Getting published in a journal was one of my hardest goals to hit.
Writers take different paths toward this. Some submit through email. Others submit through websites like Submittable. Both have their pros and cons.
Where to Submit?
When I submit through email, I tend to not hear back from the publisher for months, but that’s normal. Sometimes, I never hear back at all and take the silence as rejection. I have a chart of my poems, so I can mark if one of them is out for submission. That’s what I rely on. Some places have you submit your work as attachments while others want it in the body of the email. A few have used Google Forms as well. I often never get the option for feedback. But it’s free.
I do prefer Submittable though. The website tracks my submission history for me. It lets me know whether the publisher has received it, if it’s in-progress (which means they opened my submission), and if it’s accepted or rejected. I usually don’t hear back from the publisher for months. One of them even took a year to get back to me. I can sometimes get feedback, but that costs money. It can also cost to submit your work in general, which is usually called a readers fee. The most I’ve paid to submit my work is $5, but I’ve seen some up to $20 or $30.
How did I get accepted?
Out of the forty-one tries I’ve done on Submittable, one got accepted. But I also have one accepted through email by using Google Forms. I’ll explain how I got both, so maybe that helps you.
I got accepted through Google Forms first. I found the opening on Twitter, which had a Google Forms application page. I had to link my previous work while filling out a few questions with my name, contact information, etc. A few weeks later, I got an acceptance email.
For Submittable, I submitted my previously written work to publishers only to get rejected. But this time, I found a publisher with a fantasy theme opening. I wrote a piece from scratch for them. I also got a couple of beta readers from Facebook to look over it. I submitted my work along with answering a few questions, including writing a short bio and a cover letter.
Since two publications accepted me this year, I hope I can get more next year. I made a lot of progress, and I want to keep going.
Have any questions about the process? Let me know in the comments below!