I was writing an announcement to my MFA students yesterday imploring them to submit their work. You can’t publish if you don’t submit, I wisely counseled.
People are waiting to read your words and they won’t be able to read them until you submit them, get them accepted, and sit back and wait for the accolades to roll in.
You can self-publish. Post on your blog. Check out Wattpad. There are ways around not submitting to contests, journals, and the like.
But if you DO want to be published in those sorts of things, you have to submit.
One of my favorite sources for online submissions is the website Submittable. It’s free, it’s user-friendly, and it has so many links to submissions.
The other bonus of using Submittable is that it keeps track of your submissions for you so you don’t have to.
If the person on the other end, the person asking for submissions, does their part, they update the submission when it is either rejected or accepted. That way, you have an automatic list of story titles and their status.
Submittable also keeps the entry, so when you’re trying to write that pesky cover letter, you can go back to the excellent one you submitted a month ago and use it as a starting point for the next.
It isn’t perfect. You still have to do independent research as to the type of publication and whether or not they are reputable. (But you should be doing that anyway.)
There are publications that don’t use this service, so you’ll still want to use other sources. Still, if your New Year’s resolution this year was to submit to more publications, there are worse ways to go than to just do some searching and submitting through Submittable.
And on that note, I think I’ll go submit something today. These stories aren’t going to publish themselves, are they?