We writers all go through the same loop when submitting our work
for publication. We write, submit, get rejected and repeat.
I can handle that. Rejection is part of the process.
Rejection makes you try harder and you learn
from every rejection.
The thing that gets under my skin is the Vast amount of
differences for submissions! There are almost as many WAYS
to submit as there are publications that accept them.
*Some accept previously published pieces, others do not.
Some consider a blog post as being Published, others do not.
*Some charge reading fees, others do not.
*Some places do not accept simultaneous submissions,
while others do.
*Some want your submission in a Word document, others want a PDF.
Still others want the submission to be a copy and pasted into
the body of the email.
*Some have very specific requirements as far as font size
and type, others do not.
*Some want your submission to be blind. No name on it anywhere.
Other want your name on each piece.
*If submitting short pieces, poetry, etc., some places want just
One document with ALL of your pieces. Others want each piece
attached as a separate document.
*A LOT of submissions go through Submittable. With others you
must email the publication directly. Still others have their own
online form you must fill out to submit.
*Some places want a bio from you. These can vary wildly.
Anything from a short piece, limited to 50 words or less to
something longer. Some places want the bio written in the
3rd person, other do not. Then some places do not want a
bio at all. And remember the requirements for font
size and type!!
*Most publications seem to take a lifetime to get back to you
with an answer, 6 months or more is not uncommon. If this is
the case, you’ve got this unpublished masterpiece (in some eyes)
sitting there and you can do NOTHING with it. Because if they
do not accept simultaneous submissions or previously published
work, you cannot let it be seen anywhere else until the
Publication Gods that you have submitted to have given
it a pass or fail.
*Then there is the whole legal mess of your rights as the author.
Do you retain your rights? Do they? You need an attorney to
read the leagalese on some of the websites.
It’s all maddening!! Why do we do it??
I get so frustrated at times that I just throw my hands up in
the air in defeat. I close down the website I’m on and crawl
back to my little cave of self-pity to lick my wounds. Then
that spark will come. That “ping” that tells me “This time!
THIS will be the ONE that will get me seen and the publishers
will take notice!!” So I go at it again and submit
more of my work.
I do offer some advice in this mad, mad world of write,
submit, reject and repeat.
*I Print Out the submission Guidelines and keep them next to
me as I’m preparing my piece for submission. This way, I’m sure
not to overlook anything.
*FOLLOW the submission guidelines to the letter.
No matter how brilliant your piece is, if you did not follow
the rules, you’re out on your ear often before the
piece is ever read.
*Proof your piece. For heaven’s sake, you don’t want to be
rejected because of a spelling error, do you?
Proof, proof, proof!!
*Lastly, take time to vent. Cry, yell and curse the
Publishing Gods. Shake your fist and stomp your feet.
Scream into your pillow. Cry yourself a river, if that makes
you feel better. But when it’s all said and done, take a deep
breath and climb back on that horse and give it another shot.
Why? Because we are writers, that’s why.
© 2018 Penny Wilson
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