Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Submitting short stories to magazines

Submission of Stories Information from Catherine Tudish
Catherine is a professor of fiction writing at Bread Loaf School of English and Dartmouth College
Additional information from Cathy Eaton
Cathy Eaton is a professor of fiction writing at NHTI Concord’s Community College

1. Helpful Books/Magazines for Submitting and Publishing Short Stories:
a. Writer’s Market Place & Writer’s Digest
i. Kinds of work they are looking for
ii. When reading period is (often staff is on holiday during summer)
iii. Websites (***make sure you read samples of the work they publish before you submit so you know you are sending them the kind of work they are looking for)
b. 2009 Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market *** Catherine recommends as best resource
i. Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH
ii. Contains names of magazines that publish short stories
a. Editor to address cover letter to (Make sure you check website for current editor because editors often change jobs)
b. Types of stories each magazine is looking for
c. Contact information
d. Payment information (generally you won’t get paid)
e. Length (word count) of stories
iii. Includes contests and awards
iv. Online markets
v. Small circulation markets
vi. Literary magazines (Catherine suggested we target this market)
vii. Markets for romance writers, sci fi, fantasy, horror
viii. Literary Agents
ix. Helpful articles by authors, editors, and publishers
c. Subscribe to Poets and Writers Magazine (http://www.pw.org/magazine)

2. Catherine Tudish recommends that once you have 3-5 strong stories, that you submit a story to several places and then wait for response which may take several months. Pay attention to whether or not magazines permit you to submit to multiple places at one time and then include that in cover letter. (Note – I have heard from other sources that you can submit one story to as many as 30 magazines at one time.)

2. Magazines that publish short stories that Catherine recommended (You can read samples online, in libraries, in book stores)
a. Virginia Quarterly Review (http://www.vqronline.org/)
b. Georgia Review (http://www.uga.edu/garev/)
c. Kenyon Review (http://www.kenyonreview.org/)
d. Prairie Schooner (http://prairieschooner.unl.edu/submission/guidelines.html)
e. Green Mountain Review (http://greenmountainsreview.jsc.vsc.edu/)
f. Hunger Mountain Review (http://www.hungermtn.org/)
g. All-story with Zoetrope (http://magazineart.org/magazines/a/all-story.html)
h. Glimmer Train (http://www.glimmertrain.com/)

3. Online magazine that Catherine recommended
a. Narrative Magazine

4. Books Catherine recommended as helpful guides to writers
a. *** The Art of Fiction by John Gardner
i. good exercises
b. *** Reading like a Writer by Francine Prose
c. Aspects of the Novel by E. M. Foreeter
d. Burning down the House by Charles Baxter
e. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (Scribner)
f. The Best American Short Stories (includes list of top 100 journals)

5. Cover Letter
a. Be brief
b. Address editor by first and last name
c. Start with something like “I am enclosing [name of story] for your consideration.”
d. Give no information about story.
e. Include 1-2 sentences about self.
f. Include publishing credits of fiction you have
g. Thank them for reading work
h. If doing simultaneous submission, say so in the PS
i. Include envelop with SASE (self-addressed stamped envelop) so that they will send you acceptance or rejection.
j. If you don’t want them to return manuscript, include SASE for reply only. Some journals prefer to recycle (toss) manuscripts they don’t use

6. Format of Stories for Submission (Check and follow submission requirements of specific magazine you are submitting to). Typical submission guidelines are:
a. Double space
b. 1 inch margins (sometimes a little more)
c. 12 pointfFont. Times New Roman
d. Upper right hand corner of first page
i. Name
ii. Contact information
1. Address
2. Email
3. Phone
iii. Word count of story
e. After first page upper right hand corner: last name and page number (Eaton 1)
f. Note: they may not want you to staple pages

7. Write poetry: (Catherine recommends writing poetry to help your fiction writing)
a. Precise word choice
b. Compression of language
c. Shaping of language
d. Make every word count

8. Read poetry. Poets that Catherine recommends who are accessible
i. Billy Collins (http://www.bigsnap.com/linklibrary.html#poembypoem)
ii. Stephen Dunn
iii. Mary Oliver (http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/mary_oliver/poems)

9. Contests (Catherine doesn’t recommend entering contests as odds are worse) or paying money to submit your own work.

10. Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont http://www.vermontstudiocenter.org/
(Catherine recommends as wonderful place to go for writing retreat. Financial aid available.)

Additional Information from Cathy

1. http://www.duotrope.com/index.aspx is web address for Duotrope’s Digest, a free writers' resource listing over 2550 current Fiction and Poetry publications. Use this page to search for markets for piece you just polished. Use menus at the top and right to explore the rest of the free services they offer writers and editors, including a free online submissions tracker for registered users.

2. WritersMarket.comWritersMarket.com provides 6000 updated listings, including agents, magazines, and contests. Extensive search capabilities to find the right publication or agent for you. It also saves your favorite searches for future reference! Tools for tracking your manuscripts and submissions

3. Online fiction writing workshops that I recommend is called an Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop. They use a Blackboard Format
a. Gotham website address is http://www.writingclasses.com/
b. Zoetrope is http://zoetrope.writingclasses.com/GatewayPages/GatewayFrameset.php?PartnerID=ZO

4. FirstWriter.com (http://firstwriter.com/)
a. Magazine Publishers (Magazine markets for writers -- search hundreds in seconds! Search online database of over 1,100 magazines to find your writing's home and get your name into print)
b. Writing Links
c. Writing Competitions
d. Literary Agents


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