So you’ve written a short story. You’re proud of what you’ve done, and you’ve clicked save (you’ve saved it, right?) and you’re ready to take it to the next step. You want to submit it to magazines (like us) and hopefully get to see it out in the world.
What do you do to start that process?
There are a few steps you can take to help your chances of getting your story into one of the publications you submit it to.
Back it up
I like to make sure all my writing is in at least two places, sometimes three.
Losing your work is a terrible feeling, and it only takes a few moments to prevent it. Whether your cat presses delete on your keyboard, or you spill coffee all over the paper you wrote your story on, you’re going to want to make sure there’s another version lying around somewhere.
Services like Google Drive and Dropbox are great ways to start backing up your work so you never have to deal with the horror of losing your draft.
Check, check, and check again
Reread it a few times to make sure you get all your edits in. Print it out and get your red pen out. Make sure it’s as clean as possible. Then, walk away for a bit, and return to it a little bit later with fresh eyes. You’ll likely find something else to change. Make sure it’s as perfect as you can get it before moving on to the next step.
Get some readers
Have a writing group? Ask some of them if they’d be interested in reading your story. Have some friends who have been pestering you to let them read your work? Send it to them, too. If you’re in awriting program, send it to some of your peers. Ask for feedback from them.
Be direct about what you’re looking for, and encourage them to get their marking pens out. You want honesty (and the occasional positive comment).
Make an excel spreadsheet to keep up with responses from different literary magazines. Celebrate when you get to 100. Keep going.
Do your research
There are plenty of great publications out there, but not all of them are great for your work. Make sure you submit to the right magazine for what you’re writing. That way, the people reading your work are already receptive to it.
Putting your work out there is tough, but you’ve already gotten over the hardest hurdle–writing the thing! Don’t shy away from submitting your work.
Once you’ve submitted your story, make sure to congratulate yourself. You did the thing! You wrote a great story, had it read over, put yourself out there, and submitted it to magazines. That’s something to be proud of.
Write another story. And another. And another. The world is waiting for your words.
We can’t wait to see what you do next.