occurred when I was a new mom. The other is a ghost story.
Superstition Review is a literary journal from Arizona State University, and I am so tickled that they published two of my poems. Also, they posted an audio clip of my reading of both poems. Follow this link:
So you don’t even have to read them yourself, just put up your feet and listen for two minutes.
The first poem is called “One of Her Parents was a Float.” It’s a poem inspired by adoption. Until the poem I published with Plath Poetry Project a few months ago and this one I hadn’t written an adoption poem in a long time. I feel really pleased with the originality of this way of looking at the subject.
The second poem was inspired by seeing a photo online of a little girl named Minnie Rae PREGNANT in 1871 San Francisco.
In those days, there weren’t any services to help girls like this. Charity and all the baggage that came with it was all anyone could hope for. What baggage? Demands about doctrine, religion, and lifestyle, all the while not providing enough to live on.
But if you think nothing like this has happened in a long time, I’ll give you an anecdote from the late 70s. That is a long time ago now, but it has teemed in my head since then. The gardener’s cousin was married to a wonderful man who taught in an inner city school in a very poor area of NYC. One of his students was 8 years old and pregnant. He struggled with how to deal with the horrors he faced every day in the classroom.
Is stuff like this still going on today? Let me know what you think!
Editor Lisa M. Hase-Jackson has published my poem “Maybe It was Spring” at Zingara Poetry Review. This poem is very different from the one also published a few hours ago at North of Oxford. That one is a dark story, a poem that reveals the real Medusa and what happened to her. You can find “Medusa’s #Metoo” in my previous post.
But “Maybe It was Spring” is a “risen” poem. It’s about all the possibilities of rebirth, renewal, and the hope of a miracle. It’s also a true story.
Click the image below to get to “Maybe It was Spring”:
If you have a WordPress blog, try following Zingara Poetry Review so you can be first to read the Zingara Poetry Picks!
Founder and co-editor Christine Butterworth-McDermott really knows her way around a fairy tale. She understands their flexibility, responsibilities, and opportunities. So it was thrilling that she took one of my Red Riding Hood poems for the new issue of Gingerbread House Literary Magazine.
You can read it here and see the beautiful artwork that was paired with the poem: Interrogation
This very sweet fairly new literary journal Dovecote has published one of my poems in their 3rd issue. Don’t you think the journal name is beautiful? A dovecote is a house for doves. I found this photo of a very old dovecote in the Utrecht province of the Netherlands on my old friend Wikipedia.
A place to house birds. A bird is often a metaphor for a poet. Because of the singing, ya know?
Well, oddly, my poem is not a singing sort of poem, but more of a shouting one. Here’s a different look at poetry than many people, especially people who don’t read a lot of poetry, hold.