Posted in Writing

Publishing Your Work, A Mad, Mad, Mad World

We writers all go through the same merry-go-round when submitting 
our work for publication.  We write, submit, get rejected and repeat.  
I understand 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.  
Others 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, others 1st person.  
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got this unpublished masterpiece (in OUR eyes, right?) 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 leagalspeak 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.   

*PRINT OUT the submission Guidelines and keep them next to you as you 
prepare your piece for submission.  This way, you can be 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.    

Copyright © 2022 Penny Wilson All Rights Reserved


Penny Wilson is a freelance writer who writes in several genres. She has written articles for WOW Women on Writing. Her poetry has been published in online journals, such as Ariel Chart, Spill Words Press and the Poppy Road Review. Penny is a member of the Austin Poetry Society. Her poetry has been featured in the publication America's Emerging Poets 2018 & 2019 by Z Publishing and Poets Quarterly and Dual Coast Magazine published by Prolific Press. Penny is an advocate for Mental Health Awareness and has the page "Mental Health Help" on her blog. She writes about the struggles of mental illnesses and Depression. She is passionate about spreading awareness for Suicide Prevention and Domestic Abuse. She expresses her passion through her writings of poetry and life experiences. You can find more of her writings on her blog at and follow her on Twitter @pennywilson123.

31 thoughts on “Publishing Your Work, A Mad, Mad, Mad World

  1. Thank you for another very helpful post on writing, Penny. This has been a real eye-opener for me. It does make me wonder whether I will be able to get published at all in this mad, mad, mad world (borrowing your words). In 2013, I had two books published by a small mental health publisher. The service was free, but I didn’t receive fees for the [very few] copies sold. Wanting to publish again, I checked that publisher out, and he now charges an exorbitant amount to format and publish a book. To be honest, I’m not looking for fame or riches; I’d like to see my work in print somewhere other than my blog. It’s all a bit of a minefield. 🌷


    1. Oh, don’t lose hope, Ellie! I have been researching publishers, etc., just recently. Congrats on the 2 books that you did publish! It’s a Huge task, I know.
      I will send you something via your contact page so I can get more detailed.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. That would be wonderful, Penny. Thank you so much. Any information you can give me will be extremely welcome. I look forward to hearing back from you when you have time. X 🌷💜🤗


      2. Dear Penny, I hope you are well this morning (if it’s morning where you are.) Thank you for the helpful comments you have left me. However, unfortunately, I haven’t received an email from you via my contact me page, although I did receive an email saying I’ve got an email. I’m not sure why, as I usually get messages this way from other readers. I’m very keen to learn more about publishing and would be very grateful if you could email me directly at I’m very sorry for any inconvenience, and I look forward to hearing from you again soon. Many thanks, Ellie X 💖


  2. It’s easy to wonder why we do this…until we throw in the towel and the words start circling and driving us crazy until we give them an outlet. Back on the merry-go-round we go! 💞


  3. You used the short cord button here Penny to write this post which I sometimes use it. Anyways, this is a nice blog about the disadvantages of publishing written work, all I can say is, don’t give up , rejection is not the end but take it as a lesson and see where you went wrong. If writing is what you truly desire, then push instead of throwing in the towel🙏💯


  4. I loved how you wrote this. It helped to make fun of the frustration! I self published my first book and they were a disaster which is why I’m considering using a publisher for the next one.Now, I’ll remember to laugh at all the annoyances that go with it. Maybe I’ll get lucky and have none!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I stopped submitting years ago. Of course, I stopped writing too. Motherhood. I consider getting out the old manuscripts and dusting them off….oh but to learn all about how to submit again. Daunting.


  6. I know all of this to be true and I can add one. My last publisher wanted me to put the rest of my life on hold in order to market my book. I had to do all the donkey work while working two jobs. It could have led to a heart attack, no exaggeration.


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