So hopefully you have some polished poems/stories/essays to send out, you have an organized system for keeping track of submissions, and you are ready to go! Now where to send them?
There are a few ideas here.
- You could start with Calls for Submissions. Newpages, Submittable Discover, Poets and Writers, Literary Mama, CLMP, and there are many others (you can google “calls for submissions”)
2. You could also just look at a large list of journals. I like Entropy’s list of which magazines/presses are reading each month. Newpages is also a wealth of information as far as journals go.
3. You could check out a ranked list of journals. If you aren’t sure which journals are more established and respected than others, it can be helpful to look at one of the ranked lists. This Clifford guy does a list every year. Sometimes I submit a batch of poems to top tier magazines, then go down a tier, etc. I have a list of “dream journals” I’d love to publish in that I always send my poems to first.
4. I highly recommend searching for journals that “go” with your poem. Let’s say you write sonnets–try sending to journals that favor or exclusively publish metrical verse first. Maybe you wrote a ton of poems about women from church history–perhaps sending to journals that are interested in that type of thing makes sense (like Christianity and Literature, Christianity Today, Ruminate, etc). You don’t have to limit yourself to thematic journals, but it may be an avenue to look into.
5. Another way to find journals you want to submit to is to look at where writers you like publish (living writers, preferably!). For example, I feel like my work is thematically similar to Barbara Crooker (and I love her work!), so I may see where she has recently published (you can find that information on an author’s website pretty often, or check out one of their poetry books and read the acknowledgements).
The acknowledgements page on any book of poetry that you like is a great place to start to send your work. You already know those journals are publishing work you admire!
Sending out short stories is not wildly different, though essays may have to be pitched first. I mostly speak from my experience with submitting poetry.
If you have something you wrote and you are not sure where to send it, feel free to comment here or email me, and I can send you some suggestions!