Thursday, February 24, 2011

Are You In A Submission Rut?

Writers who find success with a publisher or website editor tend to continue to submit to them. That's fine. It's good to establish a presence with an editor. If they like your work enough to accept it once, chances are they'll do it again. It allows us a comfort zone and who doesn't go for that?

But be careful. You don't want to find yourself in a submission rut. I've been blessed to have stories in eleven Chicken Soup for the Soul books. I often find myself writing a piece of creative nonfiction with them in mind as a market. A monthly newspaper for seniors in Springfield, MO has accepted everything I've sent them, so of course, I'm going to continue to submit my work there. I'd be a fool not to.

It's important, however, to seek other markets and to submit to them. Step out of your comfort zone and do a little market research for publications new to you. Network with other writers to learn some good places to submit your work. When a writer friend mentions that an editor was especially nice to work with, I'm more than willing to send them my work, too.

Even when you know nothing more than what the guidelines tell you about the publication but think your work might be a fit, take a chance and send it. What's the worst that can happen? A rejection, but you can select another publication and send it out again.

Try a new market soon. You just might meet with success.


  1. A very successful writer I know, I'd even call her a writing coach, says frequently and loudly that a writer should have "TEN THINGS OUT IN THE MARKET AT ALL TIMES." If something gets returned, rejected, just look it over carefully, study ways to improve it, and send it out to another market. One publisher, maybe of poetry, kept a submission of hers for seven years before finally deciding to publish it. She'd almost forgotten the piece.

  2. I had a friend who was contacted by Highlights for Children about an article she'd sent many years earlier. So, it does happen, although maybe not frequently. And yes, you should have your work out to several markets all the time. It means you have to keep writing on a regular basis, doesn't it? All for the good!