The Best Way to Submit Your Short Story to Publications
This submission service for short story writers will guide you through it
Submitting your short story to publications is still the best way to (start) building your writing career. There are hundreds of journals in the US alone.
Authors like Bukowski and Stephen King started their careers getting their short stories published in magazines like Esquire or Playboy. Their work was noticed and they got the traction they needed to land publishing deals for their future work.
The question is: what is the best way to submit your short story to journals? Finding the right journal for your work is time-consuming, especially if you have no clue about the publication landscape.
You can browse Writer’s Market to find the ones that fit your writing. Through websites like Submittable, you can upload your story to these publications. I’ve done this with about seven of my short stories. I had no idea what to do or who to approach. I picked a handful of journals I loved, but in hindsight, they didn’t seem to be the best fit for my work.
What if there’s a service that uses the perfect algorithm to pinpoint which journals are a good fit for your story, run by people who understand the literary world? Enter Submitit, a full-service submission company. They handle the submission process for you, offer professional editorial packages, and select the best journals for your story.
I tried their service and Erik from Submitit helped me to not only select 20 journals that would be a match for my story, but he also proofread and critiqued it wonderfully too. Submitit saved me time and guesswork. Now all I can do is wait if the journals Erik approached on my behalf are interested.
Erik is a writer himself, and through the years he’s submitted many stories and was successfully published in coveted journals. It wasn’t an easy road though. Early on he made many mistakes which you can avoid submitting your short stories:
- He only submitted to top journals like The New Yorker or McSweeney’s. Naturally, all his efforts were fruitless
- He tried submitting to every journal in the world. A time-consuming strategy with little reward.
- He did not fully know what each journal was looking for exactly.
His frustration grew into curiosity. How to optimize this process? He started reading literary journals. He identified categories and patterns into what it takes to get published in certain journals. This resulted in an algorithm which he realized could also help other struggling submitting authors.
So, how does the Submitit process work?
Step 1: Sign up
First, you need to sign up through their website. You’ll have to pick your package, depending on how many journals you want to submit to. The more you select, the higher the chances of getting published. I opted for the Full Monty: 20 journals.
I also highly recommend their copyediting and line editing services, especially if you don’t have a professional editor who checked your story. More on that later. Fill in the signup form first and they will get back to you for the next steps.
Step 2: Story upload
Once applied, you’ll have to go through a thorough story upload process. Here you offer information about yourself, write a short bio and cover letter (intended for journal editors), select your package and upload your story for review. Then the fun begins…
Step 3: Editing and Proofing
Submitit always offers basic copy editing services, but as I said, I highly recommend that you select the full line editing services. My story had already been proofread by multiple people and it had been edited too, but Erik had some great pointers as to how I could improve my story. The story has become so much tighter and stronger. Also, he came back to me in less than a week!
If you opt for an editing package, you’ll have to do some rewriting before you send the final version back to be submitted to the publications.
Step 4: Journal selection
At this stage, almost everything is set on your end. Now Submitit will activate its crafty algorithm to find your 10–20 journals. This is the secret sauce and where they provide the most value. They’ll create a list of recommended journals for your story. Then, you’ll have to approve this list.
They match the qualities of your story with those of the hundreds of literary journals in their database and start with the journals that have the highest ratings. Submitit considers several factors, including reputation, activity, success with anthologies, longevity, masthead size and strength, financial or university backing, website quality, and so much more. You’ll receive an overview containing a match score, name of the journal, its founding year and acceptance rate.
Submitit creates a shared email to set up the submission profiles (this way you can track the progress yourself). They’ve split the submission process into two rounds of 10 in my case. Starting with the top 10. I’ll receive a second list of newer publications in the second round.
Step 5: Submissions
BAM! All journals are submitted to in just a couple of hours. No work on your end. You leave it to the professionals.
Now you’ll have to wait. Some journals take 6 months or longer to respond. Fingers crossed my story will get published! Fingers crossed yours will too if you try Submitit.
Let a team of professionals help you get your short stories published and hopefully earn money with your work. Do note that it’s never guaranteed that any of the approached journals will publish your work. Acceptance rates are extremely low. Don’t get your hopes up. But, by using the fancy algorithm of Submitit, their expertise and data of hundreds of journals, you might be able to increase your chances of getting published.
They handle every step of the submission process for you: from formatting and editing to creating cover letters and a bio, to the final submission of your story.
Why not try to increase your chances of getting published? New writers can now try Submitit with -20% off*! Just mention my name in the signup process and you’ll receive your discount.
(*I am not affiliated with Submitit nor do I receive a commission. I just love their service :-))
Originally published at https://www.turnerstories.com on December 20, 2020.