Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Try A New Market For Your Writing

Have you ever thought about submitting to a new market but then scratched the whole idea? Maybe you were afraid the market was too competitive. Or that maybe your writing might not measure up to what the guidelines suggested. Am I good enough? Can I compete with professional writers? These are questions we often ask ourselves and when we're not feeling sure and confident, we pass by the market possibility. 

Don't do that!

A few weeks ago, I was reading a marketing newsletter and saw information on The War Cry published by the Salvation Army. I knew it was a longtime publication and one that is highly respected. They also paid well. I thought of a couple stories I might send them. Then came the Should I? and Is my work worthy of this kind of magazine? Then I thought Why not? What have I got to lose? All they can do is send me a rejection. 

So, after a careful look at the two pieces I had in mind, I sent them after rechecking the guidelines. Marked both on my Submissions 2016 record list and went on with the rest of the things in my life.
Last Friday, I received a rejection notice for one of the stories, a fiction piece based on an experience we had while in South Africa many years ago. Disappointed? Yes. Upset? No. I knew it was a long shot. 

Monday, I received another email message from the editor of The War Cry informing me that they wanted to publish the second story, which was a personal essay. They are not sure which monthly issue it will appear in but I'm guessing December as the situation in the story took place during Christmas season. I was asked to call or mail my social security number. I did so the next morning and then answered a couple of questions the editor had. She finished our conversation saying that my check would be sent right away. Needless to say, I was elated to be published in a magazine of this quality and to be getting a nice check for same--right away, not after publication as is so often the case. 

I sent those two stories on a whim and am so glad that I did. Had I listened to my own doubts, I would have skipped right on by and look what I would have missed. 

So, take a chance and submit to a new market even if you think you have no chance of being accepted. You might end up being surprised like I was. If you don't try, you'll never know. It's the same with entering a writing contest. If you don't enter, you can't win. The worst that can happen is that you get a rejection or, if a contest, that you don't win. That happens a lot in our writing world so do take a chance and submit even when you're doubting yourself. Just make sure that what you send fits the market. Don't send a gardening article to a Dairy farmer's magazine. 

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