The Art of Submission: Why We Submit


I think it’s important, in my first blog post about submitting to literary journals, that I admit something from the start…

I have no idea what I am doing.

But here’s the thing: I don’t think most people know what they are doing when it comes to submitting work to literary journals. Based on the advice columns and essays and blog posts that I have read, everyone seems to have a different system for and philosophy on submitting work. There are elaborate paper filing systems. There is alsoDuotrope. Some people submit only to The New Yorker and Tin House and Ploughshares, and some people submit to mid-tier journals and work their way up. Some people submit only to journals that they have read, and some people don’t read literary journals at all. There are cover letters to write and the debate between print and online journals to decipher. One article I read said to only submit your work to journals with a readership over five thousand people. A teacher of mine said to use the list of journals in the back of the Best American series. Another said to only send your work to journals that have the most Pushcart nominations.

See? It’s confusing.


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