Writing by the Numbers: Submissions

This is one of those blog posts that may be more for my own benefit than it is a post for you, the reader. (You can read it, though. I wouldn’t want to scare you away!)

There are several ways I try to keep track of my writing and writing-related activities. As I’ve written in the past, I think planning and tracking (and here and here) and being intentional about what I’m doing as a writer is a key component to, you know, actually WRITING rather than wasting my days playing Words With Friends and cheering on random people on The Price Is Right.

This weekend, I spent a lot of time re-organizing and researching the various literary journals and magazines (both traditional print journals AND online venues) where I send my little stories in hopes of publishing a few. (One of my goals, when I started my MFA, was to have THREE publishing credits for fiction at the end of my two years of study…and I still need TWO.)

The re-organizing was a result of coming to the realization that my old list was a jumbled mess that did more to confuse me than it did to help me know where I would submit to next. So, I spent hours putting together the spreadsheet with the following goals in mind:

  • 1. Capture the core information (word count limits, open submission periods, tolerance of simultaneous subs, web-site link to the submission manager)
  • 2. Put the journals and magazines in a general order of preference (mostly subjective) of their “desirability”
  • 3. Provide myself a visual way to quickly assess where and when I will submit short stories

What did I learn? Here’s the numbers:

  • 88 – The number of literary magazines, journals, and online outlets I have identified as desirable and potential markets
  • 56 – The number of submissions I’ve sent out the year or so
  • 31 – The number of rejections I’ve received
  • 25 – The number (as of this writing) of open submissions I’ve not yet received word on
  • 2 – The number of “This wasn’t right for us, but we liked it, send us more” rejections I’ve received
  • 1 – The number of stories that have been accepted for publication

All of the work to research and organize will hopefully pay off in the coming weeks and months. I’ll be sending out an additional 30 submissions in the coming weeks, and I’ll be poised to continue to submit my work to open markets, even after I’m an official MFA graduate (in January).

But, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that there is a certain frustration in looking at these markets. I understand the deck is stacked against any writer. Most of these journals receive several hundred submissions for just a handful of open spots in their publication. I have to try, though, and continue to put my words out there. Hope they find a home where some folks will take a look.

Until then, I’ll just keep chipping away at my goals, keep putting in the effort, keep giving the muse a place to come play.

Thanks for coming by. I hope you have a great week. Happy Writing!

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2 thoughts on “Writing by the Numbers: Submissions

  1. Pingback: The Days Get Longer From Here « Stories I Read, Stories I Tell

  2. Pingback: Create a Writing Schedule, Stick to It « Stories I Read, Stories I Tell

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