I dare you to try

Posted: November 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

And submit to any one of thousands upon thousands of literary magazines in the US or another country. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photography, art, or any other like-minded genre. Some accept via postal mail, some either by email attachment or postal, and I have submitted to ones that only wanted you to copy/paste your work within the context of an email. All are different.
Doesn’t it sound relatively easy, since most of us write and that’s the work we do–think again. Unless you submit to the same literary journal or magazine over and over and know their specific guidelines–you are asked right off-the-bat to “read our magazine.” Well, it sounds simplistic, yet do you have a job that requires you to do the work you were hired to do? Most of us do, so think about it: if each person who ever submitted anything for literary consideration sat down and read the blooming magazine–it would be a time consuming process and there would be no time left to fit in your employment.

Whatever happened to the days when you just submitted your literary work via postal mail and if your work was accepted and published then all was well with the world and you got paid for it? Now, things are different.
I didn’t notice the newer methods of submittal until I graduated last year. Call me the resident of a coconut shell, because present rules are different from when I was in high school and beyond–no matter what I happen/happened to be writing.

In those days, I mailed in my work and even if it wasn’t accepted I received a reply with a note. Now-a-days you might get a reason for not being accepted, but I would not advise waiting. You might be a skeletal form sitting in a rocking chair. Gasp! Your book could actually be accepted without an agent. Those days are extinct and nonexistent as the dinosaur.
And then you have all the different categories and rules of formatting. Some want flush to the left, others want indented–some want pages numbered, others not, some want, want, always want what he or she wants and most want it their way or you are wasting your time. After all, it’s his or her magazine or company and probably each have already forgotten the lean years.
Don’t bother wasting your money on  heavy books* on how to get published in a literary magazine such as: *Poetry Market, Writers’ Market and so on. If you’re serious about submitting and reading every magazine you submit to–google them online; it’s a cheaper route to go.
Another thing I’ve learned in the submission process 2014, unless you have an MA or teach Creative Writing or English, then you may as well forget it unless someone is having a good day. Most “legitimate” online magazines tend to publish the same published authors over and over and over. There are contests for new writers, if that applies to your situation and it does pay, but competition is stiff.  It’s a long road, but if your feet can walk those miles then go for it and I wish you all the luck in the world. Don’t forget the cover letter that some may or may or not expect, but most do.


  1. […] describes her own dealings with submitting writings today vs. in days gone by in this piece titled, I dare you to try. It’s a great piece. I encourage you to read it. Another of her poems that I connected to in […]


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