Part two of the useful information needed to get yourself published.
Okay, so you’ve found the right publisher(s) and now you want to submit your masterpiece – what do you do? Below you will find three simple steps to follow to ensure you put your best foot forward and have the best opportunity to get your work in front of the right people and read. Of course there are never any guarantees but the best advice I was given was to just submit. You will never get published if you never send your work out.
Again, special thanks goes out to David Hicks and Jacqueline Kharouf for compiling this information.
1. Make your story/submission as good as it can be
Typically, if your story is accepted, the editors will give you a chance to make final edits or they may make some suggestions. In any case, submitting your best and most polished work means you’ll have a better chance of rising to the top of the slush pile. Also, adhere to the guidelines editors and publishers suggest. Failure to follow these instructions could mean an instant rejection (and a waste of your time and energy).
2. Write a cover letter
This should be a very short note with two parts. In your first paragraph, describe (briefly) what the story is about; in the second paragraph, tell the editor a little about who you are, including your publication history, or if this is your preliminary publishing endeavor. I’d also make an effort to include the editor’s name (if you can find it) and to be conscientious of the types of things this magazine is looking to publish.
3. Submit your story online or by snail mail
Most magazines nowadays are using some kind of online submission manager. Submishmash is pretty handy, for instance, because you can make a profile and monitor all your submissions to each of the magazines which also use this tool.
Send your story to as many places as you can. If you get a rejection, send another one out. If you get accepted, you may send another story to the places where you weren’t accepted. (Also, if you are accepted, be sure to inform the other places where your story was submitted. Write a simple note that you have withdrawn your submission because it has been accepted elsewhere).