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Friday, November 09, 2007

Aim High

Which literary magazines should you submit your material to?

Good question. Glad you asked that. Oh, wait, I asked that. I've asked that several times, over the years, actually. I've heard others ask it too, so I know I'm not alone in seeking a drop or two of enlightenment on the subject.

From what I've heard--from other writers and editors of literary magazines--the answer goes like this:

1. Try to get published in journals that pay money. In the litmag world, these are scarce. Bestowing money on contributors is a mark that the publisher really cares. Here are three that were mentioned in the last issue of the Writer's Market e-newsletter:

  • The Antigonish Review publishes literary nonfiction, fiction and poetry. This quarterly magazine pays $50-150 for nonfiction, $100 for fiction, and $30 per full page for poetry. The editors recommend sending for guidelines and a sample copy.
  • The Georgia Review publishes literary nonfiction, fiction and poetry as well. This quarterly journal pays $40 per page for prose and $3 per line for poetry. They will not consider unsolicited manuscripts between May 1 and August 15. The editors say, "Our readers are educated, inquisitive people who read a lot of work in the areas we feature, so they expect only the best in our pages. All work submitted should show evidence that the writer is at least as well-educated and well-read as our readers."
  • The Saint Ann's Review publishes literary fiction, nonfiction and poetry. This semiannual magazine pays $50-100 for work in all three areas. The editors say, "We seek honed work that gives the reader a sense of its necessity."

2. Submit to literary journals that look professional. I paraphrase the response from an Iowa Review editor: Would you rather kiss someone who is ugly or great looking? I gathered from her response that it's better to have your work seen in good company--where the typos are rare and the ink isn't smeared or fuzzy, etc.

3. Most journals that come from a state university or college are reputable, e.g., Indiana Review, Colorado Review, Florida Review.

Some literary journals are carried in big bookstores (very random and minimal) and libraries. These days, most litmags have some kind of online presence that can clue you in on production and content. It is also a tax-deductible business expense to buy a copy of the journal--and I believe in contributing financially to small publications.

category: markets


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