Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Airing My Laundry

OK. Here's the deal: I have written a story. I want to get it published, so I've been doing a lot of research into literary journals and magazines, both in print and online. It has been time-consuming but very interesting. I have discovered a lot of really great writing. I have also learned a lot about how this kind of publishing works--not that I necessarily will be able to get published. First I have to get my story accepted, which means getting it ready to send out, picking where to send it, submitting it according to various sets of guidelines, and then waiting around at least a few months to get any response.

While there are many lit. magazines that I know of, there are many more I'd never heard of before I started doing this research. So then I started wondering, what were the various reputations of these publications? Which ones were the most prestigious to be published in, and which ones were considered laughable? How could I be sure I was not submitting work to a publication that would be embarrassing to be published by? Of course, beggars cannot be choosers, so I cannot be too picky. Getting published is the main thing . . . right?

I came across a West Coast online literary journal that described itself as avoiding the glibness that seemed to pervade contemporary writing, and I thought, great! I'm not glib! Maybe that's the perfect place for me. Then I read some of their submission guidelines, and started to doubt that I had any idea what this whole thing was about, because their guidelines struck me as odd. I couldn't help thinking, do these people know what it means to publish something? Or am I the one who knows nothing of publishing? Then, after a little more research, I turned up this blog post reacting to the same guidelines. I guess I'm not crazy after all. Moral of the story: Trust your instincts.

It's entertaining to go look at some of the online reactions to the above post, but also a little embarrassing. You want to stop but you just can't. To quote one of the commentators, "It's sad (in several meanings of the word)."

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New York, NY, United States
Overeducated mom, addled by constant interruptions due to demands of family and dog, trying to read books and write coherent sentences about them. Luckily, yoga keeps me centered. Sharing my love of yoga through teaching helps make sense of it all. I have a yoga blog at susiemarplesyoga.com. Since 2015, it has been my pleasure to serve as a reader for Epiphany, a literary journal publishing fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art; on Twitter as @epiphanymag. http://profile.to/susiemarples http://pinterest.com/susiem66

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