Working Late into the Night

It is now 1:30, and I have put in a full day of writing and research surrounding writing, and I have to say, I’m so proud of myself. I don’t know why devoting myself to the things I want to do with my life seem to be the most difficult to do, but I rarely have a full day of writing. I am so proud, that I have to give myself an electronic pat on the back and list my accomplishments, all done without having to create a “list of what to get done” (which generally ends with the writing of the list).

  • Updated all three blogs. Yes this one, of course, but also the poetry blog and my short story workshop.
  • Completed a new short story.
  • Read a new story and completed a review for Zoetrope.
  • Worked on Zizkov.
  • Did research on possible places for publishing.
  • all this and I managed to get some packing done.

I have finally ventured into the world of submissions. I haven’t done it yet, but I finally started looking for places that I may fit. I’ve been sticking to the small presses, since I am a new and unpublished writer, and I also like to support small press. This is an amazingly time consuming task. I have a couple of starter resources: I get the Winning Writers newsletter e-mailed to me once a month, and Funds for Writers newsletter sent to me once a month. Another great resource is, of course, Poets & Writers, which has the small press calendar displayed in a way that it is easy to quickly peruse though all the presses to find out when and how to submit.

My first step (these are the steps of a blind woman, mind you, sailing through uncharted waters- just to coin two clichés) was to read through everything posted, and to eliminate anyone who- well- wouldn’t publish me anyway. I’m looking for people interested in publishing new short fiction. Once I found those, I read the blurb on what kind of magazine or journal they are, for instance, if they are only interested in publishing stories about fishing or sports or Science fiction centered around Jewish characters (as examples), well they wouldn’t be interested in what I have right now. Next, I find out when they are accepting submissions. Now here is the funny part that I’m sure all the seasoned small press writers already know: No one is accepting submissions now. Seems that the prime time to submit is around January. I didn’t know, but this made it very easy to narrow things down. Out of my three sources, I found only two places that were accepting submissions at this time, and that’s out of looking at Poets & Writer’s, 149 possibilities. Hey, it’s a start. Now that I have my journals picked there is still more research: What are their guidelines, how do they want you to submit, will they accept simultaneous submissions? Do they accept electronic submissions? Right now, this is a factor for me because sad and pathetic as it sounds, I’m so broke I can’t afford stamps, and well many small presses don’t accept electronic so back down to two. Then lastly, I read about the journal, and I read the published short stories to get an idea if they would be interested in publishing something by me based on the voices of the other writers. This part is a treat because, wow, there are some great writers out there. I will be honest, it is difficult to not get intimidated while reading the published work of these writers. My first thought is, I like this, this is my style. My second thought is, oh god this is so much better than anything I can ever write, they’ll never publish me. But, I think, god what do I have to loose? Nothing, and I certainly don’t think I will be wasting their time since I went through all the research to find out if we would be a good match.

I’ve started to build a list of places to submit, my own personal reference list. As I slowly build on this, and I promise you, it will be slow, I will post what I find because maybe you will find a nice match. I’m like a matchmaker, oi. The two that I plan to submit to now are CakeTrain and Memorious, also I’m thinking of submitting to Fringe Magazine, but I need to read more of their stuff. What I have read so far from both Caketrain and Memorious has been great; well-crafted and interesting. Really, if you are interested in small press you should check them out. A journal that I am thinking of soliciting in the fall is Versal and I’m really excited about them and their mission.

Now all I have to figure out how to do is write a bio and a cover letter. How do you write a bio when you haven’t published anything? And what’s a cover letter for a submission look like? I don’t know, I guess I will have to do some more work. But not right now, now it’s time for bed. It’s 2:31 am.

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